Oct 29, 2009

Using Tweetglide With Twitter To Add Traffic

I just downloaded this new Twitter App and it has already made tweeting a lot
simpler and less time consuming. The one thing I will warn you about is that the application contains a viral tool to add AOL addresses - I BLOCKED that part of the application as Kapersky felt it was a Trojan virus intrusion into my system and I agreed with that logic and have other ways to share products and links with my list of contacts than trusting an application to do it for me that I just started using. Just use your Kapersky and you'll be cool with the install.

However, once installed I feel that Tweetglide is potentially a valuable application to expand the way you might advertise, grow your followers, and also possibly monetize your Twitter accounts. It is released by Mike Filsaime, who is one of the top Internet Marketers in the world.

Get Tweetglide here

And the best part of it all is that by using it, you actually get free traffic
that can grow viral pretty fast.

Yes, there is a built in traffic generation feature that allows you to display YOUR AD inside of the app that ALL users will see. It's also a way to monetize twitter more... I've been investigating ways to maximize Twitter professionally and will continue to report on tools to monetize and grow your blog and online business with Twitter as I discover and use them, myself.

Check out how it works here, then start using it if you like it:

Get Tweetglide now: Tweetglide

Add ARRiiVE to your twitter here: ARRiiVE Twitter

Please let me know what you think of Tweetglide:
Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

Copyright © 1999-2009 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.

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Oct 27, 2009

King Solomon's Wisdom and Building an Organization

I'm working on a new book based upon an article I published at AspireNow called "Great Leaders Series: How King Solomon's Wisdom Built a Kingdom" that I'll be rolling out along with several other books and workbooks this next year. Articles related to leadership, sales, and success are now published here at the ARRiiVE: Innovations In Business blog.

Have you seen the article on using King Solomon's Wisdom To Build A Team?

In the article, I bring up several issues and questions entrepreneurs face:
  1. How to align your organization for optimum chances of success?

  2. Where to focus your efforts to succeed?

  3. What way to gather resources?

  4. How to organize for selling and profit?

  5. How to eliminate strife internally?

  6. What type of partnerships to build?

  7. How to ensure your leadership role will last?

  8. How and when to inspire and celebrate?

  9. How to avoid extravagence to maintain bottom line growth?

  10. How to ensure longevity of the organization?

Yes, all of these questions are answered by studying King Solomon, who according to the Bible, was the wisest of men. King's Solomon's wisdom definitely shows in how he built his kingdom. If we are to learn how best to lead an organization, why not study the very best?

So, I encourage you to review the article on King Solomon. If you have any questions you'd like me to answer in the book that are not listed here, or perhaps to enhance or further investigate other aspects of Solomon's approach to leadership, please suggest them in the comments here at the ARRiiVE: Innovations In Business blog, or contact me directly.

(Note: above image provided courtesy wikipedia, Solomon and Queen of Sheba, by Giovanni Demin.)

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Oct 22, 2009

Are Sales and Relationships Synonymous Terms

I am talking to a bank manager about the possibility of creating a sales training program for her bank.

It's an intriguing opportunity, for several reasons. For one, she mentioned to me that she likes the idea, because her firm currently does not have any formal sales training.

"We call it customer relationship skills but same thing," she corrected herself.

"Is it?" I replied.

"Well, in the end, we want more business," the bank manager said.

This comment is causing me to think about sales in the way my client thinks of sales: where each sell is not really so much about the sell, itself, but about the relationship with each client.

Are sales and relationships synonymous terms?

You see, if the bank has built a strong relationship with you, any time you need to store money (most current "savings accounts"), transact money (checking accounts), save money (with "money market" accounts), or get more money (such as through loans) you will likely consider the bank where you handle your checking or savings account for that new transaction. Am I right or wrong? So, it IS about the relationship!

Imagine if banking approached sales from the perspective of "wham, bam, thank you Ma'am!" and just got their money and then got out, how would they ever succeed? Rather, the bank must deliver upon the promise of (1) being there, (2) offering good rates, and (3) offering outstanding service. If a bank does these three things, and does a better job of building relationships than peer banks, they are likely to grow.

There's more to it than that. The bank also has to offer unique banking products at the right time. But no matter what products they offer, if you don't know who they are how will they sell you anything? It starts with relationship!

But when we think of sales as a relationship building process, or even a "relationship" in simple terms, how else might that impact the way we approach the sales process?

When I consider how to answer this question, I realize that a bank relationship could be like any relationship we build with our friends. How do we form friendships? We find things in common, right? We do things together! If a bank is to be a friend, we must find ways to "relate" to each other. How many times to friends invite each other over or out to do things? With that being the case, banks ought to invite people over. Perhaps having an "open-house" for businesses. Or, participating in "Art After Dark" nights... or having "meet our new business" breakfasts. Anything like this would be valuable, from the relationship-building perspective.

What other things do we do to build relationships? Do we compliment each other? If a bank runs a newsletter, the bank ought to compliment certain customers. Perhaps awards for various things like innovation, creativity, good use of money, outstanding accounting habits, or other creative things like this would be valuable in the process of strengthening a relationship.

When do people need banks the most? This is another area I feel needs focus.

When prospecting, how would banks prospect? If I were a banker, I think I'd be looking for who moved to the area, for one. Or, perhaps, the bank could seek out families who just gave birth to a child. Maybe they could offer a "new child college fund" to parents in the area. Or, parents of kids entering 1st grade could be offered a "first account for a first grader" program. As we know, the earlier you start a savings account, the more that account will be worth by the time the child enters college.

I remember how Citibank built their credit card program by offering cards to college graduates. At the time, many banks wouldn't issue you a credit card unless you already had one (an oxymoron, huh?) and Citibank saw the wisdom in being the first bank to offer you a card, you'd likely keep their card for the longest time. It was true, I had my Citibank card longer than any other credit card.

These are all things I'm starting to think about regarding this program for the bank. What ways is your business unique? How can you relate it to other parts of life? This is how we must think when we are selling. Because sales and relationships can by synonymous.

Do you run a sales team? Are you seeking innovative ways to help your people succeed more?

Implementing a sales training program is a wise idea. The most successful organizations I've ever been part of or led always offer people who interface their customers training. It is a key to your success. I'm going to relaunch Concepts of SellingTM and Cold To GoldTM in the next month (November 2009), so stay tuned for ways ARRiiVE Business Solutions might assist you in this process.

Above photo courtesy SXC. Copyright © 1999-2009 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.

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Oct 21, 2009

Focus: Starting A Business

Utilizing the power of FOCUS is key to starting a company or launching a product successfully.

If you're an idea person, as many entrepreneurs tend to be, you're likely at some point to attempt starting a business. Hey, it's challenging, it's fun, there's a thrill in the success, and well, there's also a bummer downside. But, nevertheless, if that spirit is inside you, there's probably nothing you can do to fight the urge.

Now, if you're like me, an idea person with so many ideas it is hard to keep up with them all, then your biggest challenge in starting a business might just have to do with FOCUS!

Yep, I'm admitting it. Sometimes a blog is the best therapy. But, seriously, if you notice friends comment that you have ADD (attention deficit disorder) and/or say "maybe you ought to focus" you just might consider they might be giving you words of wisdom.

Starting a business requires FOCUS!

For example, when I launched my first website, AspireNow, I had someone tell me to focus on just one thing, and do it well. I ignored her advice. While some other websites launched at the same time as AspireNow thrived, AspireNow struggled in the early years. I think if I'd done a better job with my focus, I'd probably have succeeded with that website much sooner.

I recently helped an entrepreneur launch a large digital screen network in California. One of the challenges we faced was myriad ideas from the entrepreneur that caused distraction amongst the sales team and made it difficult to sell what we needed to sell. Again, this was an issue of focus.

If you focus properly on what must be done now to win, you will often succeed where others may fail. Do you need every bell and whistle? In 1901, Henry Ford founded the Cadillac Motor Company. This company tried to be the most luxurious car, with all the bells and whistles, and failed (although pieces of this company later bacame part of General Motors).

During a time when most automobile manufacturers were selling all kinds of odd cars, Henry Ford later chose to focus on ONE DESIGN, ONE COLOR, for ONE TYPE OF CAR (part of the reason for the color, black, was because Ford ran into a bottleneck producing paint that could dry fast enough).

Ford later became the number one automobile manufacturer in the world. Why do you think that was? I think it had a lot to do with focusing in on doing one thing and doing it the best.

How about you? What are you selling? Can you tell me in thirty words or less? When you tell me, do you know for sure that I will understand what you're selling? Are you focused enough to execute on that promise?

Henry Ford focused on producing one car so well his ideas on manufacturing automation became known by 1914 as "Fordisms" and today Ford is a $146 Billion company with over 200,000 employees, producing over 5.5 million automobiles.1 And, although Ford Motor Company is experiencing decline over the past ten years, part of their plan to get back to a top position is to simplify and re-focus. Do you think focusing might help you, too?

When Sara Blakely formed Spanx (initially a form of hosiery products for women without the feet), she created a number of product innovations, but mainly focused on creating a new type of hosiery addressing a market that wanted to wear hose to give them shape, but not hose with FEET. I'm sure if I was a woman, I'd want Spanx, too, because I hate having my feet covered!

(left: photo courtesy of Spanx.)

If you're starting a business, I strongly success you FOCUS on ONE THING and do it very, very well. Do it to the best of your ability. After that one thing is thriving, maybe then add on that other swanky idea. In the meantime, why not just keep an "idea journal" to store all this fancy thoughts?

If you're failing, re-write your business plan, and re-focus. With your new focus ought to come a rejuvenation in your success.

If you're not sure what to focus your energy on and where to direct your clients, let me ask you a simple question: "What do you want clients to remember you for?" In the case of Henry Ford, it was a great, simple, well-built car you could rely upon. If it's your website, it might be "a great, simple, well-designed site you can easily navigate" (with the added clarity of what "type" of site, for sure!).

See how you can simplify, build quality, price, and product into your description in as few words as possible. Then, run it by a few clients, or potential clients, and see how they react. Test it out. As your employees what they think of it. Get feedback, then focus on what you choose. Stay with it for an extended period of time, and prove you can succeed with what you know will win.

Let me know what you're going to focus on - I love to know what entrepreneurs are doing! If you're looking for someone to review your business and see how you might simplify, I'd be happy to help. Drop me a note and we'll schedule a half hour or hour for us to review what you've got going on. I've done it for others and their business thrived after these meetings, so I am confident you'll benefit, too!

In the meantime, make a sign with "FOCUS" as the key word. Cut it out and post it places (like the fridge, by your computer, in your car, etc.) to remind you of the importance of this key to success in starting a business.


Copyright © 1999-2009 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.
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1 Ford information courtesty of Wikipedia