Take FULL Advantage of 30% Federal & 35% State Tax Credits by Going SOLAR -
SOLAR power for homes has become a viable option the past few years, as we have seen installation costs plummet. Greater demand combined w/government subsidization of SOLAR ENERGY for homes has seen payback periods in the United States drop from 15 - 20 years down to 2 - 3 years; now considered as typical. Home solar power is set to gain in popularity over the coming years as the traditional electricity supplier's price soar.
Take FULL advantage of going SOLAR; 30% Federal & 35% State Tax Credit! It's the Green thing to do!
It’s okay to lose on price. It’s okay—and it’s necessary—to walk away from business where you will lose money. Your company’s business strategy requires that you walk away from this business.
While there are still plenty of buyers that buy on price alone and refuse to admit that they buy on price, there are even more salespeople that have trouble defending their price and that don’t make the effort.
You Must Believe: If you don’t believe you are worth paying more for, neither will your clients. It is amazing how much belief matters here. Not your client’s beliefs, your beliefs. You have to believe you are worth paying more for if you are going to defend your pricing. If you don’t believe that you will create more value at your price than your lower-priced competitors, then your prospective clients won’t either.
You Must Explain: You have to be able to explain the difference between price and cost in a way that is meaningful to your prospective clients. It isn’t enough that the pricing difference makes sense to you. It must make sense to your prospective client.
If you have a higher cost structure when it comes to producing what you produce, you have to make the translation as to how your higher cost structure translates to greater benefits for your client. It’s not your client’s job to figure this out on his or her own.
If you don’t know how to talk about the difference between price and cost, you are going to have to learn. You can’t defend your price without defending the additional value that you create. You are going to have to demonstrate to your dream clients how the greater investment is going to be put to use in getting the result that they really need.
You Must Teach: If you won’t defend your pricing and teach your dream client how to help you defend your pricing, they won’t defend the decision to choose you—and it’s likely they won’t choose you.
Your contacts are going to be asked why they are spending more on whatever it is you sell. They are going to be asked to justify their decision. You have to provide them with the ability to make that defense. You need to provide them with the argument they need, as well as evidence that it is a good decision.
If you want to capture the price that you need in order to produce the value your client needs, you have to believe that your price is necessary and worth defending. You also have to be able to explain how your pricing helps your client to achieve their goals, and you have to teach them to defend your pricing and their decision to choose you.
It’s okay to lose on price when that is your prospect’s primary decision criteria. It’s not okay to lose on price because you could not—or didn’t—defend your pricing.
Are you prepared to defend your price?
Do you deeply believe your price is right and that it allows you to create differentiated value?
Do you know how to defend your price? Can you tie it directly to the value you create?
Are you prepared to prepare your clients to defend your pricing inside their organization?
The first step when considering social analytics is to establish a listening strategy.
In social media, listening acts as a guide through the ever-changing and interesting world of the blogosphere.
Why? Because listening is an ongoing process that is necessary to keep a strategy fresh and competitive. It enables decision-makers to find and better understand opportunities and stakeholders.
So, exactly how do you go about listening?
#1: Determine your target audience
Once an organization has determined whom to target, it’s critical to understand where to engage them online. A common misperception is that all social networks are the same and therefore everyone is on the same platform.
For example, according to Anderson Analytics, Generation Z (13- to 14-year-old) social network users were more likely to use MySpace than Facebook; only 9% used Twitter and none were active on LinkedIn. If your company is targeting Generation Z on Twitter, you’re listening in the wrong place.
An example of an organization successfully targeting and engaging an audience isSeton Hall University. In an effort to increase their revenue and student enrollment, Seton Hall marketers decided to target prospective students using Facebook to build relationships.
They launched the Class of 2014 Facebook page and tagged custom Class of 2014 tabs, making it possible to identify any www.shu.edu visitors who had also interacted with Facebook. Using social analytics and reporting, marketers then examined the behavior of these visitors.
SHU 2014 Facebook page.
The Seton Hall staff began responding to prospective students’ requests for help, from orientation to deposit status to placement tests to housing. Soon, “declarations” (posts where prospective students announce a decision such as major, orientation date or interest in a club or sport) had risen to 47% of all posts.
SHU 2014 Facebook page sample engagement.
The data showed that visitors who interacted heavily with the Class of 2014 pages demonstrated a high level of engagement with the university website as well.
For example, they were more likely to request information and fill out applications than other visitors. The data collected revealed that Facebook was not only important to Seton Hall, but was critical to the following year’s enrollment.
By midsummer (two months before classes were to begin), tuition deposits for the class of 2014 were 25% higher than the previous year at the same time. Moreover, enrollment was tracking at 13% ahead of the previous year’s class.
Audience and location are foundations for a listening strategy; thus, step one is toknow who your audience is and where to find them.
On average, approximately 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of all its traffic through sharing of the brand’s content or site links with others.
This was backed by a Forrester Research report that showed a minority (about 6% of people) generates 80% of the impressions, and roughly 13% of the online adults generate 80% of the influence posts.
This is where social analytics come into play. Through social analytics, an organization can determine which individuals are sharing content and links and their sentiment about it.
Facebook and Twitter are likely places that influencers and target audiences frequent, but are just the tip of the iceberg.
For example, if you were tracking a Java programmer, Java blogs and community forums would provide a stronger platform for listening.
Another example, RTL Nederland (an entertainment company in the Netherlands) is using analytics to help interpret audience (tippers) feedback from a variety of social data sources for reality television programs, including “X Factor” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
RTL Netherland's X Factor Twitter page.
RTL Nederland is able to better understand audience needs and preferences by analyzing blog posts, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts and more. They’ve been able to make real-time changes to the programming, such as choice of candidates, music and the judging panel. This has led to increased viewer satisfaction and ratings.
Finding these like-minded souls is important for success, but can require some digging. In the end though, it’s worth the effort. Determining influencers will make all the difference in a listening strategy and ultimately, a social business agenda.
Analytics tools can paint that picture by analyzing and interpreting vast quantities of data—customer demographics, product-purchase histories, Internet experiences and online transactions—turning information into insight and developing conclusive, fact-based strategies to gain that competitive edge.
#3: Know the keywords and trends
Determine the topics that are important to your business and identify them as potential keywords. Then through listening, establish if that is the language your audience is interested in.
For example, “cost cutting” would seem like a viable term to use during a recession; however, as a result of listening, it’s clear that “cost reduction” is actually the preferred term.
If you’re in the wireless telecommunications industry, you would investigate dropped call, 3G, mobile apps, smartphone, data plan and so forth. Keywords should reflect what’s important to your business.
Though it seems like a simple thing, refining the listening approach to get exactly what you want and constantly searching for new keywords and noting keyword trends can help to better reach a key audience.
Telecom provider XO Communications is using state-of-the-art business analytics tools to predict customer behavior and proactively reach out to customers most likely to go elsewhere.
Through predictive analytic software, XO Communications is able to accurately predict customers who are likely to leave.
#4: Form a social business strategy
An organization’s social business strategy should address the goals and approach the company will take.
Relevancy and reputation management should be part of the goals.
How many times are you mentioned? In what context? By what audience? You can influence this by listening to the things your audience cares about and relating to their needs.
Secondly, how do you set up your organization to both listen to and brainstorm changes based off of the listening feedback?
One solution is to establish a virtual task force for sharing information learned.
For example, within IBM we have an informal Social Media Council with representatives from across business functions who gather to share best practices, comments and sentiment.
Another choice is to have a formal group whose mission is to listen and then respond to information across an organization.
Social analytics starts with listening. The future is all about hearing what your business ecosystem (customers, business partners, constituencies, employees, etc.) has to say and collaborating internally and externally to meet their expectations.
Listening is not just a discipline. It is an embodiment of a social business strategy to address the mass volume of data every company faces today and offer a means for evaluating this information to drive business results.
What do you think? What is your company using for a listening strategy?Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
The site analytics tab allows you to integrate with your Google Analytics reports. By integrating with Google Analytics, you can keep track of how your email and social media campaigns are affecting overall traffic to your websites.
To link up your Google Analytics account to Send Social Media, simply do the following:
Click on My Reports.
Click on the Site Analytics sub-tab and you’ll be prompted to connect to Google Analytics.
Click Connect to Google Analytics and Grant Access
After connecting, you’ll be returned to the My Reports tab – go back to Site Analytics and start monitoring your site stats.
You can view web site statistics over period of 1 week, 1 month or 3 months. You can also filter results by source, medium and campaign which uses Google Analytics standard tracking parameters to filter results.
Send Social Media is all over the news, including these fine publications.
Tips for Small Businesses on How to Define and Choose a Target Market -
Here are a few tips on defining your market, segmenting your market, andselecting your target market.
Defining Your General Target Market
Determining who your target market will help you to focus your marketing messages which in turn will increase sales and return on investment by reaching the right prospects. The first step in doing this is to define a broad, general market that has a need/desire for your products. There are a variety of ways to do this.
Check out your competition to see who they are targeting.
Analyze your current customer base and build an “ideal customer” profile based on that data.
Create your own ideal customer based on what you know about your products and who would be the best fit for them. To do this, analyze your product or your company to understand the benefits it brings. Think about who would be most interested in obtaining those benefits and be willing to pay for them.
Segmenting your market will help you to produce products and services that meet the specific requirements of your target market. Segmenting means you carve out a particular part (segment) of a larger pool of groups or people that may be potential customers or clients. Segmentation looks at identifiable characteristics defined by:
Refining the Segment
After segmenting by such criteria, you need to determine which segments would be most interested in your product, reachable- and within your budget, receptive to your marketing (including your positioning), and represent your greatest profit potential.
This profit might come from products you can deliver for higher margins. Or it might come from being able to acquire new customers/clients/patients at the lowest cost because they are easily identified and reached with your marketing efforts.
For Example: If you’re in a B2B industry, you would target specific decision makers within a company to sell your products and services to, not everyone in the company, and certainly not the general masses. This would eliminate most forms of advertising such as TV, radio, or print publications. And it would probably mean that you need a sales force to speak directly to prospects.
In a B2C industry, many more characteristics would need to be taken into consideration including the audience’s demographics (their age, gender, income), their interests (do they have pets, do they travel, what types of automobiles do they drive?) and their behavior (their buying trends, decision making process, product use, etc). Based on these factors you can begin to see who would most likely be interested in and willing to purchase your products and how you could influence them to buy them from you.
Targeting a Specific Market Segment
Here’s where we take a deeper look into who your target market is and which segmented group would provide the greatest potential. Targeting a specific segment of a market is important for maximizing your effectiveness, efficiency, and profits. And it will help you to concentrate your marketing resources which will help to drive qualified prospects to your business.
Here’s a list of things to consider when determining your specific target market.
Number of customers in a specific segment.
Reaching your segmented markets (Where to focus your marketing efforts – Print, Social Media, Search, Blogging, Radio, TV).
Return on investment expected.
Competition in the segment.
Obstacles (externally and internally) to reaching and serving specific segments.
It's important to find a large enough segment that can sustain your business. This requires doing a little homework to find out how many potential customers there are in the segment along with how many competitors are in it- and whether or not your business can differentiate and position itself successfully to capture a profitable market share.
The key to choosing the right target segment or segments for your business is identifying an audience where there is significant overlap between those that:
need your products,
can afford your product and are willing to spend money obtaining it,
that specifically are looking for the benefits/results your product can deliver,
that you can reach effectively and cost efficiently
that is large enough to sustain your company
that has good total profit potential (from either high margins or large volume), and
with whom you can successfully differentiate yourself from the competition.
With these tips and guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to developing a successful targeted marketing strategy.
NEVER Stop Strategically eMarketing YOUR Business! -
How did you fare in the most recent economic downturn? When business started to tighten up, where did you cut back? The gut reaction for many business owners in tough economic times is to cut their marketing budget. That is a HUGE mistake and it could eventually cost you the very business you were trying to protect.
I equate marketing to gasoline. Without marketing, your business will go about as far as a car without gasoline. No gas = No go! No marketing = No customers!
Business owners who make this Mistake fall into one of two categories. Either they are resting on their laurels or are complacent or they are lazy and/or dislike marketing.
Are you Measuring the right things in YOUR Business -
Sitting on the Beach Dashboard
If you were sitting on a beach armed only with a Smartphone or laptop and you could only spend one minute reading an email that contains the key performance indicators about your business, what would those indicators be?
That is a difficult question for most business owners and entrepreneurs to answer off the top of our heads. Just as a doctor will check your vital signs – i.e blood pressure, heart rate – what are the vital few metrics that indicate to you the health of your business at any given time?
Regardless of whether I work with entrepreneurs or in a corporate environment, identifying those critical few metrics is a important conversation.
Entrepreneurs are notoriously negligent when it comes to measuring anything beyond top line, bottom line, their checking account balance and a few expense items. They spend their waking hours running their business; usually wearing multiple hats and forgoing sleep.
In the corporate world, typically you will have access to more data than you know what to do with. Therefore defining the vital few becomes difficult.
How do you create your personal Sitting-on-the-Beach Dashboard? Let me help you with a short story.
When I served as the President of a Business Network International Chapter, my leadership team and I met with other area chapters to review our goals for the coming year. Most chapters articulated goals around the number of referrals to be passed, a desired amount of closed business to be attained and their membership numbers.
My team realized that we had very little control over those metrics so we took a different route. We set goals for attendance, one-on-one meetings between our members and the number of visitors to the chapter. Our theory was that with increased attendance, better relationships between members and more visitors, we could impact the number of referrals, closed business and membership.
Did you catch the lessons in this story?
Lesson #1 – It is important to look below the surface of each vital metric. Your goal should be to increase your visibility into the inputs or root cause of each key metric. For example, everyone measures revenue but what are the inputs? Price x Sales Volume. How do you sell more?
You could sell more to your current customers. What percent of your current sales comes from them?
You could make more sales calls. Who do you call on?
You could increase your marketing budget or try different marketing techniques. How do you know which marketing works?
Lesson #2 – Pay particular attention to metrics that you have some control over. As in the above example, you have very little control over price. You also have no control over the economy, the weather or consumer preferences. If you focus your measurements on those things that you do control, your odds of improving your business over time increase dramatically.
I challenge you to evaluate what you currently measure in your business. Determine what you should be measuring by looking at the root cause or inputs to each metric and begin measuring those things.
Send me your feedback and success stories as you implement this strategy.
The Three Components of Becoming a Master Networker:
#1 - Paradigm Shift
#2 - Robust contact management system
#3 - Execution
In order to become a master networker, you need to embrace a paradigm shift in your definition of and expectation for your networking activities.
What is effective networking?
Effective networking is NOT:
A short-term marketing strategy.
For handing out business cards unsolicited.
About being interesting.
Effective networking IS:
A long-term marketing strategy (with some short-term results).
About being asked for your business card.
About being interested.
By embracing this paradigm shift, your new primary objective when networking is to build relationships and build a network while being genuinely interested in helping the other person. Getting clients or customers immediately is no longer your goal. Your goal is to become the go-to person and expand your sphere of influence.
This is much easier if you are passionate about helping people achieve their dreams by actively connecting them with appropriate people, groups and organizations. Under the new paradigm, a great outcome of a networking encounter is that you never get an opportunity to tell the other person what you do.
Whether you are a business owner, entrepreneur, sales professional, or an employee, lack of focus is an equal opportunity affliction. We all suffer from it at one time or another. The question is this - how long do you want to allow it to impact your production?
Do you ever find yourself pondering any of the following questions?
Where did my motivation go?
Why aren’t I making any progress?
Why doesn’t my “To-Do List” ever shrink?
What am I doing with my life?
When you operate without focus, you are like a rudderless ship.
Brisbane Academy Preparatory School & Tutoring Center -
Brisbane Academy is an independent, non-profit, SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accredited, state School forlicensed, College Preparatory School for Pre-K through Grade 12. We provide a Full Spectrum of enabling our students the power of having organization and discipline in their lives. Brisbane Academy is a diverse community dedicated to educating boys and girls in mind, body, and spirit, through particular emphasis upon academic excellence, athletic participation and aesthetic appreciation. Brisbane Academy seeks to produce men and women of character and integrity who have the skills and ability to make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live and work.
We are your marketing partner! Use us! The Metro Proponent Newspaper is a HATE FREE paper that is where you are and even where you are not. Metro Proponent News is a monthly free newspaper for people who know the news but want to know more. It is an alternative newspaper providing quality news focusing on local, national and international interests. Major emphasis includes Politics, the Economy, Social issues, Culture, Education, Health, and Entertainment. The Metro Proponent audience is diverse and local-centric. We focus on the interests of young professionals, entrepreneurs, and minorities of ALL races. Our vision is to be THE BEST source for CrEaTiVe fun hard-hitting quality journalism and complete info for urban living in the Charlotte and surrounding areas. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of “All Things Charlotte- Metro”.
The year was 1948. Eighteen-year-old Dick Stack was an energetic salesman at a small Army and Navy store in Binghamton, New York. One day, the store owner asked Dick, an avid fisherman, if it would be a good idea to sell fishing gear in his shop. Dick offered to develop a plan.
After working tirelessly on a business plan over a succession of sleepless nights, Dick nervously approached the owner with his vision. The response was stinging. Dumbfounded, Dick was told that he didn’t know what he was doing and “would never make a good merchant.”
That evening, frustrated and dejected, Dick retreated to his grandmother’s home. She listened quietly as he recounted his story. When he had finished, she rose silently and went to the kitchen. Removing the lid from her cookie jar, she extracted $300 of her hard-earned savings and pressed the bills into Dick’s hand.“ Dick, always follow your dreams,” she advised.
With his grandmother’s $300, Dick opened a modest bait and tackle shop in Binghamton. By 1958, at the urging of his loyal customers, he expanded his product line to include much of what you’ll find at Dick’s Sporting Goods today.
Now with over 300 stores, Dick’s family continues to offer the finest quality products at competitive prices, backed by the best service anywhere. Like you, we have a real passion for sports and are excited to bring the enthusiasm and experience to the online community.
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