Archive for October, 2011
If you are hosting a corporate meeting with your business partners, potential clients, as well as your company’s board of directors and you want to impress them with what you can offer, then it’s about time that you shy away from the common giveaways that you have been handing out to your target markets in the streets. Keep in mind that these are the people behind the success of your company so they expect more from you when it comes to your corporate gifts. You have to think of something that is chic and sophisticated, and while corporate items that are used during meetings such as compendiums are a given, these can be quite expensive. So why don’t you hand out Business Pens instead before the meeting as a way of thanking their attendance and at the same time, keep them reminded of your business name while they are deciding if they should go ahead and work with your company.
Business Pens are different from those usual promotional pens that are handed out during events or trade shows. These have their own uniqueness and they exude refined natural design that fits the corporate environment. They can also be customised to represent the business profile as well in the most stylish manner possible. Imagine if you hand them out before the meeting started, their natural reaction would be to open these up and test them. Once they feel that these corporate pens fit comfortably onto their hands as they smoothly glide over any surfaces, they will immediately be attached and use them during the meeting itself. Now if your presentation wows them as well, then you are sure to get their nods of approval and get more business from these clients. Keeping them glued to these business pens will ensure you that they stay loyal to your company no matter what.
But before you even start purchasing these types of pens, you have to make sure that what you are buying is something that will be greatly appreciated by your high-class recipients. Look for a pen that has a barrel that is curved perfectly to ergonomically fit anyone’s hand. One reason why most people are annoyed with some pens is because whatever they do, they can’t seem to hold the pen properly, hence resulting to a very poor penmanship. And in any business, being able to write legibly is important to ensure that nothing is misunderstood. More importantly, what is a pen if it won’t even write? Before you even hand these business pens out to your clients, you should at least test them out yourself to make sure that these work. It would be a shame if you gave your potential multimillion client a pen that doesn’t write at all. It might even cause you your business with them. Additionally, if you know the names of your corporate attendees, then you might as well have their names engraved on the Business Pens with your logo or name as well. This will give them the impression on how valuable you think of them.
As small businesses naturally don’t have the necessary resources to launch huge marketing campaigns, they will have to compensate this with resourcefulness and innovation. If you’re running a small business and you’re searching for cost-efficient marketing solutions, here’s how you can use the wonderful World Wide Web to your company’s advantage.
5 Ways to Market Your Small Business Online
Build a Website – You don’t have to pay for web hosting even if you’re running a commercial website just as long as your company can be properly categorized as a small business. Having a company website is the means for prospective customers to learn everything they have to know about the products or services you’re offering. Compared to other online media, a website allows your customers to see and hear about your offer and perhaps interact with you as well.
Know about SEO – Your work doesn’t start and end with building a website. To make your website work as a marketing tool for your business, you need to incorporate SEO – or search engine optimization – elements in it. SEO can help your website zoom to the top of search engine rankings and provide it with all the exposure you need.
In regard to SEO, make sure that you focus on your design and content. Besides needing your website layout to be visually attractive, it must also have easily located links to facilitate navigation. Use HTML as much as possible as this is more SEO friendly than, say, CSS. As for the content, refresh or update it as much as you can because new information will always encourage old and new readers to visit your website. Also, think about the appropriate keywords for your website and use them as much as possible – without committing grammatical errors or ruining the coherence of your content – to delight search engine spiders all the more.
Have a Blog – A blog is one of the most effective online marketing tools today, and if you don’t have one yet then you’re wasting a huge opportunity day after day. A blog allows you to directly interact with prospective customers and almost immediately update them with anything new about your company’s products or services.
To increase the marketing effectiveness of your blog, make sure that you’re writing about one topic alone. This topic must be directly related to your company’s products or services. Furthermore, it must be something that you know and love a lot to enable you to write in a convincing and interesting fashion.
Build Your Network Contacts – Although websites sometimes seem to be creatures of their own right, always remember that a website can’t really operate by itself. It gets updated and achieves success because of its webmaster or owner, and that person should be the one you’re concentrating on getting friendly with. Do your best to build your network by establishing good working relationships with other website owners. This is a give and take situation so be ready and willing to shell out as many favors as you hope to receive. As you become good buddies with these people, you’ll end up exchanging links, and this, by the way, is called affiliate marketing.
Join the Podcast Revolution – Although the popularity of blogs is certainly not waning, that doesn’t mean you have to completely rely on blog marketing alone. There are other marketing fishes in the Internet, and one of them goes by the name of podcasting. Make new podcasts regularly and insert your ads in between. You have to make them short and interesting enough to discourage your listeners from wasting energy just to press the fast forward button.
That pretty much sums up the free-flowing way most of us communicate. We stay with topics for as long as they interest us, and we move on when they don’t. Communicating effectively can be one of your greatest assets when you’re running a small business. Ineffective communication, conversely, can be your greatest liability.
3 Main Styles of CommunicationThere are three main “voices” or styles of communication: one-under, one-up, and equal.
1. One-under communication is a style that is typified by minimizing what you are saying, or putting yourself or your words “one-under” in importance to another person’s. The intent here is to focus on the other person in order to gain greater clarity about what he or she is saying. “Seek first to understand than to be heard” is an axiom that would apply here.
2. One-up communication is an aggressive style that is often accompanied with raised voices and excessive reinforcements, absolutes, and “you” statements. Boundary-busting is what this type of communication is often considered. This is because the person speaking thinks that what he or she is saying is more important than what anyone else is saying. This style of delivery will automatically shut down the avenues of communication or incite angry retorts.
3. Equal communication is a style that is epitomized by direct and respectful communication and the use of “I” statements and reflective listening skills. Its purpose is to open up the avenues of communication and encourage dialogue. At its core is the understanding that each person matters and what he or she has to say is valuable. “Two heads are better than one” is the adage at the heart of this communication style.
The DialogueThe next step to becoming a more effective communicator is to learn to practice “the dialogue.” Good communication consists of three distinct parts: what the speaker says, what the listener hears, and the gray area in-between. Here’s how the dialogue works:
• The first part is for the speaker to articulate directly and clearly what he or she wants to say.
• The second part is for the listener to reflect back to the speaker what he or she heard. Useful phrases that help the listener put what the speaker said into his or her own words include: “What I just heard is. . . .
” and “Let me see if I understand what you’re saying. . . .”
• The third-and probably most important-part is for the listener to check with the speaker by asking, “Is that correct?” That one question will eliminate any misunderstandings or assumptions on the part of the listener. It will also give the speaker the chance to revise and clarify what he or she said.
7 Tips for the TalkFinally, in addition to the dialogue, there are seven other things to consider when it’s me and you and a dog named Boo in a conversation together.
Tip 1: Address issues as they come up. Don’t piggy-back unresolved issues from the past onto the present topic of discussion. Stay on point.
Tip 2: Use “I” statements, and speak only from your perspective. Don’t overload your speech with absolutes such as: “You never . . . “or “You always . . . . ” Stick with “I.”
Tip 3: Focus on the behaviors you are observing, not the opinions of others. Resist the urge to press your point by listing the scores of people who agree with you and your point of view. Stand and speak only for yourself.
Tip 4: Listen, when someone else is speaking. If you’re interrupting or forming your response as the other person is talking, you’re not listening. Your full attention should be on the speaker.
Tip 5: Check in from time to time to make sure everyone is on the same page. Don’t assume that the other person is in agreement with you or what you are saying. Check it out.
Tip 6: Follow the bouncing ball. Don’t change the subject without a nod in the direction of the previous topic of discussion. Mind your segue.
Tip 7: Be open to the possibility of another perspective. There is no absolute truth. Truth is relative.