7 Voice Tips for Professionalism If You Can’t Get Face Time

Face time certainly is best when making sales calls, negotiating with associates and clients or when hunting for a job.

In all such scenarios, building trust and showing confidence are paramount.

So to get what you want even when you can’t meet face-to-face, use the techniques of top-rated broadcasters and phone sales professionals. The successful pros use the same techniques.

That’s right. I speak from decades of on-air broadcasting experience. Candidly, in fact, long before my consulting practice I earned No. 1 ratings as an on-the-air broadcaster (see my bio).

Even while in college, I learned several lessons in calling prospective employers whom I telephoned to request recommendations for classes to enhance my career prospects. By using the techniques, I not only got in-person appointments but job offers, too.

After getting the gigs, I used the same techniques when I was on-the-air as a disc jockey or as a news broadcaster in radio and television. Throughout my career changes, the techniques were applicable in sales and management, too.

Here are the voice tips you need to know:

Breath support for credible authority

Learn to speak from your belly button – or diaphragm – with strong breath support.

By developing proper breath support, you will sound confident and in control with full-voice resonance.

That’s because your heart rate will slow, and your brain will get the needed oxygen for effective speaking.

Effective breath support can only come from your diaphragm. It’s a large, dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your rib cage. When it contracts, air flows into your lungs.

Speak with warmth by smiling

Not only will you come across as friendly, smiling actually tells your brain how to think creatively.

Listeners won’t consciously aware that you’re smiling, but they are more likely to respond favorably to your message.

Vary your inflection

It’s boring to listen to people who speak in a monotone. As you smile, vary your inflection. You will be better able to keep the attention of your listener.

So talk with the person as you would a lifelong friend with vocal variety and an up-and-down pitch.

Stand when talking into the phone

When you sit complacently, your brain often gets the signal that it’s time to rest. But that’s not what you want in important phone conversations.

So stand to energize your thoughts and to reach the highest-possible level of communication.

If for some reason you can’t stand, don’t rest your back against the back of your chair.

Pace the floor

You’ll find you do your best thinking when moving. It energizes you and loosens any cob webs in your brain.

Not only will your thinking-level improve, you’ll speak with more conviction which is important for building trust.

Gesture with your hands 

Use your whole body.

If you ever witness recording sessions, you’ll see that the best broadcasters make gestures as they speak into the microphone.

Gesturing enhances their speaking ability by improving voice pitch, tone and timbre.

Invest in a wireless headset

With a wireless headset, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility to stand, walk, and make gestures.

Applicable for great public speaking

And oh, by the way, most of these techniques will help you to be an effective, authoritative public speaker.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are cold-calling tips:

For Strong Sales, How and Why to Cold Call Prospects — Are you lacking in sales? Do you get enough face time with the right prospects? Here’s how and why in-person cold calls will help you make sales.

6 Tips to Create New Sales with Successful Cold Calling — Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

You Will Overcome Cold Calling Anxiety Using 5 Strategies — One of the worst pieces of advice for business owners and salespeople is don’t cold call. That’s a very short-sighted idea. Cold calling is very effective in footwork to generate revenue.

7 Tips for Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs — As every salesperson knows, face time with B2B prospects gives you a foundation for sales success. Execution in the appointment-setting process is, of course, is key to being successful.

Increase Your Job Chances if You Have to Interview on the Phone — Face time, of course, is best if you’re interviewing for a job. However, headhunters and many companies schedule introductory telephone interviews. Pat yourself on the back. Even if it’s not an in-person meeting, a telephone interview is a good omen. The employer already thinks enough of you to schedule a discussion.

“Oh no. Don’t smile. You’ll kill me. I stop breathing when you smile.” 
-Tessa Dare


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

NFL Lessons: Get a Great Business Coach for Best Results

Even though it’s a game, professional football is still a business and it provides lessons for all industries.

Successful athletes and teams have one thing in common – they have great coaches to beat the competition.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the New England Patriots. But love them or not, business lessons can be learned from the Patriots.

After the Patriots’ historic comeback win in  Super Bowl LI, it’s worth noting their 21st century record of consistency: Five Vince Lombardi trophies, seven AFC Championships, and 14 AFC East titles.

Obviously, the team has a winning formula for sustainable success. It all stems from enlightened management that focuses on adaptability and resilience.

In reshaping his team, owner Robert Kraft wanted an astute coach to elicit the strongest-possible dependable performance from the 53 players.

He hired a coach, Bill Belichick in 2000, with broad-based experience who understood the keys to business economics for infinite resilience.

Coach Belichick was a coach who wanted operational control with a promise of developing a flexible long-term vision, building the right team with an adaptable workforce, focusing on affordable operations, and instilling a culture with an unquenchable thirst for continuous excellence.

He’s accomplished the goals by hiring and training green coaches, acquiring unheralded players who had the character he desired, and adapting to different competitors each week.

So it goes in business. To avoid costly periods of trial and error, successful entrepreneurs also often have coaches who have a broad perspective from a full range of experiences.

If you want a Coach Belichick for sustainable growth, find a business coach to help you realize your vision for growth with focus, planning, fine-tuning and execution.

Here’s how to get the right business coach:

1. Hire a coach who has wisdom from broad experience

Whatever your goals, and to save time and money while building profits, look for someone who already has the insights to avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

2. Look for big-picture expertise

While you might want to solve a particular operational problem, remember that it might be linked to other problems. If so, you need a coach understands your situation and can provide a big-picture map to success.

So find a coach who has a global-cultural perspective to provide you with controls and solutions for growth.

3. Look for a coach who communicates well

You’ll succeed with a person who is empathetic and who will explain plans in easy-to-understood language.

4. Interface on a regular basis

The business environment is more dynamic than ever before. For many business situations, ideally, meet with your coach weekly.

A weekly update isn’t in real-time, but you’ll be in the best-possible position for creating progress reports in monitoring your initiatives and promptly implementing any necessary fine-tuning.

5. Be transparent

True, your financial, marketing or human resources situation might be embarrassing. A great objective business coach will not judge or ridicule you.

To get the confidential help you need, it’s important to share the right requested information and be coachable.

6. When in doubt, challenge your coach

If your coach gives you solutions that you doubt or with which you feel uncomfortable, sleep on it. Discuss your concerns with your coach.

But chances are, the solutions conflict with your ego.

Whatever the discussion, your success depends on being able to honestly communicate with your coach.

From the Coach’s Corner, here relevant tips:

Why Executives Emphasize Communication Training for Employees — Among human resources training priorities, employee communication is often now more important than skills, say many executives. Two-thirds of executives responding to a survey say communication skills are most needed by certain employees.

Tips for Strategic-Thinking in Finance: Your Staff, Individuals — Many companies want accountants and finance professionals who are strategic thinkers. But that’s not happening at most companies. Here are tips for managers and employees.

Thought Leadership — Why Companies Hire Management Consultants — Companies want knowledge and manage risks. A good idea can be worth $1 million and more. That’s why companies hire thought leaders. It’s also why you see many consultants position themselves as thought leaders and give away free information in how-to articles or studies, which lead to books, seminars and being quoted in the media. Successful consultants know that’s the road to take — to become an in-demand consultant by companies and in the public sector.

4 Tips to Get Your Money’s Worth from a Consultant — To get your money’s worth from a consultant, you might be surprised to learn you have to use best practices in your role as the client. For strong results, it’s not just a matter of hiring a consultant, forgetting about it and expecting work to get done. You’ll get top results after retaining a consultant if you’re at the top of your game as a client. Here’s how.

Strategies to Make Change Management Programs Work — Management is mostly to blame because most change-management programs crash and burn. Why? It’s up to management to hire the right people, and to invest in the right tools while inspiring employees to accept and drive change. Here’s how.

“There are no shortcuts to building a team each season. You build the foundation brick by brick.”

-Bill Belichick


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy keijj44 at www.pixabay.com

Valuable Tricks for the Best Google AdWords Text Ads

Google AdWords makes it easy for small businesses to become more dominant online.

This is accomplished because it enables advertisers to follow prospective customers and to spawn sales leads.

The key is to create a clever, effective ad while using an economy of words in your copy.

Obviously, it isn’t easy to accomplish.

Here are valuable tips:

1. Know your competition

This might be the only time to study your competitors.

You’ll need to know how they’re using Adwords. Notice what their copy and why it might be productive for them.

At the same time, understand what they’re not doing well. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid making the same errors.

2. Differentiate your branding

Evaluate how you can be unique in your ads. Uniqueness can range from your professionalism to your portfolio of products and services.

3. Insert effective keywords

Prospective customers are on the Web using keywords or key phrases.

So you must be cognizant of the right keywords and phrases to include in your copy.

4. Offer exclusivity

Decide what you can provide that’s different from your competitors. If you must, consider whether to mention discounts or whether to include discount codes that shoppers can insert into their shopping cart.

5. Explain your story succinctly

With Google’s limit on wording, your call-to-action must hit your target branding-wise with strong active verbs in a concise fashion. If you write with conviction, your prospects will be more likely to trust you.

6. Accessorize your copy with your site

Think like your prospects. Don’t confuse them. Your landing page or Web site must be cohesive with your ad copy.

Use your ads’ same tone and keywords and phrases on your site.

7. Stay up-to-date

If you’re running time-sensitive ads, update your copy as needed. By regularly changing your copy, prospects will notice sooner or later.

8. Tout your successes

After you get strong results, boast about the popularity of your products or services. Use specific percentages or numbers.

9. Use second-person grammar

Remember it’s all about your customer. Write as though you’re talking directly with the reader. Don’t use “we” or “our”. Use “you” as in “you will love this.”

10. Localize your ads

If you’re advertising in a few or several different locales, make certain that you customize the ads for the right locations.

11. Prevent errors

Before submitting your ads to Google, check and double-check your spelling and grammar. If need-be, get a second opinion.

12. Consider extensions

Your ads will be enhanced if you use extensions. Your ads will look more vibrant.

13. Tailor for mobile devices

With the ever-increasing use of smartphones and tablets, be aware that your ads must be mobile-friendly – displaying well on a mobile device, and not just laptops or PCs.

Take advantage of Google’s phone numbers extension to enable your customers to immediately call you with ease from your ad.

14, Tailor your domain

Insert a brief and unique URL in your ad so that it’s more meaningful. For an explanation, see Mashable’s tips for a memorable URL.

15. Test, test and test

Continuously monitor your results and don’t be afraid to experiment with your copy. One way to evaluate your results is to develop different versions of each ad and insert them concurrently.

(Disclosure: This site employs Google AdSense; however, this did not influence the writing of this article in any way.)

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant online marketing tips:

9 Tips to Evaluate Online Advertising Options — Are you at a point at which you want to advertise your company on the Internet? But you’re unsure which sites are the best for you? The options are endless and can be confusing. The last thing you want to do is to market a product or service that doesn’t reach the right people.

Scholar: Get More Bang from Your Online Ad Investment — Advertisers can get the most return on their Internet advertising investments by using better metrics for sourcing, according to research by Wharton marketing Professor Ron Berman.

Marketing Tips to Run Your Online Business for Higher Profit — E-commerce has made it possible for entrepreneurs to get a fast return on their investments with higher profits. Here’s how they do it.

Best Practices for Online Ads to Dominate Your Competition — You don’t have to be reminded about the dynamic new technologies that seemingly evolve all the time, and the clutter of competition in marketing and sales. But forecasting can be tricky, especially with the global demographic changes as young people come in the workplace. The first dynamic you can anticipate – constant change – both positive and negative.

Secrets for Success in Advertising: Creating 5 Perceptions — There is evidence that links advertising quality and execution to making the cash register ring, and it shows creative counts more than the media plan.

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

-David Ogilvy


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy DigitalMarketingAgency at www.pixabay.com

Tips for Productive Meetings to Improve Performance

Here’s a checklist to engage your employees in energetic, inspiring staff meetings that will increase profits.

About half of a company’s performance is driven by employee morale and communication.

The body language, level of politeness, enthusiasm and degree of employee participation at staff meetings often illustrate how profitable companies actually are.

But morale and communication are hindered if employees don’t enjoy your meetings. A staff meeting is a terrible thing to waste.

It should produce results by sparking creativity, motivating employees to offer profitable ideas, and by serving as a catalyst for meaningful results.

Yes, managers can have beneficial relationships with employees so they can elicit profit-making ideas.

Many managers make the mistake of thinking they can whip up enthusiasm by holding meetings. Not true.

If you’re having trouble managing your staff meetings to maximize performance, get busy. Advance preparation and your determined focus during a meeting will inspire new enthusiasm for strong results.

Here are 14 tips:

1. Before your next meeting, be mindful that employee motivation is a big job.

If some of your employees aren’t effective and they don’t get your vision, you need some one-on-one, individual employee discussions.

So talk with them privately before your next meeting.

2. If you can address your goals without a scheduling a staff meeting, great. That’s another reason for individual discussions. Don’t schedule a meeting until it’s necessary.

3. Plan an agenda. By writing an agenda, you’ll check your motives for a meeting and develop your desired outcome. State your objective at the head of the agenda.

4. Determine who should be asked to attend the meeting. Small meetings are the ideal –seven people or less — if possible. Then, circulate your agenda to the participants in advance.

In this way, they’ll have an opportunity to review it for them to participate in a fruitful manner. Make it clear if you expect employees to bring anything to the meeting.

5. All good meetings start and end on time. The best meetings have a time limit of 30 to 45 minutes. Why? People are more attentive in a focused, structured meeting.

If you must hold a lengthy meeting, schedule breaks for the participants.

6. Make certain your employees know not to be late. It’s too disruptive when people walk in late.

Before the meeting starts, make it a point to have the door closed. Employees should get the hint that tardiness is not excused unless there’s a special reason.

7. Disallow any electronic devices – from smartphones to tablets and computers. You don’t need the competition of such devices.

8. Share your expectation that everyone participates with their comments and questions.Make sure your quietest employees are part of the discussion.

Shy personalities or pensive persons often can make the most productive comments. Have a strategy to draw them out without embarrassing them.

Monitor the discussion and decide who will talk and when. Don’t allow the meeting to deteriorate into a chit-chat.

9. Have a note-taker and time-keeper. One person can alert you at strategic times to stay on schedule and when the time is almost up.

Another can take notes. Especially important is to note what, if any, action is to be taken and by whom.

10. If you have PowerPoint presentations, make sure they’re formatted in an economy of words, and are fun and successful presentations.

11. Encourage transparency. It’s common in meetings to discuss problems. Try not to turn your meeting into a blame game. Don’t insult your employees or embarrass them.

12. Take personal responsibility for problems or issues whenever feasible, including when they’re caused by your staff. You’ll win fans.

13. Share credit for jobs well-done. Recognition for employees’ great work is important. Ask attendees to applaud a person who has been delivering great results.

14. Have the notes typed into an easy-to-read format for circulation as a follow-up after the meeting. This ensures the meeting will achieve the results you desire.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant HR tips:

For Discussions on Difficult Issues, Try Walking Meetings — Sometimes people in business need a creative place at which to have productive conversations that are in out-of-the-ordinary locations. Perhaps you have an employee whom you need to counsel. Or you might have a peer that needs encouragement.

A Top Marketing Goal: Enhance Your Internal Communication — Businesses have two communication sources that are expenses that conversely are sources of profit – the external marketplace – and internal, their human capital. But all your money poured into marketing doesn’t accomplish much unless you devote equal resources to employee programs and communication.

18 Leadership Strategies to Earn Employee Respect — Here are 18 strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

Profit Drivers – How and Why to Partner with Your Employees — If you want maximum profit, consider partnering with your employees. Here’s expert advice from leading financial consultant Roni Fischer.

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

-Michael Jordan


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy Vector Graphics at www.pixabay.com

How You Can Start a Company if You Don’t Have Business Expertise

Ordinarily, it makes good sense to have business experience before launching a company. Entrepreneurs have to understand what it really means to manage their money, time and employees.

However, many such people have successfully become entrepreneurs.

Their motivations might stem from entrepreneurial dreams or being forced to starting a business because they couldn’t get a decent-paying job worthy of their education and experience.

You can, too, if you become a quick study.

Make certain you have other requisites

Always keep in mind successfully starting a business will be your toughest undertaking imaginable. You’ll have to be intensely tenacious.

You must have the conviction that you have exceptional perceptions of your desired industry. Your skills are irreplaceable.

However, for top financial performance and the creation of jobs, study the 10 best practices for entrepreneurial success.

You must be passionate about your product or service. And, of course, you must have a well-thought out vision.

The vision should range from innovation to monitoring your marketplace.

Find a mentor

Look for a mentor who has a great track record in ways you want to be successful. You don’t have to be alone.

No matter what you choose in the way of a startup, there’s one investment on which you can count to enhance your efforts – getting a mentor.

Don’t worry about whether person is in your industry. If a person is successful in business other than yours, the skills are applicable and transferable.

As an added bonus, it won’t cost you any money.

With growth, you’ll find it advisable to create a team of advisors. This will alleviate burdening your mentor and give you the knowledge you’ll need for growth and sustainability.

Get a partner who has business talent

While it might sound easy, and to be repetitive, but starting a business is tough. So while you might have a great idea, get expertise in converting your idea into a valuable enterprise.

Ideally, you’ll partner with a person who has a business background and who is passionate about your idea. Experience in your industry would be great but not as important as the other two qualities.

Beware, business partnerships often end in catastrophes because they’re not based on solid legal foundations. Think about nine key questions before you form a partnership.

Use best practices to protect yourself in a business partnership.

Learn about accounting

Other than perseverance, the most difficult part of launching a business is preparing financial projections. Nonetheless, budgeting is imperative for maximizing performance.

Budget planning is imperative for maximizing performance.

Join two types of organizations

If you’re puzzled about how to find a mentor or partner, you’ll get what you need by joining associations in your industry and in entrepreneurship.

Do a lot of reading and research such organizations that bring people together.

Share your idea in discussions. If you have a great idea requiring specific insights, you won’t have to worry about anyone stealing your idea. What’s important is the execution of your idea.

While you’re at it, strive in networking to build strong relationships.

Pick the right location

Location is important whether you become a home-based business or rent space somewhere. Location is key for you to create and develop your opportunities for success.

You must adequately plan to pick the best business location.

From the Coach’s Corner, related strategies:

Checklist to Increase Your Startup’s Cash Flow — It’s true that cash flow is the salient dynamic that leads to the failure or success of a business. Here are 11 ways to maintain positive cash flow.

Accounting / Finance – Why and How to Determine Your Break-Even Point — Uncertainty can kill hope in business. Best practices in management mean having the right information to alleviate uncertainty in business. For that you need the right tools. One important tool – know your break-even point.

Protect Your Financials, Systems and Technology – 15 Tips — Cybercrime has skyrocketed and is projected to get much worse. At risk is the health of your company as well as the welfare of anyone with whom you do business. Here’s how to protect your customers and your reputation.

Checklist – 10 Legal Basics for New Entrepreneurs — Thinking about legal matters can be tedious when you have a lot of details on your plate. But laws and regulations are important.

Avoid Fights over Money in Business Partnerships with 7 Tips — As a business partnership, you have a shared responsibility to discuss issues on principles without arguing in an ad hominem manner. Here’s how.

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”

-African Proverb


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy nenetus at www.freedigitalphotos.net

You Can Turn Around Slow Q1 Sales after Strong Holidays

OK, so your sales have slowed in Q1 after you got a big sales boost in the holiday season. However, there are steps you can take to jump-start your business for the short and long-term.

It’s in your best interest to lay a foundation for growth and strategize now to increase sales.

Here’s how:

1. Review your New Year’s resolutions

If you’re like most people, you decided on New Year’s resolutions. Take the time to review and implement them.

If you want suggestions for New Year resolutions, here’s a checklist.

2. Analyze your profitability

Look at your budget. You should always keep an eye on cash flow and how to improve your financials.

To lead your company to high profitability and to stay there, use best practices in due diligence for profitability.

3. Evaluate your branding

Analyze what’s been working and what hasn’t. Critically look at your messaging, slogan, logo and marketing plan.

If you haven’t completed a strong marketing plan to complement your business plan, you’re missing some salient benefits. An effective marketing plan generates revenue and alleviates uncertainty for your business.

There are marketing plan fundamentals for best results.

4. Analyze your operations

By all means, look at your business operations and customer service. Consider how you can improve operations for profits.

5. Consider New Year opportunities

Hopefully, you included New Year coupons in your holiday sales. If you didn’t, include coupons or discount codes in your social media or email campaigns.

Digital marketing opportunities keep growing and growing. For instance, 70 percent of consumers research product reviews while they shop in stores.

Ninety percent are relying on their mobile devices as they make in-store buying decisions. Take advantage of marketing opportunities in mobile devices, reviews and coupons.

6. Capitalize on returns

You might still be getting returns. You can do two things.

Firstly, make sure it’s a positive experience for your customers. Secondly, turn them into opportunities for growth by offering discounts on any new impulse purchases.

7. Connect with your holiday customers

Follow up with your holiday shoppers. Query them about their shopping experience.

Customer engagement and word-of-mouth advertising have taken on an increasing importance. Your customers are your best source for business advice.

Take action when feasible if they make recommendations.

Insert new promotions or coupons.

8. Display your gratitude

One of the biggest shortcomings of retailers is their failure to thank customers.

Assume you didn’t do your best to thank customers during the holidays. During a downturn, thank your customers.

You can offer deals in emails or hold special events for loyal customers.

9. Manage your online reviews

Internet-savvy shoppers read reviews to make buying decisions. You should always encourage happy customers to share their experiences in online reviews.

Next, be sure to profit from your online customer reviews.

If you are attacked in bad or bogus reviews, be certain to respond well.

Strategize on how to continue the approach in the New Year.

10. Design a campaign for holiday gift cards

Create a strategy for the recipients of holiday cards so you get extra mileage from those card purchases.

11. Stage fun contests

Engage your customers. Customers love to share pictures. Host a fun contest center them around the Super Bowl or Valentine’s Day.

12. Invest your profits

Hint: Your best buys in media advertising are available in the first quarter. Radio and TV stations have extra inventory to sell and they price it accordingly.

13. Try behavioral marketing or retargeting

Go after your customers in a retargeting campaign. That’s to reach prospective customers based on their Internet searches, if they leave your Web site and don’t buy from you.

Other firms use retargeting to purchase advertising. Basically, retargeting is accomplished by using a cookie or pixel, to show banner ads to Internet users.

But transparency is a significant problem for advertisers. There are eight ways to get transparency from your retargeting campaign.

14. Consider new launches in products or services

Now’s a great time to consider, implement and to market new products and services. Lack of money and financial planning are the biggest obstacles to success, so be sure your new product gets traction.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are tips to complement the above points:

For the Best Cash Flow, Manage Your Inventory Costs with 8 Tips — With proper inventory management, you can lower your expenses and increase your cash flow. For many businesses, it means taking a look at your inventory costs.

5 Bold Steps for Best Results from Your Marketing Plan — Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results? Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results. There’s a second reason, quality of execution.

Scholar: Get More Bang from Your Online Ad Investment — Advertisers can get the most return on their Internet advertising investments by using better metrics for sourcing, according to research by Wharton marketing Professor Ron Berman.

Insights: Making Your Google Search Ads Cost-Effective — Here’s how to get more bang for your buck in digital marketing. In search advertising on Google, less-known brands benefit from top positions a lot more than well-known companies. That’s just one conclusion on click-through rates from a Stanford research study released in 2015.

Digital Marketing Trends: Choose Your Best Tactics — True, marketing has evolved rapidly in the last quarter century. And yes, it’s important to be mindful of trends, especially in digital marketing — good and bad.

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”

-Tom Peters


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy graur razvan ionut at www.freedigitalphotos.net

How to Newsjack for Publicity of Your Content Marketing

Smart communicators know the value of earned advertising – free media publicity – and they’re successful in obtaining it.

They leverage certain principles to get top-of-mind awareness of their content marketing.

One method is newsjacking – the art and science of obtaining mountains of free media coverage and social-media spin by getting your content injected into late-breaking news stories.

This is true based on my 2 decades+ as a broadcast journalist for local and national media operations, and 2+ decades as a consultant obtaining news coverage for my clients.

Here’s how to successfully newsjack:

1. Strive for friendly relationships

One of the first things I learned was that trusted PR agents have an open door with the media.

They effectively get in the door to talk with journalists.

They also initiate communication, and submit their contact information including social-media accounts in advance of breaking stories.

2. Know two target audiences

Determine whom you’re trying to reach and why – both in the media and the journalists’ core audience.

Understand what will pique their attention. Know what interests them.

Learn what they surf on the Internet. Ascertain how both journalists and consumers consume their information.

3. Diligently monitor the news

It’s hard work, but stay up-to-the-second on the latest news. Constantly check news sites, RSS feeds and social-media networks.

Start by setting up Google Alerts for key phrases, keywords including names for your industry and company.

Be sure to monitor social media to understand what’s said, what isn’t.

4. Work quickly

Act immediately. People on social media and journalists at media operations are obsessed about time.

For their breaking news coverage they’re more likely to consider good content if you make it available right away.

5. Be a thought leader

In commenting on a story, be well-versed in how the news story affects your sector. Be bold with your opinion.

For a great response to your efforts, remember the acronym, WIIFM — what’s in it for me. Adequately explain your points.

Be accurate, but do not be so controversial that you invite a lawsuit.

To achieve top-of-mind awareness, consider the potential of e-newsletters as part of your marketing mix.

6. Answer questions

Journalists will depend on you for informed, and possibly comprehensive answers. Try to anticipate their questions.

But keep your sentences simple and short. Typically, reporters speak and write for consumers’ ears at the 6th-grade level.

7. Consistently blog

To attract the eyes of social media aficionados and journalists, companies of all sizes by blog and promote their content on social media. If you haven’t already, add a blog section to your site.

You’re also more likely to make sales. If a media site publishes your domain name, you’ll grow beyond your expectations.

It helps to be trustworthy and to be a great storyteller. The best blogs share nine common traits in content.

8. Be selective on hashtags

Don’t overload Twitter with extraneous hashtags.

So when you create a good graphic or meme related to a news story and circulate them to your followers,  make sure they have relevant and timely hashtags.

By the way, hashtags don’t work on Facebook.

9. Stay focused

Don’t comment on everything unless it’s meaningful to your brand and industry. Otherwise, you risk looking cheesy.

10. KISS

When commenting, keep it simple and understandable with relevant keywords. If blogging, link to the news story.

11. Avoid death, religion and politics

Only comment on stories that are truly relevant to your company or sector.

12. Repurpose

Newsjacking can also be effective with evergreen blogging topics. It doesn’t always have to be on current events.

For example, several years after the BP Oil Spill, a piece published on this site and periodically updated remains among the top 10 most-popular month after month (BP Crisis Management, PR Misfires — a Case Study).

From the Coach’s Corner, related tips:

Need PR, But No Budget? How to Leverage News Media — Social media is OK for promotion. But if you need blockbuster publicity, use best practices in marketing.

Maximize Your ROI from Your Next Event with Social Media — Will you maximize the return on investment in your next event? Whether you’re a nonprofit or business, great social media strategy will promote your event and your brand. In addition, even after your event it’s possible to enhance your return from social-media investment.

How to Attract Fans with Your Blogging, Social Media and PR — Businesspeople have discovered social media is a work in progress. It takes huge amounts of time, not only to implement innovations, but to succeed.

Trend: 4 Choices to Relate with Millennial News Consumers — Good news if you’re concerned that Millennials are increasingly uninformed. And if you want to connect with Millennials, you might be happy to learn social media hasn’t totally replaced traditional news among 18-to-34-year-olds.

For a Bounce in Revenue, Try Strategic Press Releases — Ever wonder why some companies are always in the news or how they succeed on the Internet? It’s a good bet they have a good PR consultant or have mastered the art of writing press releases. You, too, can level the playing field with effective press releases.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

-Milton Berle


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Image courtesy Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos,net

Improve Employee Morale with Better Break-Room Etiquette

You’d be amazed how employee attitudes are shaped by a lousy break room – dirty dishes, spoiled food and thoughtless co-workers.

But you can enhance your employees’ morale and job satisfaction if they can enjoy sitting in a room relaxing over coffee, snacks and lunch.

Imagine how little time the best employees will want to use such a room. So you might want to consider encouraging a break-room etiquette environment.

Bear in mind you need to be pragmatic. Employees won’t want to clean the break room every day of the work week.

Ask employees to be empathetic with each other – how they’re using the break room and how it affects the feelings of their team members.

Rules or policies should be made clear so employees understand what’s expected. Depending on the size of your staff, display a friendly set of reminders for everyone to see.

More points to consider:

1. In-person employee questionnaires

Try asking employees for their opinions. That’s a great way to learn what your employees like and dislike, such as what they think is evenhanded and what they want from their peers.

Once you know their opinions, you can create and share break-room policies.

2. Noise

Many employees, who don’t have a private office, appreciate the opportunities for a mini vacation – having a place to go to relax and to get away from work.

Some are likely to enjoy having non-work conversations.

For example, your break room should provide a break from work where team members can enjoy lunch without interruptions – others coming to talk with them about work-related matters.

Ask employees to refrain from interrupting those on break, to save their questions in non-emergency situations or to send emails that can be checked after breaks.

So consider a noise policy. How about establishing your break room to be noise-free or as a spot for friendly conversation?

Space-permitting, consider areas for quiet time or for employees to chat.

You’d have to inform employees what’s expected.

3. Cleanliness

Many people might be concerned about cleanliness of their co-workers. Employees need to know what’s expected to clean up after themselves.

4. Specify responsibilities

Employees have to know expectations about getting rid of old food. They’ll need to understand what’s expected about cleaning the refrigerator and microwave.

It must be arranged equitably.

5. Food labels

Especially if you have a congenial staff that organizes pot luck celebrations or share food, ask employees to label their food they store in the break room for their own personal use.

Why? In congenial workplaces, some workers might anticipate the food is there for their taking.

But when it isn’t, employees are really chagrined when their lunches disappear. It’s a source of irritation.

6. Fresh coffee

Most employees like their coffee. But it’s annoying to visit the break room only to find an empty coffee pot.

Avoid employees having to waste their time brewing a new pot in lieu of fully enjoying their breaks.

Your etiquette guidelines should include a mention about refilling the coffee pot. Another option is to install a single-serve coffee maker.

From the Coach’s Corner, related articles for bosses and employees:

Non-financial Incentives Motivate Most Employees — Want motivated workers? Recognition for good work is appreciated by 70 percent of workers – a great motivator for high performance, according to a study by two companies.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips — In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

36 Tips: Develop Confidence to Win an Office Tug of War — For people lacking in self-confidence, winning an office tug of war is easier said than done. Unlike leaders, they unknowingly give away their power. One sign is whether you’re winning hearts and minds at work. For instance, in the event of disagreements, are you able to persuade others?

Why Executives Emphasize Communication Training for Employees — Among human resources training priorities, employee communication is often now more important than skills, say many executives. Two-thirds of executives responding to a survey say communication skills are most needed by certain employees.

What to Do If You’re Thinking about Dating a Co-Worker — Most executives probably cringe at the thought of romances blossoming among their office workers. There are good reasons why. But if you must start an office romance, here are tips to minimize damage to your career.

“Let your personality be your profit and not your punishment.”
-Amit Kalantri


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy nenetus at www.freedigitalphotos.net

6 Strategies if You’re Losing Market Share to Small Rivals

Here’s a scenario that can happen to any successful business – smaller competitors grabbing your marketing share.

So you’re king of the proverbial road. You’ve decimated the competition. Business is cruising along on all cylinders with strong sales.

Then, your sales start sputtering. Some of your products and services aren’t selling well. Their margins are decreasing.

Whoa. Don’t panic or rush to make rash decisions. It’s time to pull over to a rest stop to analyze your situation. What’s going on?

Your research reveals smaller companies are pilfering your customers. You’re used to competition but to lose to little-known micro businesses? That’s unthinkable. Or is it?

So small competitors – micro businesses that don’t have your capabilities and financial resources – have entered the marketplace. They’re chipping away at your market share in some of your products and services.

What can you do? You can adjust – further analyze the reasons for the problem and develop solutions.

Here are strategies to consider:

1. Evaluate your revenue streams

This is a step that requires you to let go of your ego. It might be time to refocus your vision.

You might be too diversified – too many niches. Examine your products, services, departments and locations.

Run a cost-benefit analysis of each. Determine which of them has enough long-term revenue potential. Some might not. You should give thought to possibly discontinuing them.


This is accomplished by exploring your income statement. Break it down into segments.

For instance, if a product isn’t profitable, develop a product-line income statement. Do the same for your locations, and create a contribution margin-income statement to split fixed costs from variable costs.

You must decide whether the segment has a positive contribution margin. It’s important for you to know if any of the fixed costs can be avoided if you drop the segment.

Common fixed costs can be assigned to the other segments.

If you were to discontinue a segment, decide if you can repurpose and any employees or equipment.

Finally, evaluate whether a discontinued segment will adversely affect other the sales and parts of your overall business.

You might want to review best practices in financial statements.

2. Write your vision

If you don’t have a written vision for fast growth, the reality is that you’re losing out on potential business. A written business plan is best.

There are many valid reasons to write a business plan. They’re not necessarily to attract capital. Whatever your reasons, avoid writing a mediocre document.

To ensure success, there are key essentials for a top business plan.

But if you don’t have the time and resources to write it, go to plan B – a vision plan. Here’s how to write it. Then, consider the following strategies in your written planning.

3. Partner with your competitors

If you discontinue a product or service, consider approaching your competitors to discuss a mutually beneficial arrangement.

A small competitor is not able to provide everything you can. Therefore, by eliminating a segment that’s offered by the competitors, it’s in your best interest to form a strategic alliance.

Cut a deal for you two to refer business to each other. Each of you will be able to make money and enhance the branding or your specialties.

Besides in this regard, it’s worth remembering a famous tenet: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” It has been attributed to Sun Tzu, Niccolò Machiavelli and Petrarch.

It was also a line by the character Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II: “My father taught me many things here – he taught me in this room. He taught me – keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”

4. Hire your competitors’ employees

When a competitor feels good about taking your customers in a zero-sum game, you might feel the same way.

If you decide not to discontinue a segment, consider recruiting employees of the competitors. By hiring key people away from competitors, this will likely mean new business for you.

If the employees are talented and closely connected to the customers, it’s entirely possible the customers are loyal to the employees who will bring their customers with them.

5. Acquire your competitors

By buying the competition, you will re-assert your dominance. It’s a common dignified practice. Companies do it all the time.

But many mergers fail because the cultures are too dissimilar. So make certain your cultures are compatible.

Just look what happened to Hewlett-Packard after CEO Carly Fiorina forced the merger with Compaq. HP has never been the same.

Business marriages might seem simple, but the successful acquisition of another company is a complex process. Acquiring a business is much like building a healthy salad – mergers need key ingredients.

6. Whatever you do, stay vigilant

Stay focused. Monitor your marketplace, plan strategically, operate efficiently, train your staff, take excellent care of your customers and aggressively market your business.

Be prepared to adapt in changing conditions.

Cunning and skill are paramount for success for both business and sailboat racing. A salient concept in sailing is course correcting. Here’s how to use sailing principles to course-correct in business.

Always stay focused on growth.

From the Coach’s Corner, related resources:

19 Best Practices in Due Diligence for Profitability — To lead your company to high profitability – and to stay there – due diligence is needed in critical values.

Strategies to Measure, Boost Your Business Performance — If healthy revenue and profit margins are your goal, you must determine the critical factors that lead to success. In essence, business is war in commerce. In order to win, you must know how, why and when to attack.

For Business Growth, the 3 Best Practices in Cutting Costs — You won’t achieve long-term profitable growth by slashing costs. By strategically cutting costs, you will develop a resilient business-growth model. Just as you differentiate your company to your customers, you must differentiate your costs to propel your business growth.

10 Innovation Tips to Boost Your Long-Term Customer Base — Businesspeople are constantly under pressure. Daily events make it challenging to make critical decisions for financial sustainability. Businesses must innovate to survive. Here are 10 key questions to ask about your business.

6 Best Practices for Your Cause-Related Marketing Program — Cause-related marketing programs can, of course, accomplish two goals: Help deserving organizations increase revenue and propel your business to a profitable, stronger image.

“Number one, cash is king…number two, communicate…number three, buy or bury the competition.”

-Jack Welch


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Checklist for Productivity During a Flight Delay at an Airport

21 Tips for Productivity When Stranded by a Flight Delay

Ugh, it’s so frustrating to be stranded at an airport or in a hotel room from a flight delay caused by inclement weather or airline computer breakdowns.

As you’re reading this, you’re thinking delays are a huge waste of time, right?

No doubt, you can think of some things to be productive such as pulling up your work on your computer.

But you can use your time really well, if you’re prepared.

Here’s a checklist:

1. Have a personal WIFI

To be sure, you have some emailing to do or topics to surf on the Internet.

True, airports have public WIFI systems.

But the key word here, “public,” is a red flag for security reasons.

So get a personal WIFI.

You can also use your cellphone or other mobile device as a substitute, a mobile hotspot.

2. Consider new productivity apps

Create, edit, share forms, communicate with your staff in real time and perform other tasks with EZ Forms.

If you’re visually oriented, you can do all kinds of things with Inkflow.

Manage your passwords across all your devices with a single password that will delete your personal information from hackers with Keeper.

An app enabling you to save time in messaging is Mailbox.

To keep you from getting lost while looking for destinations, Wikitude can be helpful as a reality app.

3. Consider buying a tablet keyboard

If you’re a tablet user, you can make typing easier with a cheap wireless keyboard.

4. Pack your device chargers

Even more frustrating than being stuck at an airport is having your devices shut down from dead batteries. You’ll want to fully charge and pack your mobile devices before heading for the airport.

Even better, extra charged batteries can be helpful.

5. Expedite Check-in

You can save time checking in and finding your gate by signing up for airport apps, and downloading your boarding pass.

Plus, scores of airports and 19 airlines allow a government pre-check with TSA Pre✓.

6. Use a business lounge

Work in comfort at a business or first-class lounge. Amenities can actually make delays enjoyable.

7. Write a to-do list 

Being stranded is a perfect time to get and feel more organized by working on a to-do list for tasks while you’re stranded.

8. Organize for the rest of your trip

Whether you’re en route to a speaking engagement or client meeting, surely there are things you can accomplish.

9. Organize your trip expenses 

This time is ideal for organizing your receipts and business expenses.

Yes, I know a lot of people do it and I appear to be old-fashioned, but I’m not wild about putting important financial information on mobile apps unless you’re absolutely certain your smartphone is absolutely secure.

No smartphone is secure without taking strong security precautions to prevent mobile attacks.

10. Delegate or request assistance

For tasks you can’t accomplish while sitting in an airport, you can probably think of things that need to be done. So, call or email your staff or associates for help.

11. Pay attention to vexatious emails 

Whether you’re procrastinating on responding to certain emails or you’re unsure what to write, now is the perfect time to at least start drafting an email.

It’s also a good investment of your time to review your emails, organize them and to delete unwarranted emails.

12. Contemplate your overall objectives 

Instead of stressing about the inconvenience of your delay, review your big-picture situation and current business stratagems.

Review your metrics and contemplate possible changes.

13. Make fast phone calls 

If you think about it, there are probably some quick phone calls you can make. Discussions about confidential matters or important phone calls can probably wait.

14. Catch up on your reading 

Review industry news online or have helpful books or articles you can consume.

If you’re all caught up business-wise, relax by reading a good book. To totally escape while reading, my preference is a good mystery or spy thriller.

15. Avoid annoying noise with headphones

Whether you’re sitting next to someone who’s carrying on a noisy phone conversation or hyperactive children, you can cancel out the noise if you have good headphones.

16. Set your phone timer 

If you’re engrossed in your work, set a timer so you don’t waste time continually checking the time or risk missing developments about your flight.

17. Work offline 

Avoid temptations or distractions by working offline.

18. Meditate 

Sitting around an airport can be stressful. Meditation is a great way to relax and to clear your mind.

You’ll be amazed by the benefits.

19. Eat a healthy snack 

Business trips can be draining. Instead of drinking too much coffee, get some brain food or high-protein snacks for energy.

20. Rehearse your foreign language skills 

Whether you’re traveling overseas or just want to better understand other cultures, learning another language is fun and productive for your brain.

Duolingo is a well-regarded free app.

Being able to speak to foreigners in their native tongues will bring a smile to both theirs and your faces.

21. Get compensation 

If you can justify to an airline how you’ve wasted valuable time, perhaps you can get some sort of recompense. It might be possible to get part of a refund or credit for future trips. It’s worth asking about it.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Best Tips to Avoid Unnecessary Stress on Business Trips — On overseas trips, business travelers feel anxiety for a myriad of reasons. Here are 14 ways to alleviate stress.

13 Great Business Travel Tips — Jet lag, bad hotel beds, and lost luggage – just a few of the miseries of business travel. But travel is vital to manage operations, close sales and to build relationships.

6 Top Tips for Etiquette in Business Travel — If you’re into people-watching, the airport is an entertaining place to be. You’ll see all kinds of personalities. That’s especially true for the wide variety of business travelers. For successful trips, business travelers share one common trait. They need to be mindful of business etiquette.

8 Year-Round Business Tax Strategies Are Vital — Many business owners find they can plan their futures, operate their businesses more efficiently year-round, and take maximum advantage of tax savings when they file their returns. Ask your tax advisor about these 8 strategies.

8 Strategies for Business Tax Deductions on Your Vacation — Did you ever notice professional organizations hold their conventions at favorite tourist destinations? The reason? An opportunity for a vacation using some tax write-offs.

Etiquette Tips for Conducting Business in the French Culture — Not to be gauche, but compared to the U.S., conducting business in France might seem a bit quirky to you. Nevertheless, business with the French can be very profitable, if you approach it with dignity.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

– Buddha


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy khunaspix at www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.