Archive for 2.0

How To Track And Validate Website Sales Leads By Marketing Channel

A broken bone is relatively easy for a doctor to fix, but what if that doctor didn’t know which bone was broken? Putting the patient’s entire body in a cast might solve the problem, but it’s terribly inefficient — not to mention unpleasant for the patient. Knowing as much as you can about a problem makes it much easier to solve, and the same principle applies to optimizing a lead generation website.

Here at PPC services agency Straight North, we’ve found that many online marketers don’t have all the information they need to improve their websites. That’s because they rely on the raw conversion numbers from Google Analytics, which don’t identify which conversions are true sales leads and which are dead ends. Implementing lead validation and tracking into their lead generation websites can give these marketers the additional level of information they need to succeed. The following presentation details the step-by-step process of implementing lead validation and tracking into an Internet marketing campaign. Read it, and you may be able to better identify the problems lurking in your data.

Matt Cannon is Director of Web Services at Straight North, an Internet marketing firm in Chicago that offers SEO, PPC and web design services. Cannon manages all web development activities, making sure that every project is applying current development standards and techniques.

How to Track and Validate Website Sales Leads from Straight North, a provider of PPC services

How can business awards raise your international profile?

Is entering your business into industry awards a priority in your marketing strategy? Here are five reasons why it should be:

  1. Marketing & PR Even if you don’t win on the night (obviously it would be nice if you did), being shortlisted is already enough to improve your brand awareness, helping your business take advantage of invaluable PR opportunities. This will be especially effective and help build reputation if your burgeoning brand is relatively unknown in a new international market.
  1. Benchmarking
    Entering an award could often mean looking at your business from a different perspective. A complete review of your business or analysing your competitors will provide you with the opportunity to compare and contrast within the industry. The whole process will urge you to consider new ways of improving the overall performance of your business.
  2. Seal of approval
    Whether you end up winning the award or finish only being shortlisted, being associated with a prestigious industry award will be viewed as a seal of approval by any new customers. This seal of approval will be a mark of quality, credibility and industry recognition, potentially forming a distinct centrepiece of your international sales pitch.
  1. Employee motivation
    Being shortlisted for an award will recognise the hard work of your employees. Selecting a few key members of staff to attend the night will also make them feel valued and appreciated, also providing great networking opportunities.
  1. Attract talent
    Who doesn’t want to work for an award winning company? By marketing yourself as an award winning company, you will position yourself as an industry leader and attract talented individuals that will push your business forward.

Professional Guest post by OWB-UK. (Agency Comvort Member since 2009).

Pitch Perfect – Are you prepared for an international pitch?

If 2016 is the year that your business is expanding internationally; you will no doubt be speaking to local customers and regional stakeholders with a vested interest in your new outreach. This unfortunately comes with an all-new set of challenges.

Comvort will assist in your preparation for such an event, offering industry leading insight and feedback on your pitch. Begin with this handy checklist as we make this process a whole lot easier:

Research the company – The more you know the better. Observing their company culture and mission statement will give you a better understanding of how you should approach and address them. Focus on your body language and tone of voice, placing particular impetus on conveying enthusiasm and confidence. This is especially important when everyone in the room might be not be speaking the same language. This is something you can easily practice in the mirror.

Establish objectives – Do you want to make a quick sale now or spark an interest that will later lead to presenting your ideas in front of key decision makers? Be sure to spend time building a relationship and establishing objectives, particularly in countries that value long-term partnerships.

pitch perfect Comvort

Prepare yourself for cultural gaps – A prime example of this can be American business people often being uncomfortable with silences in conversation and will tend to keep talking or engaging in ‘small talk’ when they’re listening to the proposal of another party. When preparing for an international meeting it is a must to read up on the local culture and avoid any potential awkward moments.

Take your time doing business – In the western world we believe in and apply the common expression “Time is money”, however Asian cultures do not share this approach to time and processes can be slower in comparison.

Speak clearly and avoid jargon, slang and idioms – Stick to Standard English. Not everyone has heard of and understands expressions such as ‘that’s a piece of cake’ or ‘kill two birds with one stone’. Also give your audience an occasional pause, allowing them time to take notes and catch up.

Use visual aids & handouts in your presentation: This allows your audience to receive your message on a number of channels and will increase effectiveness.

Bilingual staff: If you are regularly conducting business on an international stage it might be worth hiring a bilingual member of staff. Ensuring that your pitch’s insight and advice is communicated in in a fluid and cohesive manner.

If you have any further suggestions to optimise any international pitch, please let us know in the comments below!

Professional Guest post by Agency OWB-UK.
Comvort Member since 2009.

5 Tips to Get Your Salary Back up to Market Value

It is a sad fact of life than many employers will not offer a salary increase unless you ask for it. Larger firms may offer regular, inflationary increases but this will not be the significant gesture that your hard work deserves. Provided you have been consistently working hard and have been with the company for a while then the following tips should help you achieve the raise you deserve.

Negotiating a pay rise Comvort Blog

  1. Know the right time to ask for a raise

Once you have worked at a company for a while you will come to understand your boss’s moods and when might be the best time to approach regarding this sensitive subject. Provided you have not recently messed up and the company is doing well you should request a meeting with your boss to discuss your current work and pay. Never spring this subject on them.

If you’re planning to negotiate, make sure to do it properly. Assess your options and don’t go overboard; negotiate for what’s rightfully yours. For example, if you’re been with the company for 3 years, then you are entitled to a raise. Start the negotiation with an emphasis on the main reasons you deserve to receive more money. Provided that have the right arguments you have the best chances of getting that 3% raise. Show them that you’re valuable and they won’t risk losing you.

  1. Focus on your industry

It is essential to know how much other people within your industry are being paid. It is not likely that your boss will dramatically increase your salary if you are already being paid the going rate for your position. Your HR department may be able to assist with this or one of the many websites which offer pay comparisons.

Knowing how much similar positions are worth across the industry is a good starting point. From there you need to look at what you do which is above and beyond the normal call of duty. These factors should be listed so that you can refer to them in a meeting. If you have been with the company for a long time or it has been a long time since you had a raise it is essential to make a note of this information and use it in your meeting. Keep copies of your research to support where you are getting your figures from. It is also imperative to collect information together regarding specific projects and have this to hand for your meeting.

  1. Never threaten and always have a back-up

The worst thing you can do when asking for a raise is threaten to leave. This looks unprofessional and may also leave you in a position. If you really need to use this approach you should ensure you have a new job offer lined up first. It is essential to consider your boss’s response and reasoning and then to prepare a back-up plan to fight this contingency. One scenario may simply involve your boss saying no to a raise. It is perfectly acceptable to ask why this is and when a more appropriate time would be. Whatever your boss’s response you will be able to take a note of his words and document proof in order to call a new meeting in another two or three months.

  1. Stick to the truth

It is imperative to have solid facts and to tell the truth when negotiating a raise. If you do not you will be caught out and the raise refused or your boss will find out later. Either way this will not make for a comfortable working relationship.

Equally if you feel you are worth an extra $5,000 but are not sure the company will go that high you still need to ask and back up your request with evidence. If you as for less you may get it but you will never know if you could have got what you are worth and you will remain with the feeling of being underpaid.

No guns Comvort Blog

  1. Value and emotional connection

It can be very beneficial when requesting a raise to point out to your boss the value which you bring to the company. Your value will be in your knowledge of the work processes and can even be a reflection of the cost of extensively training a replacement. Facts are essential to back up any claim. You need your boss to have empathy for your request and this means they should relate to you. Any request meeting should start with how grateful you are for the employment and what the company has done for you so far. It can also be useful to hint at your excitement regarding the future of the company and you within that future.

Professional Guest post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Listening – a must-have skill at negotiations

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Negotiating deals and doing everything that needs to be done for the success of your company can be a dreadful task. The key to having a thriving business is to bargain – as an entrepreneur, you should master all the basic techniques, and also find a way to build a personal style. Listening is one of the smartest ways of winning negotiations. For some, it’s just a trait that shapes one’s personality; for others, it’s a golden tool that can do miracles when used appropriately.

How come listening is so important at negotiations and what can people do to develop sound listening skills? First of all, thriving negotiations rely on the continuous exchange of information. Because we’re talking about “a process”, it may take awhile to develop. CEOs and entrepreneurs in general, shouldn’t expect counterparts to reveal everything up front; at least not in the first 15 minutes.

Listening MarCom Negotiations- Comvort

Listening in MarCom Negotiations

The key to having a fruitful negotiation is to ask questions and be an excellent listener. The information obtained from an opponent must be used wisely. Write down everything they say, underline allegations that should be backed up by solid evidence, and don’t hesitate to ask for clearance. Active listening helps people create options; ergo, it will be easier for them to compromise and land a win-win deal.

Be polite, don’t interrupt

A good listener must not interrupt when the other party is speaking. In case you want to clarify some things or ask a question, it’s best that you write it down. Concentrate and give the other party your undivided attention. When they’re done, feel free to address your questions. It can be extremely dicey to stop someone from speaking because they could reveal valuable information.

Speak with your body and let them know that you’re listening. Nod your head to approve, maintain eye contact, smile and remain calm throughout the entire negotiation. This will prove to the other party that you’re paying attention, which means they feel comfortable in your presence – they might even reveal some more information.

Have an open-minded attitude

Active listening skills and an open-minded attitude are both necessary for the proper process of negotiation. Let your opponent finish his presentation and be ready to offer feedback at the end. Ask for clarifications about points you didn’t understand and think in the best interest of your business, too. By understanding the speaker – who can be an investor, employee or a client – you understand the reason that lies behind certain choices. This should permit you to talk about negotiations, without fearing that some of the information is wrong or wrongfully perceived.

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Steer clear of conflict

A negotiation doesn’t have to be about getting what you want in proportion of 100%. It’s impossible to persuade an opponent to give you everything and remain with nothing. Bargaining for something should be about working things out, making concessions, and finding mutual ground. The resulting deal should benefit both of you equally. For that to happen, business individuals must be willing to listen. Let an opponent gauge your attention, and use the information received to your advantage. Don’t engage in conflicting relations as nothing good can come out of a stressful negotiation process. In order to become the best negotiator, use the following tips:

  • Assess your communication style – self-awareness helps people leave a long-lasting impression
  • Attentive listening to the speaker – nod your head to show that you’re being attentive, and find a way to earmark thoughts that are being distractive. Ignore outside factors like noise and focus on the words and body language of the speaker
  • Let your body language speak and use it to prove that you’re listening as well
  • Don’t interrupt and be respectful
  • Turn to negotiation training to hone your skills

While it’s certainly a good idea to listen to opponents during a business negotiation, you are not advised to take for granted everything they say. The information should be accurate, so be sure to check dates and numbers, too, just to be on the safe side. Wait for your turn to speak, share ideas and talk about compromise. Win-win solutions doesn’t just mean that you’ve landed a good deal; it means that you’ve got yourself a business partner too, someone who may be able to help you in the foreseeable future.

 

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!