Archive for February, 2009
By Brian Tracy
eBrand Media believes there are four “Ps” that will enhance your ability to persuade others in both your work and personal life. They are power, positioning, performance, and politeness. And they are all based on perception.
Develop Personal Power
The first “P” is power. The more power and influence that a person perceives that you have, whether real or not, the more likely it is that that person will be persuaded by you to do the things you want them to do. For example, if you appear to be a senior executive, or a wealthy person, people will be much more likely to help you and serve you than they would be if you were perceived to be a lower level employee.
Shape Their Thinking About You
The second “P” is positioning. This refers to the way that other people think about you and talk about you when you are not there. Your positioning in the mind and heart of other people largely determines how open they are to being influenced by you.
In everything you do involving other people, you are shaping and influencing their perceptions of you and your positioning in their minds. Think about how you could change the things you say and do so that people think about you in such a way that they are more open to your requests and to helping you achieve your goals.
By Don Davis
Knowing how and when to invite a customer to chat and which customers to chat with can turn live chat from a customer service convenience into a sales-generating tool.
Baffled as to what to buy her boyfriend, Annabel accepted an invitation to chat while browsing the web site of Ted Baker, a UK apparel retailer. She soon was typing messages back and forth with Dominique, who introduced herself as “one of Ted’s Personal Shopping Assistants.”
Dominique suggested a belt, pointing out it was 100% leather, or a wallet, which she noted had a coin pocket and space for nine plastic cards, used the live chat connection to send Annabel links to product pages and helped close the sale.
Exchanges like this one, which took place during the holiday season, are convincing a growing number of online retailers that live chat can boost conversion rates.
“Live chat has one of the highest conversion rates of all our channels,” says Brad Wolansky, vice president of e-commerce at Orvis, a multi-channel outdoor gear and apparel retailer. “Particularly when someone doesn’t know what they want, it has the highest conversion rate of anything.” He says customers who chat convert 15% to 20% of the time, roughly triple the rate of e-mail.
One reason for chat’s effectiveness is that a chat agent can use the live connection to a customer to send links to web pages, something a phone agent can’t do. 80% of the information customers are looking for is available on the retailer’s site, says David Lowy, director of best practices consulting at Talisma Corp., a provider of chat technology. In many cases, the customer just needs a little help to find it.
Chat can offer that help, and its use is increasing at a modest pace. In a recent survey of 100 top Internet retailers, 32% offered live chat, up from 29% in the previous year’s study by The E-Tailing Group. Once viewed primarily as a less expensive customer service alternative to the telephone—since a chat agent can handle more than one exchange at a time—increasingly retailers view it as a way to boost sales.
E-mail is still a powerful marketing tool. It’s been my experience that most companies still, to this day, do not manage their in-house lists effectively, if at all. There’s gold, in them there hills, folks. Below is an article we found in a leading journal which illustrates a unique and effective way to target visitors with autoresponders.
SUMMARY: Shopping-cart-abandonment emails are a standard tactic for getting customers to complete a purchase. But a vast majority of website visitors never make it to the shopping cart.
Here is how a marketing team used an autoresponder program to send an incentive email to all members of their opt-in database who visited the site but didn’t buy. The email generated nearly 10 times the revenue of a standard promotional campaign.
The marketing team at e.l.f. cosmetics faced a variety of problems tracking, identifying and segmenting shoppers and customers who did not complete purchases. Looking for a cleaner process to boost sales, they turned to one of their marketing staples: email.
“Email marketing and customer retention is the number-one piece of our business that we can understand and rely on in terms of continuity and forecasting,” says Joey Shamah, CEO, e.l.f.
The team looked at shopping cart-abandonment email first. But they realized they were missing an opportunity to connect with a large percentage of visitors who never made it to the shopping cart. Here are four steps they took to set up an autoresponder program that tied into their email marketing campaigns, which include newsletters and special promotional offers.
By Douglas A. McIntyre
Layoffs at big companies are so common now that it is novel when a day goes by without Microsoft, Caterpillar, or Macy’s letting thousands of people go. There are a relatively small number of America’s largest companies which will almost certainly not have significant layoffs. One of them might close an office in Turkey, another could replace telephone operators with an automated system, but each is in a unique position that makes it highly unlikely for them to want or need to fire employees.
Some of the companies on the list are simply doing so well that they cannot afford to do without all the people that they have. Not only will these companies be unlikely to fire people but some may actually be hiring. The other firms included have large amounts of cash on their balance sheets and have elected to use the slow economy to develop new products and services to take share away from financially weaker competitors. A few of the companies on this list had modest job cuts last year. None of them were significant and are highly unlikely to happen again.
Cisco cut 3,000 of its 66,000 people last year. CEO John Chambers has said that the company plans to avoid job cuts. Cisco probably has as much or more cash on hand as any tech company in the US, holding $27 billion in available funds. The company is in the midst of a very rapid expansion into the server and data center business. That will require extra personnel and may involve acquisitions. Cisco is in several businesses which are nearly recession-proof and should continue to do well. Its core router operation is critical to building out broadband and systems for popular products like VoIP. The new stimulus package should give that business a bump up. Cisco is also in several sectors like video conferencing which may actually grow as business people cut back on travel.
A few weeks after launching the first wide-scale layoffs in its history, Microsoft Corp. admits it messed up a key part of the plan.
The company is asking some laid-off employees for a portion of their severance back, saying an administrative glitch caused the software maker to pay them too much.
Lou Gellos, a Microsoft spokesman, would not say how many of the 1,400 workers let go in January were overpaid, or by how much. Microsoft has said severance would be calculated by length of service and position in the company.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker is asking former employees for reimbursement, by check or money order, within two weeks, according to a redacted letter posted by the technology blog TechCrunch. Gellos confirmed the letter’s authenticity.