How to Collaborate using Google Drive

 

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      Google Drive offers people a great way to collaborate and share ideas. Teachers and business professionals alike can share documents and presentations along with editing them. In today’s world, we all need to collaborate to be successful. Google Drive has made my life a whole lot easier.

           Google Drive allows users to organize their documents and presentations in folders. These folders can be shared with other users, where documents and presentations can be viewed and edited; making collaboration very easy. Setting up Google Drive is quick and easy. The first thing that you need to do is create a Gmail account. Once you create a Gmail account, you can access a host of Google’s products and services from the drop down window in the browser.

           Google offers a suite of products inside of Google Drive. The products include: Google Docs which is similar to a Microsoft Word program, Google Slides which is similar to Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Sheets which is similar to Microsoft Excel. When you create and/or edit something, it is saved to the cloud automatically; you do not need to hit save or save as as you would have to with Microsoft’s products. Being that Google Drive is cloud based, my computer and hard drive are freed from having to store large files; allowing my computer to keep up its processing speed. I can also view and edit documents/presentations on multiple devices; which is something I could not do if I simply saved it on my computer. I appreciate this feature being that I am constantly on the go.

            Google Slides are also great for presentations where you want to use video. You can copy the video link from YouTube and embed the video-player in the slide. This allows your presentation to flow without having to stop to search for a video. You will also save time when creating your presentation.

            Google Docs can be downloaded to a Microsoft Word file and/or a PDF. Google Slides can be downloaded to a Power Point format. This makes sharing documents with non Google Drive users a snap. Simply attach the converted file to an email or just print it out. Word documents and PowerPoints can also be uploaded to Google Drive where you will be given the option to edit the document or presentation in its Google Drive format. (Google Docs, or Google Slides)

            Google Drive also offers users the ability to create forms with a service called Google Forms. Google offers a Google Drive App for mobile devices and the Desktop letting users quickly access documents and presentations without having to go through the browser; which saves users valuable time.

         Google Drive is a very valuable resource. Individual users can sign up for free.

         Don’t take my word for it; try it for yourself.
image credit http://www.androidauthority.com

Boost Sales and launch Brands with Interview Marketing

When strangers get to know one another for the purpose of friendship, dating, employment, selling and networking; they ask questions about one another. This exchange of questions back and forth is known as an interview. Countless articles and books have been written about selling yourself in a job interview and the like. Now how can we take the skills of giving a good interview and apply them to Selling, Marketing and branding products? I call this Interview Marketing. Interview Marketing has been used by political leaders to sell ideas, business leaders to build brands and sell products along with launching careers of the unknown. For Interview Marketing to be successful, the person being interviewed need to be able to answer questions that are both scripted and unscripted. For example, politicians do this by working with their press people while hitting the Sunday morning talk shows. The person being interviewed also needs to be confident and have total product or idea knowledge of what they are sharing. Business leaders do this when they appear on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and the like. When business people share their opinions or analyze a story being discussed, they demonstrate their skills and expertise to a world audience of prospects. Businesses have sprung up around the concept of Interview Marketing. These businesses have you meet with a journalist to record an interview that they then in turn market to major news outlets for sharing. It’s no wonder that many people have the as seen on TV logo on their profile and products. People and businesses that are unknown use Interview Marketing when they appear on programs like SharkTank. People call this a pitch.Yes businesses appear on programs like this to

get funding but many that do not get funding from the Sharks get discovered from the media exposure the show provides. So if you get asked by someone to do an interview about your product or service; do the interview.

How Laws and Mandates Create and Disrupt Markets

Laws and mandates have major changes on the products and services that we use. Markets for goods and services are created and disrupted. An example of this is the Prohibition era in the United States. Prohibition was a time when the sale of drinking alcohol was made illegal by States and the Federal government. The logic behind the ban was that quality of life would improve because the consumption of alcohol would decrease. But did this happen? Nope. Instead the sales of alcohol skyrocketed. Bootleggers became rich by selling alcohol. All Prohibition did was disrupt the traditional alcoholic beverage market into a black market. People were able to make a business out of selling illegal alcohol.The same could be said for the sale of illegal drugs.

The auto industry also created a new market for the energy conscious with the release of the electric car and the hybrid. These changes created jobs in the green economy.

During my time the dental industry, I noticed a surge in product sales of Amalgam Separators. This occurred after an environmental law was passed across the United States; barring Dentist’s from pouring amalgam(mercury) used in fillings down the sewer. Amalgam had to be separated into a separator and disposed of through special means. Think of commercial waste.

If you want to see what markets will be created and disrupted; look to the laws and mandates of the government.prohibition-ends-daily-mirror-nyc1

Increase Sales by Firing your Worst Customers

Everyone has that customer that is a late payer, nasty  and/or a time waster that they wished they could fire. In previous posts, I have discussed how to deal with difficult customers, sociopaths and how to get customers to pay on time. However, there are some customers that need to be fired. The question is how to determine which customers to fire. As Dr. Tony Alessandra puts it, the good, the bad and the ugly. He goes on to describe how companies rank their customers and fire the bottom level of customers. You want to keep the good, try to convert the bad into the good group and fire the ugly.

But how do you determine which customers need to be fired? During my time in outside sales, I was faced with this very dilemma. I had the slow payer, the nasty customer, the customer who always ordered something and returned it. To properly assess which customers to give the ax to, you need to determine how much business they provide you with and how much of your time they take up. As a Sales Rep, or Business owner, time is money. You want to spend most of your time with your good clients, try to improve the relationship with the bad customers and fire the worst customers or the ugly ones. Once you have this list, you want to get to work on firing the worst customers by removing discounts and giving priority to your better customers. I always asked my good customers if they had colleagues who might need my services. However, I would wait until I have them delivered value with my products and services before asking for referrals.

By focusing on the best customers, improving your relationship with the bad customers and firing the the worst or ugly customers; your sales will increase dramatically. My numbers improved a lot when I used this method.

How has firing your worst customers increased your sales?

 

Selling to Sociopaths: What to do when you can’t Walk Away

Have you ever had a prospect and/or customer from hell? I am talking about a customer that seemed charming when everything in the transaction was going well and did a 180 degree turn when they didn’t get when they want. I have had several experiences like this during my time in outside sales. What about those prospects that smile to your face and then actively try to undermine you behind your back? I have dealt with these kind of prospects and customers as well. Behavior like this is clearly the work of a sociopath. For our purposes here, a sociopath has two definitions: 1 A person who has no conscience and is incapable of feeling emotions of any kind. 2 A person who gets pleasure from making other people miserable.

In a previous article, I discussed how to deal with difficult customers. The customers/prospects I described above, are extremely difficult to deal with. People who are sociopaths are in places of power and authority. In sales, I have had to deal with sociopaths from time to time. From the customer who demands what they are not entitled to and abusive customers who got pleasure from seeing me sweat.

Now you are asking how to deal with these people? Well the first thing that I would suggest is to avoid them like the plague if possible. What do you do if you need their business? Too often people like this hold the purse strings to that big commission, a promotion and make the difference between a big income and a very small one. Think of Don Drapers new boss Lou the Creative Director from Mad Men. He is a true sociopath.

How do you deal with such people? To deal with such people, you need to make a judgment call it see if it is worth it for you. If you decide that it is, you need to turn off your emotions and protect your health, put your head down and do what they want. You can justify this as a temporary situation or as a means to an end. Visualize yourself getting what you want as a result of servicing this sociopath. If you could do this, you could effectively deal with these sociopaths. Give them what they want so you could get what you want. This is not easy to do.

How have you dealt with Sociopaths in your business career?

Sales Reps: Want to Boost your Sales? Study your Sales Data & Do the Math!

Math and Sales Data are essential to improve the sales efforts of Sales Reps. The use of Math and Sales Data can provide a wealth of insights in terms of how effective a businesses sales campaigns are doing. In my previous post, How to be your own Manager of Sales, I detailed how Sales Reps could track their own sales numbers using a Closing ratio.

“Closing ratio is calculated by taking the number of sales you make per day, dividing them by the number of sales calls you have made and setting it equal to X/100. Next set each of the proportions equal to each other, cross multiply and solve for X. For example, if I made 3 sales per day and made 30 calls per day; my closing ratio would be 10 percent. 3/30 = X/100 = 10%. Try this with your own sales numbers”

Our closing ratio can be further extended to examine the number of exposures it takes to convert a prospect into a customer. I will call this the Prospect to Customer conversion ratio. The prospect conversion ratio is a great way to examine your prior sales calls to determine how hard you will need to work to get the sale. For example, during my time as an Outside Sales Rep in NYC; it would take me as many as 10 exposures before I was able to convert some prospects into customers. Some times the number of exposures were as low as two or three or some were as many as 20. Typically, if I cold called and the customer never heard of my product it usually took about 10 exposures. To calculate this ratio for a particular customer,I would take the number of times I called on the prospect and divide it by 1. For example, if it took me 20 exposures to convert the prospect to a customer, I would divide 20/1 and my prospect to conversion ratio would be 20/1. If it took 10 exposures, the ratio would 10/1 for that particular customer. If you track your prior sales calls and examine the Prospect to Customer conversion ratio; you will notice a pattern in the number of exposures to sales in many cases.

However, this method will work in all cases. Remember, not all prospects are created equal. As a Sales Rep, you need to prove to prospects that you and your product are worth it’s purchase price. There are no free customers unless you are calling on a new start-up. In most cases, Sales Reps will need to take prospects from competitors.

Using both the closing ratio and the prospect to customer conversion ratio; will provide Sales Rep with invaluable snapshot insight into how they hard you need to work along with how effective they are in the field. If you are a Sales rep and you are not examining your call patterns, I guarantee that your Sales Manager is!

In fact, most Sales Managers use both the closing ratio and the prospect to customer conversion ratio to set sales goals and daily sales call requirements for Sales Reps. This Math and Data analysis is also used to help Sales Managers mentor their team.

As you can see, studying the data from sales calls and doing the math using ratios are power methods for Sales Reps to use to boost their sales.