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Saturday, March 31, 2012

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Are You Asking for Referrals? BY JOANNE BLACK MARCH 30, 2012 • REPRINTS

In the past, when I have asked salespeople how I can help them with prospecting (whom they are looking to meet), they have often begun, “anyone who…? Anyone? It has confused me. I don’t know who “anyone” is.

Every salesperson recognizes his or her ideal client. You know who yours is. Don’t you love when you get to work with your ideal clients? They value what you offer, communicate well, are forward thinking and reasonable, have a good sense of humor and allow you the time, money and resources to make any project successful. If you’re hoping to make your life easier and increase your bottom line, your task is to clone your ideal clients.

When you work with your ideal client, your sales time line collapses, productivity soars, revenue expands and these clients refer you to other ideal clients.

Find your ideal client. The best way to locate your ideal client is to ask your current clients to refer you to their peers. The second best way is to ask your network to refer you. In either case, however, you must be specific. The more specifically you describe your ideal client, the easier it is for your referral source (current client or network contact) to identify the perfect referral for you.

Be specific. Being specific is counterintuitive. Many of my clients believe the wider they cast their net, the more clients they will reel in. The exact opposite is true. Think of yourself as a sketch artist: the more color, lines and detail you present, the easier it becomes for others to envision, recognize and identify your ideal client and refer them to you.

Think of the last time you were at an art museum. Perhaps you viewed a painting called “Blue Wall,” a modern work all one color. You may have pondered what it meant; it was open to wide and varied interpretation. Then, say you saw a Rembrandt or a Vermeer, a work where the artist’s intention was apparent. You could identify people, what they were doing and perhaps what they were feeling. You knew exactly what you were looking at.

In the case of describing your ideal client, you need to be as specific as possible and leave nothing to interpretation. You need to tell the story yourself. Some salespeople mistakenly believe that if they don’t mention everything they offer, they’re leaving business on the table. But the opposite is true. The more specifically you describe your ideal client, the easier it becomes to receive a perfect referral.

We get what we ask for, so ask for exactly what you want and you’ll get amazing referrals!

Joanne Black is a professional sales speaker, sales webinar leader, and author of “No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust” from Warner Business Books. Visit www.nomorecoldcalling.com. © Copyright 2011 Joanne S. Black. All rights reserved.


Sasha Delaquis

Friday, March 30, 2012


WEAKNESS  March 30, 2012
Trust is a critical ingredient in sales; people don't buy from a sales rep they don't trust. So how do you establish trust in a world of skeptics? Start by focusing on your credibility, and admit weakness. Prospects know your company and product are weak in some areas. You boost your credibility when you admit to those weaknesses rather than try to sweep them under the table. Even better: turn a perceived weakness into a desired benefit. For instance, if your software doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a competing product, point that out. Then point out how the simplicity of your product boosts usage and data-

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Isn't It About Time?

Neighborhood Bookies Putting Lines Online

The customer support desk at PerHead.com, a company in Costa Rica behind a Web site that serves neighborhood bookies and their bettors.
The local street bookie — whose illegal business for decades relied on little more than phones, pencils, notebooks and a burly goon to break the occasional leg — has finally been seduced by the modern conveniences of the Internet.
Maggie Steber for The New York Times
Steve Budin, a former operator of an online sports book, sees the value in Web sites in which the bets of local bookies can be recorded and tracked.

Readers’ Comments

As bettors throughout the United States plunk down millions of dollars on college basketball’s Final Four this weekend, many of the bookies taking their action will turn to a burgeoning corner of the Internet: Web sites that essentially function as a bookie’s version of the financial software Quicken.
The basic setup is simple: Instead of taking a phone call from every hopeful bettor, the bookie directs his clients to a Web site, where bets can be recorded, tracked and totaled. The bookie can then log on and see who owes — or is owed — money in the coming week.
It is organized. It is civilized. It is user-friendly, for both the bookie and the bettor, even though it remains illegal. It is also a drastic departure from the entrenched notion of bookies operating out of basements or back offices, with jumbles of phone-line wires, drop safes and handwritten ledgers.
“There is always going to be a huge market for local bookmakers because they are the ones who let players bet with credit, with money they don’t have to produce,” Steve Budin, a gambling expert who formerly operated an online sports book, said. “People don’t want to give out their credit cards or send money offshore someplace. They like dealing with real people and real cash. These sites just make it a whole lot easier for the bookies serving them.”
Bookies who use the sites pay the companies that operate them a small fee per client, which is why the sites collectively are known as pay-per-head sites. The most significant difference between pay-per-head sites and offshore online sports books — which have been targets of federal law enforcement in recent years — is that pay-per-head sites do not handle any betting money; they simply offer the players a place to record their bets and the bookies a register for organizing them.
Settling up — and the threatening that occasionally goes along with that for those who try to evade paying — is still done locally.
The services offered by the sites, however, are well worth the per-head fee of roughly $20, bookies say. In the so-called old days, the general business setup for a bookie was a split partnership, in which the operator would work in the office taking bets and the money guy was on the streets, handling the finances. Profits were generally split 50-50.
“Honestly? That’s so ‘Goodfellas,’ ” Travis Prescott, an executive at one of the more prominent sites, PerHead.com, said in a telephone interview. “With our setup, everything is streamlined and anyone can run their operation on their own.”
The best per-head sites are run like any large business and attract an increasingly diverse customer base, with demographics far beyond the stereotypical image of the mob-connected bookie. PerHead.com, for example, is based in Costa Rica and has nearly 100 employees working in a gleaming, modern office building. There are six full-time employees focused on I.T., working to ward off hackers and maintain the company’s servers. There is one person dedicated to increasing the company’s search engine optimization, which helps attract bookies of all experience levels, Prescott said.
Prescott said the surge in per-head start-ups began in earnest about three to five years ago — perhaps in response to government crackdowns on traditional online sports books. Although exact figures are unavailable, some estimates have the number of per-head sites operating to be “in the hundreds,” Prescott said.
“Younger bettors are used to ease and quality — they don’t want busy signals or guys who don’t answer their phone,” Budin said. “They want Web sites. They want a number they can trust where someone says, ‘How can I help you?’ if they have to call.”
Thomas, a longtime bookie in the New York metropolitan area who asked that only his first name be used because of the illegal nature of his work, said using a pay-per-head site had revolutionized his business. His customers can place bets at any time. It is a big change from the old days, when many bookies took bets only until 8 or 9 p.m. even though games on the West Coast began later. Those who want to place a complex parlay, or multiple-team wager, can call one of the Web site’s clerks, instead of him, to get an immediate reply on how much that bet will pay out if it wins.
“It’s a huge timesaver,” Thomas said. “I can tweak the lines if I want, I can set minimum and maximum bets for different customers. There are still some older guys who like hearing my voice, but most of my clients just go to the site. They can see it all there.”
Sites such as PerHead.com do not handle betting money.

Readers’ Comments

Each customer also has a “settle-up number,” which is the amount of money at which he must send payment if he has lost or receive it if he has won. A small-time bettor might have a settle-up number of $500; a big player might not settle up until he hits (or loses) $2,000 or more.
Rick, a higher-stakes sports bettor based in New England, said he was leery of sending his credit card number to traditional online sports books because he had friends who lost money when their online sports books were suddenly shut down. He prefers the per-head setup because it gives him access to a Web site but also allows him to build a trusting relationship with his local bookie; when he won a bet that came with a $20,000 payoff, the bookie still met him at the usual time and paid up.
“It would have been funny if it was in a metal briefcase or something,” Rick said. “But it was nothing like that. He paid me in an interoffice envelope.”
Lawrence Walters, a lawyer who specializes in online gambling, said pay-per-head sites operate in a gray area because of those types of meetings and the required third-party element that is inherent in their operations. It is possible that operators of the sites could be prosecuted by United States officials for facilitating illegal sports betting in this country, but with most of the sites based in Costa Rica and other Central American countries where gambling is legal, extradition would be unlikely, he said.
Given that reality, it is not surprising that the pay-per-head business is thriving. Although images of its old-school roots do persist, the sports gambling industry has embraced technology — bookies included.
“The days of guys writing bets on flash paper so they could burn everything when the cops busted in are long gone,” Matt Mombrea, an industry expert who runs WagerMinds.com, said in an interview. “Honestly, I wouldn’t even be surprised if there are bookies out there who are already taking bets on Twitter.”
A version of this article appeared in print on March 30, 2012, on page B9 of the New York edition with the headline: Neighborhood Bookies Putting Lines Online.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

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boost-priorities.gifPRIORITIES  March 29, 2012
Have priorities and make sure yours are in line with those of your clients. Keep other people posted on how you've prioritized your work. Failure to understand shifting priorities can cause communication breakdowns and a possible loss of deals. Give your supervisors a chance to reshuffle your priority list of current projects. Give clients plenty of warning if a change of priorities is upcoming. Do your best to make sure that clients are always number one on your list.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012




boost-awareness.gifAWARENESS  March 28, 2012
Self-knowledge is a key to power. Personal awareness is just as important for professional success as technical competence. Self-knowledge gives you the ability to match your working style with those of the people you work with day in and day out, not to mention the styles of the people with whom you're trying to establish relationships. This lets you take responsibility for the effect you have on other people and learn how to change it if the effect is not what you desire.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How to Counter Objections BY ADRIAN MILLER DECEMBER 6, 2011 • REPRINTS

Let’s face the facts. If you’re involved in sales, objections are simply a fact of life. While you can’t avoid this inherent frustration altogether, you definitely have options on how to deal with them. And it’s truly how you deal with them that will ultimately determine your success as a salesperson.

Undeniably, objections can throw you off course and make you want to pack up and head home. However, it’s solely up to you to view them as either permanent halts or mere detours on the road to making a sale. What does an objection mean to you?

Sure, you can look at it as your cue to find a new prospect. But if you delve a little deeper you might just discover that the person who you’re trying to sell to is attempting to gain more information, more confidence in what you’re offering or more selling points. This is often the case when a prospect has to present what you’re offering to other people involved in the decision-making process.

In other words, an objection might be a prospect’s way of asking you to better explain what makes you different and why doing business with you would equate to some sort of improvement in his or her situation.

By changing your mindset and rethinking objections as simply opportunities to present more information, you definitely up your chances of winning a sale. Here are some basic strategies for handling these situations:

Take a deep breath. Getting thrown off and discouraged by objections is often a knee-jerk reaction by many salespeople. It’s understandable and perfectly natural. We’re all taught as children to take “no” as an answer instead of nagging and continuing to ask for what we want. Well, salespeople have to learn how to quiet those old tapes playing in their heads. A “no” might be a veiled request for more information, and if you immediately retreat, you will be shutting the door on a potential sale.

Acknowledge hesitancy. You need to demonstrate that you “get” where they’re coming from when it comes to an objection. By stating that you understand how they feel, you show that you are listening respectfully, not tuning them out, and can actually empathize with their hesitancy.

How can you articulate your sensitivity? Here are a few statements that will help you keep the sales door open:

“Mr. Prospect, I understand how you feel.”
“I understand what you are saying.”
“We have other clients that have felt the same way.”
These three statements will go a long way to making your prospect feel more comfortable and engaged with what you’re trying to say. Remember, the goal is to maintain rapport and not to alienate or cause anxiety.

Restate your value proposition. Once you’ve patiently acknowledged and responded to the objection with a benefits statement, you’ve earned yourself the right to resell. This is the pivotal point and critical moment in dealing with an objection. Don’t stop and trail off after your resell statement. You’ll only confuse your prospect on what they should do next. Instead, take control of the dialog by asking a question. Word your question accordingly so that you get a positive response or at least will know what the answer will be. With this strategy, you should now have the opportunity to resell features and benefits.

So that’s it: a simple road map for how to handle and hopefully overcome objections.

Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.


RESERVE  March 27, 2012
Force-feeding works no better with buyers than it does with kids. A prospect, pen in fist, seems almost ready to sign. But hold on. You see hesitation, then a frown. What's the problem? More to the point: what should you do now? Should you backtrack a bit and probe patiently? Or should you try to force the issue with a clever gimmick or trick closing technique? Play it cool. Don't force. Concentrate on the right question to ask to nail down what caused the hesitation.



Monday, March 26, 2012


boost-stories.gif STORIES  March 26, 2012
Purposeful storytelling is the ultimate tool for closing the sale. Stories are game changers, because they engage a listener's emotions. Typically, emotion, not logic, causes people to act. Stories resonate within us, which is precisely why people are far more likely to remember information embedded within a story than information that was presented to them in facts or figures. If you tell a story with authentic emotion, people will respond.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WORKSTATION Overseas Internships Can Benefit, for a Price By PHYLLIS KORKKI Published: March 24, 2012

AS the world becomes more interconnected, employers are clamoring for global experience in their work forces. So it should come as no surprise that college internships are going global, too.
 Such internships can be pricey, because air fare is generally not included, a paycheck is unlikely and it can be hard to arrange them without outside help. But they can offer a window into a different business culture, along with a chance to practice language skills and perhaps earn college credit.
“I think if a student is interested in pursuing any sort of career outside of the U.S., it’s a great idea to immerse yourself in the environment” through an overseas internship, said Lauren Berger, author of “All Work, No Pay” and chief executive of Internqueen.com, an online internship site.
And she doesn’t think you need rich parents to intern abroad. Financial aid could be available, she said, or “students can choose to work hard during the year and save up for something like that.”
Stephen Keil, a sophomore majoring in international relations and minoring in French at Syracuse University, worked full time last summer to save for his fall internship with theCouncil of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The university arranged the internship.
Mr. Keil did research for the council’s Pompidou Group, which combats drug abuse and drug trafficking. He is considering a career in the State Department, so the experience was very useful, he said, “and my French improved greatly.”
During the school year, Syracuse students who study abroad have the option of pursuing internships in addition to taking classes, but their tuition is the same regardless. Beyond tuition, program fees (including housing) range from $5,735 to $7,500, and substantial financial aid is available, said Suzanne Shane, program director at SU Abroad. In summer, students may pursue a full-time internship for credit without taking other courses. For this option, they pay about $1,000 a credit, as well as fees ranging from $2,000 to $3,840 when lodging is part of the package.
In the United States, a debate has arisen over the fairness of unpaid internships. So the idea of not receiving a salary, and in fact paying thousands of dollars more while putting in almost three months of work abroad, may not sit well with some students. But others feel that paying to have internships arranged helps to ensure their quality.
Joe Roma, director of programs for Intrax Internships Abroad, said: “We do a great deal of work seeking host companies that are going to provide value to the student.” Intrax is a for-profit global education company whose internship arm offers positions in Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Intrax’s internship programs cost from around $5,600 to $7,900. That includes placement, visa help, housing, a global skills training course, cultural activities, insurance and individual support, he said. Airfare is extra, and very rarely are students paid. “Some companies offer a stipend; we don’t arrange that,” Mr. Roma said.
Cheryl Miyake, a junior at Stanford majoring in sociology, got an internship in Beijing last summer through Intrax after meeting a company representative at a career fair. She interned for a local company that offers music and English immersion classes to children.
“Not only did I get to travel and work on my Mandarin speaking skills, but I really got to understand what Chinese business culture is like,” she said, gaining a better sense of “guanxi,” a code of building relationships that is important to conducting business.
She was relieved that Intrax handled setting up a work visa, which can be hard to obtain in China, and arranged housing in Western-style apartments.
While in Beijing, she was part of a group of students that took training courses arranged by Intrax. Being able to meet others who, like her, were undergoing a certain amount of culture shock, was helpful, she said.
OF course, students who are already abroad can look for positions on their own. But Ms. Berger advises students to tread carefully. Studying abroad is such a valuable, pleasurable and short-term experience that it could add more stress to work as well, she said. As an alternative, she suggests that students arrange 10 or so informational interviews with professionals while they take classes abroad.
“People have internships on the brain” these days, she said, but it’s important to choose the right time and place for them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Brothers Johnson - Stomp!

Tips for Going Virtual, Part 2 BY ALAN BLUME MARCH 24, 2012 • REPRINTS

 The days when organizations were more concerned with the façade of their buildings than their websites are coming to a close. Today, businesses large and small need to embrace web-marketing plans and inexpensive cloud-based solutions to optimize their efficiency and improve profitability.
6. Virtual employees and contractors.When you think about profit margins, think in terms of virtual employees and contractors. The more virtual your operation, the greater will be the benefit to your bottom line. Virtual employees can deliver services in a more flexible working environment. (Management of these types of employees and contractors needs to focus on measureable results.)
7. Outsource. Where and when possible, outsource non-critical operations. For example, if you are a smaller business, it’s easier and more cost-effective to host with a well-recognized hosting provider (such as 1and1 or GoDaddy) than to operate your own in-house server. Similarly, it may be less expensive to outsource marketing activities than to staff internally. Before hiring administrative personnel, consider outsourcing with a virtual assistant. (See above.)
8. Web marketing. If you’re thinking about attending a trade show or offering an onsite seminar, reassess your priorities and extend your budget by leveraging web marketing activities. Utilize e-marketing, social-media marketing, web seminars, case studies, blogs, SEO and other digital-marketing efforts as opposed to traditional marketing methods.
9. E-collateral. Use e-collateral rather than traditional print collateral. Printed collateral is expensive, difficult to distribute and challenging to measure the efficacy of. (Who actually received it? Read it? Did something with it?)
10. Video. Video is digital and virtual and ties in nicely with your virtual goals. Offering a message about your value proposition, a recorded webinar, Skype-recorded interview or even voiceover PowerPoint vlog will help extend your web marketing and virtual reach.
Businesses that leverage these tips can become more virtual, more efficient and more profitable. Focusing on web centric, reusable solutions improves the operational efficiency of any organization, regardless of size.
Alan Blume is an author, and as founder and CEO of StartUpSelling Inc., he works with small businesses on lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information, go towww.StartUpSelling.com

Troy Dooly Interviews Zeek Rewards COO Dawn Wright-Olivares Pt 1

Friday, March 23, 2012

Master Class: How to Network, Part 2 BY STAFF WRITER MARCH 23, 2012 • REPRINTS

 “Go forth and network” may be one of the most hackneyed pieces of advice you can hear in the business world. Whatever it is you seek—a prospect, a client, a promotion, a new career—networking is usually offered as the answer. But according to Vickie Milazzo, successful businesswoman and author of “Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman,” many people are not networking the right way.

Here are five more tips from Milazzo on how to network most effectively:

6. Get organized. You’ve probably returned from a networking event having met a bunch of new people but lost track of how to cultivate those relationships. “When you meet someone new, take note (electronically) of what the person looked like, what you discussed, and one or two things you found unique about that person. That way the next time you speak with him or if you want to reach out after the event, you can mention something that will personally interest him, allowing you to make a stronger, more lasting connection,” said Milazzo.

7. Manage the follow up. Rubbing elbows at one or two events with a new contact does not automatically create a beneficial relationship. How you follow up with that contact is just as important as how you make your first impression. “When you do check in with a new contact, find a way to create value,” recommended Milazzo. “Send her an article that you think might interest her or connect her with someone you know who might be a potential new customer for her or who might be able to help her with her business. Tell her you recently put a piece of her advice to work, and thank her for her valuable insight on the matter. When you do these things, you create reasons to stay in touch and that’s a great way to keep the relationship growing.”

8. Don’t wait until you need something to follow up. Remember, the new relationships you’re forging aren’t all about you trying to get something from your contacts. Be careful that you’re not always asking for this or that. “Show how you can benefit the person as well,” suggested Milazzo. “Simply waiting until you need something to reach out to the person will make him feel like you’re taking advantage of him.”

9. Network outside social media. While networking through social media is an important way to make a connection, it’s not the only way to maintain it. You can’t and shouldn’t depend on multiple LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends to do the trick. “Simply having an online connection with a huge group of people is not going to drive that much action for you,” noted Milazzo. “You have to connect with social-media connections offline in order to really form meaningful relationships with them.”

10. Give as much as you get. Successful networking is a two-way street. Most of us start by asking for help and advice, but as we become more knowledgeable and successful, we gain the means to help others. Remember, success isn’t a monopoly: The more creative, intelligent and effective your colleagues become, the more successful your entire industry will be. Whenever possible, give younger (or at least more inexperienced) people a piece of advice or a leg up.

“Ultimately, taking ‘not’-working to networking isn’t difficult—it simply requires you to be smart about who you’re spending your time with. Always engage in powerful and meaningful networking, not just a pocketful of business cards and a glass of cheap white zinfandel. And never stop expecting high performance from your network: If it’s not productive move on!” Milazzo said.

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IMPROVEMENT  March 23, 2012
Improvement is achieved more often by evolution, rather than revolution. Incremental steps can be much more significant than dramatic leaps when it comes to improving ourselves and the world around us. Problems exist and always will. It is a sales professional's responsibility to identify them and find as many opportunities as possible to improve them. Sometimes the most effective opportunities are the small ones. Don't be discouraged by slow progress. Constant revision and minor improvements ultimately have a big impact.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Looting of Haiti Teleco A federal bribery case in Miami may shed light on how a well-connected U.S. firm operated during the Aristide years.

Columnist's name

The slaying of a former director of the Haitian Central Bank in Port-au-Prince last week might at first seem like a random event in a violent country. But the shooting of Venel Joseph at the wheel of his car looks more like a hit job. It comes just days after the Miami Herald reported that Joseph's son, Patrick Joseph, is a key witness in a federal bribery case in Miami involving alleged kickbacks paid by American telecom companies to Haitian officials. The younger Joseph, according to Herald sources, has fingered former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide as one of those officials.
The indictment doesn't name Mr. Aristide. But the Herald reported that lawyers familiar with the case said that an unnamed individual in the document—"Official B"—is "indeed the ex-president." The Justice Department alleged in court that "Official B" and Patrick Joseph, who is a former director general of the government telecom monopoly Haiti Teleco, received kickbacks from U.S. companies in exchange for favorable pricing when terminating calls in Haiti. Mr. Joseph has pleaded guilty to taking bribes and is cooperating with Justice, according to the Herald article.
It is a case that ought to interest Americans, and not only because it means Mr. Aristide—who was, according to a detailed lawsuit filed by Haiti in civil court in South Florida in 2005, a notoriously corrupt strongman—might be brought to justice. That would be a step toward ending impunity in Haiti, which in turn would be good for political stability and for U.S. security interests in the hemisphere. Mr. Aristide's American lawyer, Ira Kurzban, told the Herald that there is "not one shred of evidence" against his client in the indictment.

Associated Press
Jean Bertrand Aristide

But for Americans there may be another even more important reason to pay attention: It is possible that by getting to the bottom of how Haiti Teleco operated during the Aristide years, investigators will finally uncover the details of the arrangement that Fusion Telecommunications—run by former Democratic Party Finance Chairman Marvin Rosen with Joseph P. Kennedy II and numerous influential Democrats on the board—had in Haiti during the Clinton years. That would be edifying, given how Bill Clinton inexplicably tolerated Mr. Aristide's despotism even after the U.S. had restored him to power in 1994.
Back in those days, Haitians working for Teleco whispered to me of an alleged kickback scheme. Teleco was one of the few sources of hard currency for the country and they charged that the deal between Fusion and Mr. Aristide meant that the company was being looted. They claimed that Fusion had an office inside Teleco, was getting access to the Teleco network at a big discount, and was paying Mr. Aristide in return.
But there was no transparency at Teleco, and these brave patriots were afraid to go public with what they knew. It was only after Mr. Aristide was pushed from power by a popular revolt in February 2004 that the interim government could confirm that the company had been cleaned out.
In the fall of 2004 I was approached by Michael Jewett, a former telecom executive at New Jersey-based IDT. He alleged that he had been fired from the company for objecting to a bribery scheme similar to the one that had been described to me by Haitians regarding Fusion. He had filed a wrongful dismissal case that alleged that he was told to put payments in an offshore account for the benefit of Mr. Aristide. Federal Communications Commission records proved that Teleco had indeed given IDT a 66% discount to the official rate, but Mr. Jewett was never able to prove that Mr. Aristide was the beneficiary of the offshore account. IDT denied wrongdoing and eventually settled with him out of court
That case prompted me to ask the FCC for copies of Fusion's contracts. I was told that the file had disappeared from its record room. When the FCC asked carriers to send duplicates, Fusion said hurricanes had destroyed many of its records, and it produced only one document. Then it went to court to block me from seeing it. I used the Freedom of Information Act to prevail and learned that in 1999 Teleco had given Fusion a rate of 12 cents per minute when the official rate was 50 cents.
Joseph P. Kennedy II wrote in a letter published by the Journal that he was "not aware" of any wrongdoing on the part of Fusion. The company has long maintained its innocence, and it has not been charged. But the Justice Department now alleges in its indictment that other companies that received discounts paid kickbacks to get them.
Patrick Joseph could be the best hope that Haitians have of getting to the truth about Mr. Aristide and his American business partners. But sources say the former Teleco executive still has relatives in Haiti. If he fears for them, he could clam up. That would be one explanation for his father's murder.

Starbucks to jolt consumers with Refreshers energy drink – USATODAY.com

Starbucks to jolt consumers with Refreshers energy drink – USATODAY.com

Change Lives with Music in Rwanda, Thailand, Mali, and the U.S. - Cultivate Wines

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boost-accountability.gif ACCOUNTABILITY  March 22, 2012
The conditions necessary to foster personal accountability in the workplace are similar to those needed in a family or classroom: Develop a climate of trust, openness, good humor, and respect; then, with honesty and respect, inspect what you expect. Make sure that subordinates know you hold yourself to the same standards of ethics and diligence that you expect from them. It may be easier said than done. Openness and clarity of mind will be required. This stresses both you and the system, but courageous individuals manage to tread these waters every day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ZeekRewards - The Rewards Program of a Lifetime!

ZeekRewards - The Rewards Program of a Lifetime!

Liza Mundy's 'The Richer Sex' Predicts Gender Role Reversal Posted: 03/19/2012 7:37 pm Updated: 03/19/2012 7:47 pm

Richer Sex We’ve heard a lot about the downfall of marriage lately; less than half of adults in the U.S. are married, according to the latest 2011 PEW Study.

But at one demographic has seen a recent increase in marriage rates: high-earning women. The implications of this phenomenon on everything from the economy to our sex lives is the subject of a new book by Liza Mundy: “The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family,” on sale Tuesday, March 20 and featured on the March 15 cover of TIME magazine.

Mundy bases her argument in part on the findings of The Hamilton Project, which studied income and work patterns and found that while women in lower income brackets were getting married in smaller numbers, marriage rates for women in the top earning percentile increased by ten percentage points, suggesting that with increased work opportunities for women, more women are choosing marital as well as financial independence -- though women who have reached he pinnacles of financial success are pairing off in increasing numbers. As Mundy describes it, the reason for the uptick is that men view a woman's earning power as more attractive than ever before. And that, Mundy claims, means we're in for a huge dismantling -- in some cases a complete reversal -- of traditional gender roles.

One of the signs of what Mundy describes in the book as the "Big Shift" is women's academic prowess. 57 percent of undergraduates are female, and women earn the majority of doctorates and master’s degrees, leading some experts to suggest that in a quarter century, medicine and law fields will be dominated by women. While some, like UK Universities Minister David Willetts, have suggested that the gender gap in education will lead women to “dumb themselves down” or hide their success to catch a husband, Mundy argues the opposite: “Men are just as willing as women to marry up, and life is now giving them the opportunity to do so.”

As proof, she cites a 2001 study led by psychologist David Buss at The University of Texas at Austin that found a vast change in the values men reported looking for in a mate: Over a 50 year period, the importance men placed on a woman’s income and ability to support herself rose astronomically while a once-strong emphasis on her domestic skills plummeted. Changing ideas of masculinity and the fact that men are now more involved at home have a lot to do with that, Mundy suggests.

While not all of her predictions for future gender dynamics are positive, one thing is clear: The days when pop culture can call to mind a strictly female “Gold-digger” are numbered.

Can I Pinterest You in Some Financial Advice? BY AMY MCILWAIN MARCH 20, 2012 • REPRINTS

 Have you heard the hype about Pinterest? If not, this hot, new social-media phenomenon’s 73 million users make it worth checking out. Employing virtual bulletin boards, Pinterest allows users to keep track of their favorite things—recipes, home décor, motivational blog posts, songs, fashion, etc. And while the platform may seem aimed at crafty soccer moms, Pinterest could be a new way to not only promote your brand in a creative way but also target the female demographic.

One way to capture the essence of Pinterest is to say that where YouTube is in the business of videos and Facebook is in the business of friends and fans, Pinterest is in the business of lifestyles. For example, if you’re interested in golf, you can create boards to post your favorite golf articles, clubs and courses. Use it to collect items for your own reference or to share with others. With Pinterest, you can create boards for virtually any type of content.

So, how can you apply it to your business? First, develop an understanding of the lifestyles of your target audience. Perhaps your clients enjoy golf, tennis, fine dining, wine, vacations or sports. Next, create boards for each of those areas of interest to attract prospects. Or, highlight your unique area of expertise by creating a board with tips and articles related to your specialty. (The goal of such a board should be establishing your credibility as opposed to selling your products. But, by doing so, you can position yourself as a trustworthy expert resource.)

As a secondary goal, a board emphasizing your expertise can drive clients to your business website. Once you create a board that captures all of the amazing services you can provide, simply include a link to your site. Because Pinterest is so new in the social-media world, very few financial professionals are making use of the platform. You could be the first to take advantage of this huge audience.

Get to that female demographic. According to Google AdPlanner, 82 percent of Pinterest users are female. If you are interested in accessing the middle-class female demographic, Pinterest can be a gold mine.

Pinterest has a ton of potential for financial advisors. It’s simplicity, addictive nature and utility is unlike any other social-media platform. Not only can you build a relationship with existing and potential clients, you can establish your brand as a valuable informational resource and promote your business to millions quickly and easily.
Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and president of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website at www.financialsocialmedia.com  and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


boost-change.gif CHANGE  March 21, 2012
The big question for salespeople is how to adapt equally well in boom times and tough times. Someone once said that there is no such thing as bad times – only inadequate preparedness for change. Our approach to change determines our level of success. It's natural to cling to illusions and sometimes give in to disappointments. But when times change, we must change, go with the flow, and adapt to the new season.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dawn Wright Olivares – ZeekRewards COO Interview by ADMIN on MARCH 4, 2012

Dawn Wright Olivares Dawn Wright Olivares is Chief Operation Officer (COO) at ZeekRewards and Zeekler, a division of Rex Venture Group LLC. The company burst onto the scene in 2011 and has very quickly become a leader in the reverse auction industry. A review about ZeekRewards can be found here.

Zeek Rewards is an advertising division of Zeekler.com, which is a reverse auction website and an MLM income opportunity for marketing professionals. The company offers a 2×5 Forced-fill matrix. As of January 2012 the company had approx. 15,000 active representatives. In 2011 Zeekrewards had 15 full time employees.

Dawn is living in Ozark, Arkansas, USA and engaged with Alex de Brantes. She has 2 daughters, Emily and Suzi, and 1 son, Jon. She has 25 years MLM field leadership; 10 years software development; 15 years corporate marketing strategist; 15 years creative development and team leadership. Recently Dawn was a speaker at the prestigious Association Of Network Marketing Professionals.

ZeekRewards has the Nr. 1 website in the world according to the Alexa rankings as of March 2012. Ted Nuyten had the honor to interview Dawn Wright Olivares.

Dawn, how did you got involved in Zeek Rewards as Chief Operating Officer and what field experience do you have?

My promotion to Chief Operating Officer occurred in October 2011. I have been with the company 12+ years and have been working by Paul's side for the past three years very heavily since the launch of FSCAuctions which eventually became Zeekler.  Back in the day I started out as software, graphics and systems development which over the years also became strategic and project development and management.

In 2010, I took on a larger role and by 2011 I was developing then managing most of the departments for Paul.  I initially focused on the creation of  Zeek's product and then when Paul came up with the ZeekRewards concept and momentum started to build – I then increased my focus to internal expansion and compliance.  Paul and I both realized that I simply wasn't the International Marketing Director anymore and looked for a title that better described what it was I did and that title was C.O.O.

Dawn Wright Olivares – Daughter Suzi – Fiancee Alex de Brantes

I have over 25 years field experience and leadership that began in my late teens with Mary Kay and Amway.  My first real success was with a weight loss and neutraceuticals company called E'ola. Skybiz was my first corp entry with a rescue project for the McCullough family called "Planet Skybiz."  Dan and I (Zeek's Master Programmer and my step-son) were a software and web design team and they needed a hand.

In 1999 we were scooped up by a company with corrupt ownership where I brought 16,000 reps in a matter of 5 weeks as the voice of that project.  They promoted me to VP Marketing, hired Dan as head of IT and moved us out to California before they took Dan, myself and the reps to the cleaners and left us high and dry (never paid a single check).  After licking my wounds we joined a consortium of top MLM leaders but after being bitten by two more companies soon after I vowed I'd never be another companies voice or build another field organization.

I was then introduced to Paul Burks and have never looked at working with another owner in the industry since.  This is the first project I have been the voice for since…because of my trust in Paul.

Zeekler is a cool entertainment shopping experience with Penny Auctions, eCommerce and wholesale stores. ZeekRewards is it’s affiliate program that drives traffic and customers through online advertising and word-of-mouth promotions.  The two together have driven us to nr. 455 and nr. 2380 Alexa traffic ratings and are taking the world by storm.

Nowadays with the weak economy more and more people are looking for a second income. What can these people expect from Zeek Rewards?

Most importantly people can expect to be paid what they earn.  I realize for a new networker that may sound obvious…but it’s not.  There are a great many corrupt companies that come out with nothing more than a website and a promise (parked off-shore without an ounce of true back-bone or legitimacy) that will take the money and run.

Second, they can expect our products to stay out in front of the trends and for us to keep it fresh, fun and exciting.  Last, they can count on our commitment to compliance.  We are scooping up the greatest minds in this industry for this project to be in compliance with the laws that govern every aspect of this project.

With the rising number of Direct Sales companies, how can someone who's interested in the business know if a company is reliable?

Doing your due diligence is critical.  Check out the ownership and longevity of the company.  I would recommend doing a background check on the owner first.  Then ask the hard questions: “Do they have experience?”, “Are they well-respected in this industry?”, “Do they have a strong BBB rating?”, “Where are they located?”, “Do they have a strong team?  Both corp and IT?”

Nothing can cripple a company faster than lack of IT.  I’ve seen too many companies SAY they have automation, throw up a site and pretend it’s all in place while they scramble for a cheap, off-shore team they’ve never met and they simply never get off the ground.

Last, if you can afford to make the trip…meet the team.  Legitimate companies have bricks and mortar buildings and real people in them.  Schedule an appointment and either go personally or have someone close in proximity that you trust make the trip.

ZeekRewards Income Disclosure Statement for 2011

Zeek Rewards has incredible growth, what is the reason for the success?

Haha…the stars aligned!  I would love to be able to say it was one specific thing but I think it was a combination of many things and a little bit of magical fairy dust (and a lot of prayer).  Zeek is a phenomenon. From our iconic little penny, the team and the ownership…to the leaders who gathered and said “this is it” – from the product to the comp plan.  It is a bit of a “rubix cube” puzzle and all of the colors simply matched up.

It’s also a matter of trust.  All of the “wow” factor and product and team and comp can be there…but if the field doesn’t see the company’s integrity…all is lost.  A rock-solid relationship has formed.  One of mutual trust, loyalty, integrity and community.  Zeek is a family now.  Being a part of something this special comes along once in a life-time.  Everyone who is here understands that and we cherish it.  I think that’s what translates in every language across every culture.

Have you been surprised by the exponential growth? The Alexa Rankings shows awesone visitors numbers.

Surprised? No.  We’re way beyond surprised…Shock and awe are better words.   We saw exponential growth and momentum once before with FreeStoreClub (where we grew to 3 million in 175 countries) which is why we were able to handle lightening striking again with Zeek.

Zeekrewards Alexa Rankings Over 1 million visitors per month

Massive success means often for any company, criticizer and people spreading rumors. How do you deal with that?

Quite honestly?  We do our best to put it on “ignore.”  Those types of things can serve as large distractions if we let them and we don’t have the time or desire to engage in such things. A long time ago I was told: “Some people build the tallest building.

Other people tear the buildings around them down…so that theirs APPEARS the tallest.” When you are focused on building the tallest building, scrapping in the mud is not on the priority list.

Zeek rewards started a compliance initiative, what can you tell about that?

Our compliance initiative actually began a year ago when Zeek began.  We recognized we were a category creator and started hiring top attorneys and consultants early on because when you do something no ones ever done before…you simply don’t know what you don’t know.   We first hired Nehra and Waak.  Then Dr. Keith Laggos.  They did the first run at it.

We needed to increase our staff and resources proportionate to our growth and our expected growth, and adjust to all the changes in privacy laws and regulations…. The laws and the internet are always moving…. and when you have a growing field force and their ability to reach people in massive quantities through social media, search engines, You Tube and the like we knew we needed to be on top of it and way out in front – so we hired Kevin Grimes of Grimes & Reese who recommended Greg Caldwell (Investigator/Compliance Expert – White Hat Solutions).

Then Howard Kaplin (KapTax) and Mark Bonefant & Larry Steinberg – and the prestigious list keeps growing.  We also launched the “ZeekSquad” which is a volunteer field squad to police field compliance and  we’ll soon be launching Kevin Grimes’ MLMComplianceVT course to the field as well.

We are focused on both the field and corp compliance equally.  We all feel strongly that Zeek is worth protecting on every level…both the corp team and field leadership are all very protective of this project and it’s affiliates.

When so many people count on you for their livelihoods…you do whatever it takes to ensure it’s sustainability.  I tell the field all of the time:  “We are a category creator…we must remain agile and be willing to shift as we grow.  We will do whatever it takes to remain compliant with the law and to do the next right thing to preserve and protect Zeek.”

What wishes, goals and plans do you have for the future?

I am working to get our auctions tripled in quantity next quarter, to create relationships that will allow bid currency to buy a great deal more than the click of a bid button and to attract strong advertising sponsorships.  We want Zeek to be a top contender in online shopping and group buying as well as in Penny Auctions and MLMs.

Do you have a success tip for a newbie in our industry?

Yes.  Be patient, loyal, totally committed to both your dream and your company and be willing to grow.  Someone has lied to the newbies of the industry and told them to diversify instantly, have no loyalty and no commitment level whatsoever which is why our beloved industry is in the condition it’s in.  The leaders of this industry (old-school like myself) will all tell you the same thing.

To build a massive, residual sales organization takes time, clarity of intention, sacrifice and serious commitment.  It’s a process.  It’s about mentorship and relationships.  It’s about trusting and being trusted.  It’s about “Be.  Do.  Have.”  You must first BE what others who are successful are, then DOING what they have done…to then HAVE what it is they have.  There are no short-cuts. It’s also a totally worthy journey.  There is nothing like living life on your own terms…so NEVER GIVE UP.

A review about ZeekRewards can be found here

Photo's made by Colby Moore Photography




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