Seven Steps to Linkedin Success
Linkedin can give you a great platform to shout about your professional qualifications and abilities. People looking on your profile can gain a lot of information about you and your experience. Often people looking to employ you for a project or job will look you up on Linkedin and it is important that you make the most of that opportunity. I still find people that I know to be great professionals and really capable, without a photo and without any skills listed, even sometimes with a poor profile write up. Maximise your chances of being chosen by ticking all the boxes and you will be surprised by the difference it makes.
Here are my seven steps to help you maximise Linkedin:
• Set your profile up properly complete it all, yes all!
• Add a photograph, don’t be shy!
• Claim your vanity URL,
• Add relevant previous jobs/businesses
• Select your own skill set don’t let others choose them (you will get endorsed for things you don’t do)
• Search for & invite connections from people you know
• Ask to join Groups that may be useful
I am always happy to connect so just follow my linkedin button and I will let you in.
Word of Mouth....Still The Best Way
In my opinion Word of Mouth always has been and always will be the best way to generate new business.....and it's free!
What do we need to do to achieve this?
—If you do all these things your customer will recommend you to others.....simples!
Bankers should look after your money – let the experts look after the other services
I am often bombarded with sales calls, emails, letters, flyers and now tweets, asking me to buy this product or subscribe to that service – none of which I have requested.
I hold the view that if I am looking for a particular service, then I will look for a solution – preferably in my local area to begin with, and if not, and then ask for recommendations from others. I believe that business and life in general just flows that little bit better this way.
A trend which has developed over recent years is that more and more consumers are convinced that their bank is their only choice, or their preferred supermarket can look after everything “from cradle to grave” they’d have you believe.
Perhaps I am in the minority, or maybe it’s because I work for a local, family owned and managed business, that I genuinely believe that buying from someone you can have more than just one conversation with is important and should be valued.
One case in point is a firm of solicitors locally, for whom I have recently reviewed their insurances covering each of their offices. For years, they have entrusted this to their bank, and for years it now becomes apparent, they have been paying far too much, without any advice or support, let alone a single visit over the years.
My approach was to visit them, discuss their requirements, and identify potential gaps in their cover, before conducting a thorough exercise with carefully selected insurers. The result is that I have saved them almost £2,000 immediately, and offered them much wider cover, in this case specifically designed for the legal profession.
This is just one example where the power of using local really does reap rewards. I am sure that many professionals and tradesmen in the county will give testimony to why they prefer to operate locally.
Cutting out the middle man, or simply letting the bank handle everything doesn’t always pay. If you, your family, business contacts or clients are still going down the supermarket aisle or are part of the banking queue, could I ask you to do them, and me a favour – have a word?
Andrew Long Cert CII
Have a good supply of Cautionary Tales
We often talk to our clients about what really motivates customers to buy. Of the different reasons that come up, there are always two themes – to achieve gain and to avoid pain. Of the two, avoiding pain is by far the biggest motivator.
Most of us can think of examples of customers who have either avoided a major problem by buying from us or have missed a great opportunity by delaying. These stories are gold dust to you, and you should dust them down, practice them, and repeat them at every opportunity.
Get your prospects thinking about all the pain that could come their way if they don’t do business with you. They’ll soon become customers
10% is that all?
Hi there again. I said I’d extend my answers to the facts on dyslexia I put out in last week’s blog – and here’s the first.
Dyslexia affects at least 10% of the population.
People often ask me if that’s all and some are surprised it’s that many and if we’re honest – it probably is more, but it’s incredibly difficult to be completely accurate, which is why we say ‘at least...’ Why is it so hard to be sure, you may ask?
Well – let’s try to explain a few things.
1. Dyslexia is a collection of characteristics and each dyslexic person will have a unique profile of these differences. It is also on a continuum – so some will have very mild characteristics and others will have some that are very high on that continuum, meaning they will face more challenges with particular things (more about that in a later blog).
2. It can affect anyone of any level of intelligence – there are no cut off points, so can be quite challenging to assess in individuals with complex needs.
3. Those with very mild characteristics, probably make accommodations, or adjustments quite easily, so would not classify themselves as dyslexic. Only about 4% of the population have it severe enough to warrant specialised support – that’s still over 2 million!. About ¾ million children are affected in the UK.
4. Not everyone with dyslexia has been diagnosed, making it extremely difficult to say accurately the percentage of the population who are dyslexic.
5. Some people say they are dyslexic when in fact, they may have a more general or global learning difficulty that is not specific.
Hopefully, that’s enough to be going on with. Next week – I’ll be looking at some of the overlaps with other conditions.
Exceed your customers’ expectations
There is one thing you absolutely must do if you are to ensure you keep your customers – exceed their expectations. There is nothing more toxic than a dissatisfied customer.
There is another, equally important reason why you should exceed their expectations – that is how you get a good stream of quality referrals from them.
So, given that we know how important it is, how do we do that?
First of all, it is key that we manage their expectations in the first place. If you are providing a service that the customers are familiar with – servicing a car for example – the key is to do it better than your competitors, and to provide a few extra touches that they didn’t expect. Some customers may never have used your type of service before, and so they may not know what to expect. When you first start dealing with them, you therefore need to ensure you explain carefully what you will do for them and what they can expect by way of results. Then, you ensure that you are able to deliver more than that. Ryan Air are masters of this. They provide probably the worst service in their industry, but they set their customer expectations so low that they actually have a high satisfaction rating.
Whilst we don’t recommend the Ryan Air approach to customer service, there is still a very important lesson we can learn. Most importantly, ensure you have clearly explained, and your customer has understood, what you will be providing, and be careful, especially in your sales presentations, not to set the bar too high.
Another weekend of sporting success, it is now becoming increasingly difficult for our sporting stars to “exceed our expectations”, this is the subject of our sales tip today.
It’s Illegal to eat Mince Pies on Christmas Day!
I suspect that most of us would like to consider ourselves to be upright, law abiding citizens. However you may just discover that in fact you are a serial offender...
Here are a few bizarre laws that remain on our statute book and could still get you arrested!
1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
2. In the Cathedral Close of Hereford it is legal to shoot a Welshman with a long bow.
3. In Scotland it is an offence to be drunk in charge of a cow.
4. It is illegal to have a pigsty in front of your house. A good excuse to keep your front garden neat and tidy!
5. Under the terms of the Protection of Wrecks Order 2003, a person shall not enter the hull of the Titanic without permission of the Secretary of State.
6. In London it is illegal for cab drivers to transport rabid dogs and corpses.
7. It is an offence to beat or shake your carpet, mat or rug. You may beat your doormat but only before 8am.
8. It is illegal to sing any profane or obscene song in the street. Try telling that to certain football fans!
9. It is illegal to gamble in a library. No internet poker then on the library computers!
And the one I find the most ridiculous:
10. It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day! Apparently we have Oliver Cromwell to blame for this. He banned these yummy treats when he was trying to tackle rising gluttony.
Now you know, you have no excuse....
'The first great awakening of the shaman happens when he looks at his reflection in a clear pool, and realizes his own mortality. Until then, he is like a child, who realizes that death happens, but believes that it will never happen to him. The presence and awareness of his death, of his temporal nature, becomes the shaman's greatest teacher. The next great awakening for the shaman happens with the awareness of his trans-temporal nature, when he steps outside of time. For the medicine person this awareness is not an intellectual understanding. It isn't some tired cliché that we are eternal beings. It is first an experience, and next a skill that allows one to journey to our destiny' Alberto Villoldo.
Don’t Look at Me and Smile
I recently watched a documentary ‘Alive in the Face of Death’ by the British photographer Rankin and while I was watching one of his subjects said that he had his photograph taken but that it wasn’t really him. I thought about the ways in which different photographers manage subjects, Rankin, a great photographer, directs his subject what to do and the expression he is after but for me that surely is the photographers interpretation and not the subjects true personality. My style is to take candid photographs; one that I think captures someone’s personality, whether they are concentrating, having a conversation or enjoying friends company, the candid shot for me is the true representation of them. On the other end of the scale you have photographers like Mike Aldridge whose photography is very much directed and staged, yet because he works in the fashion industry it seems to fit, probably because it is what the model is wearing and not the model we are interested in. The latest trend that captures a person’s true and real personality is the ‘Selfie’. It has become a global craze, the Smartphone self-portrait. Teens in the street to the movie stars at a première, it’s the thing to do, show people who you are.
I do a lot of Business Biographies, which are a series of images that show the people who work there in the environment that they work in, their interactions. The images are a natural reflection of the business, which clients feel comfortable with and are reassuring, they know who is answering the phone and what they look like, they know who is taking their order or organising a service. Reassuring in our faceless digital world. So the big guys have their style and I have mine, one I am very comfortable with.
"time is of the essence, sometimes!"
When dressmaking I like to have time to a job thoroughly, properly, carefully, all of that.
Occassionally I am not allowed that time and things can go awry like the tunic that I mentioned a few weeks ago where fitting requirements were suspended because the customer wouldn't travel and left no time for choices to be made and subsequently the garment didn't fit as well as expected.
I now make it a rule that time must always be allowed, even for rush jobs!! I'm learning!
I have two commissions on the go at the minute, both 'rush' jobs in that I am up against deadlines with both.
The first is stage costume for a tribute band and the deadline is a gig which is to be filmed, this one is a rush job because although one coat is finished having been correctly fitted etc, the other can't be fitted until the evening before the day the coats are wanted. Aargh!! Don't panic Mrs Jones!! Forward planning is the key here - the first coat was timed so I know exactly how long the second will take and what order of manufacture is the most efficient, and the second coat is fully tacked together for fitting and ready to go the minute the fitting is over. I am confident that the coats will be ready for collection the following luchtime to be worn at the gig and I'm looking forward to seeing the film.
The second is a wedding gown alteration which I fitted on a Thursday and have to get done by the follwing Tuesday with a busy weekend in the meantime, again forward planning is the key, I have set aside 2 days to do the work and have all the required materials ready to use. The bride will have her beautiful gown and it will be just as she wants it for her big day.
Both of these jobs will be completed to my satisfaction and as I have very high standards for my own work, the customers should be more than happy.
So time is of the essence - either you need plenty of time to do a job well or you need time to plan ahead to do the same job as well but quickly!
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