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Communication is hard.

Why is it so hard for us to communicate?  Seriously – communication is hard.  We seem to assume everyone has a google search box into our subconscious.  (Which may not be too far away.)

the-insties-emailI was looking at my phone yesterday – and Instagram (I like to call it “the insties“) had updated and the icon changed.  I was kind of surprised as it was a “drastic” change to the logo and I didn’t recognize it at first.  I kind of thought it was odd – but whatever…then, today I received an email from “the insties” and it told me to be on the lookout for the new app and logo.

Not that it really matters…but it I guess it surprised me.  As your “the insties” email probably told you, look for a updated app icon.  That is true – and it is very different…not sure I’m a fan of the gradient, but they didn’t ask me.  And they were making a big deal about how the “rainbow lives on” – I had never associated a rainbow with Instagram…but they did, wonder if they ever communicated that to people?

The email went on to explain how they had really simplified the app design.  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t notice anything except where it looked like they took the background out…if they wouldn’t have said anything, I would have figured Apple made a change…and moved on.

So – I guess what I am saying is this seems like a pretty big deal to “the insties”  – and I am sure a ton of time and energy when into this.  Taken from a guy who has spent no less than 300 hours in meetings about logos over the years…I can only imaging the discussions that happened when they started this process.  Seriously – the probably should have recorded it and broadcast it as reality TV…I would have binge watched that in a heart beat.  Nerds and designers fighting about what color rainbow gradient colors to put in the upper left corner versus the right lower…ha, Oscar stuff.  I am not joking – that would have been killer.  I mean to have a designer go on a tyrant about how that color yellow is too warm and people who use this app are cool yellow lovers and the warm makes it feel too much like San Diego and we are clearly going for a San Francisco yellow crowd vibe.  Stellar.

Everything I know about communication can be wrapped up in one statement – you really cannot communicate enough.  People desire communication and the more time which goes between communication opportunities – the more context is lost.

Good luck – don’t forget to communicate early and often and please call me if you will be discussing nay logo changes.  I’ll get on that conference call any day.

 

5 Things Sales People Say That Limit Them

I used to tell my children when they were in high school and getting ready for a presentation, that one of the most valuable things they needed to communicate clearly was to always have a strong opening and closing. If you start a powerful communication with a strong opening such as a smile, handshake and a clear concise reason for your sales pitch or presentation, then you immediately have the attention of the client or audience. Unfortunately, many professional sales people lack elementary skills in capturing the full attention of their audience.

1. NOT HAVING A STRONG OPENING AND CLOSING

Preparation is the key to any sales pitch. You cannot take the risk of losing a client in your first interaction, by failing to be organized. People are impressed with the confidence and relaxation that comes with knowing exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it. You will only risk limiting yourself if you approach your client with a lukewarm attitude, using vague phrases such as “I guess” and “maybe”. Always have a strong but warm introduction, clearly stating the purpose of your visit. Make sure that when you are ending your visit that you state your goals concerning this client. Let them know what they can expect from you. Always leave your business card.

2. TALKING TOO MUCH

Sometimes when a salesperson is nervous or new at their job they will talk too much to fill any empty spaces in the conversation. It is limiting to talk so much that your client cannot get a word in edge ways. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. Engage your client with questions about a recent vacation or a hobby you know they enjoy. Showing genuine interest in another person can build excellent relationships.

3. NO CLEAR STRUCTURE

Make sure you understand what you want to say and how you want to say it. Practicing in front of a mirror can help you improve your skills. No-one likes to listen to another person “waffle” through a sales presentation. Always be polite and friendly but concise and to the point.

4. NO MEMORABLE STORIES

When we think about the encounters we have with people we always seem to remember the interactions with people who told the funny jokes or stories. Unfortunately, you will probably bore your client to death if you present a robotic presentation of your sales pitch. Telling a funny story, for example, about your teenage son or daughter’s learning to drive adventures, can do a lot to relax everyone in the room.

5. CASE HISTORIES

Make sure that you do not limit your own abilities by not having examples of “satisfied” customers to talk about. You want to win your client over, and nothing says it better than telling a story about a client you just recently made extremely happy by providing services they needed, quicker or cheaper than the competition.

In conclusion, basic preparation and practice before a sales meeting with a new or established client can turn your results around. Taking the time to know what you want to say, to know how you want to act and anticipating and believing in the desired outcome will give you the confidence to avoid self-limiting behaviors. Get in front of the mirror and put your best face forward, with a smile, some laughter and some truly engaging conversation and you will be on the winning team.

The preceding post was written by Thomas J., article writer and successful entrepreneur. He strongly recommends visiting Success Strategy Partners for free success tips and helpful information.

Is the Internet Turning People into Recluses?

Is the Internet Turning People into Recluses?Do you ever feel guilty about the amount of time you spend at your computer each day? Do you feel bad that you have wasted an hour watching videos on YouTube or tweeting instead of doing something worthwhile? Do you sometimes feel that you are frittering away your life looking at other people’s profiles on Facebook instead of writing your first novel or decorating the bathroom?

It could be that it is time to rethink your lifestyle and your online habits. There are those who fear that our society is becoming reclusive and that we are losing our social skills and our ability to interact normally with the outside world due to overuse of the Internet. These days we are all communicating from different rooms rather than meeting together to talk.

The notion of Internet addiction is nothing new; in fact, it dates back to the 1990’s where it was even given a name – Internet Addiction Disorder. What is interesting reading these studies today is how many of the elements which were considered symptoms of this disorder have now become part and parcel of our daily lives.

Example symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder as described in the 90’s include; the tendency to lose track of time when on the web; making use of online services regularly and checking emails several times each day! Well, it looks like many of us have those problems today!

Let’s not forget that back in the 90’s there was nothing like the same level of social activity on the Internet. Users were considered at risk of depression due to their disconnection from the outside world and their lack of friends, which contributed to elevated stress levels.

The studies concluded that the computer habits of ‘heavy’ users of the Internet resembled behavior symptomatic of other addictions, such as alcoholism or drug use. Withdrawal from society, lying about the time spent on the addiction and the breakdown of relationships with family and friends are just some of the signs of addiction.

How the times have changed!

These days, we are constantly being told that Internet is all about communication with others. Gone are the days of the lonely nerd in front of his computer. Nowadays, the rise of social media means that we have relationships with people all over the world. If you have 500 Facebook friends, then there is nothing to worry about, right!

The experts tell us that online communication is no substitute for the real thing. Asking your child in person what they think of the Nintendo DSi XL is better than typing “best toy 2011 Christmas” into a search box.

What’s more, it has been proven that physical contact with other people is actually beneficial to health. Communicating in person in a face-to-face situation can prevent you from turning into an Internet recluse, racked with anxiety and facing depression.

Critics of online communication warn of the superficial nature of the friendships, which we make online, too. They also fear that society in general is losing the ability to communication naturally and that social skills are being lost.

Is Internet Putting Our Kids in Danger?

All parents worry about their children and many these days are concerned about the amount of time their offspring spend online. It could be that a child who is lacking in self-confidence takes refuge in the relative safety of online relationships, which are easier to conduct. No need to look someone in the eye, no need to worry about what they think of your physical appearance.

It may be a good way for a shy child to socialize, but this kind of withdrawal from society can make it difficult for children to forge real relationships later on in life and can even lead to a lifetime of social isolation. It is important for young people to develop the social skills necessary for interaction in the outside world, too.

Internet and Social Problems

It is not just children who choose the safety of online relationships over real life. Communication is easier online than in person and if you dislike a person you can simply unfriend them. But the Internet is no substitute for a conversation and none of the essential non-verbal signs are present such as facial expression and body language.

It can be easy to be lured into the idea of living one’s social life only through the Internet. After all, there is the freedom to be whomever we want online, and there is complete control over the amount of contact we have with other people. If somebody makes you uncomfortable then it’s easy to avoid contact with them. This kind of luxury is not always available in real life.

The sense of not being in control is a major component in social anxiety, and socializing via the Internet means that you don’t have to confront those fears, but can simply avoid them. At the end of the day, it is so much easier to chat online than look straight in the eyes of someone who makes us feel intimidated.

Finally, many of us are prone to a little laziness and sometimes it is easier to chat with friends online rather than dress up and go out. If there’s a job to be done, then the Internet or a quick hand of Solitaire can be a great way of wasting time while the bills pile up and the dust accumulates.

Out with Computers, in with Communication

It’s time to take control of your use of all the high-tech equipment available today. Don’t be an Internet victim, don’t turn into a high-tech junkie, but learn how to use these tools efficiently without letting them take over your life. There are, after all, so many advantages to our use of computers in modern life.

There is evidence to suggest that making friends via the Internet gives people a far more diverse range of acquaintances than was previously possible. Increased contact with people from different walks of life, different age groups, background, nationality and race can only be beneficial, even if we may never meet most of them in person.

The Internet has also made it so much easier to find answers to questions. Whether it is a health question, a parenting concern, educational worries, there is no shortage of advice out there. We can easily ask people who have experienced similar problems or situations to give us some pointers. There are tons of people out there who are happy to help and to give of their time.

Internet has also been instrumental in reconnecting people suffering from physical or mental illness with others in similar situations and people who used to feel alone now have the support of networks all over the world.

What Can I Do to Change?

In our social lives, it is important to find a balance between an Internet social network and the real life social network of friends and colleagues.

It is time to call a halt to some bad habits, such as checking email every hour and logging on to Twitter and Facebook 20 times a day. It’s unnecessary and it’s time, which could be better spent elsewhere.

If you are not spending all day every day on your computer then you are going to spend it somewhere else. Think back to the days before all the mobile technology we have today. People got by and they had friends and family to help with problems. If you feel that you are using the Internet excessively as an escape from other aspects of your life, then it might be time to start talking rather than typing.

Getting out into the community can bring many rewards. Visiting friends or going out for coffee or a bite to eat, all of these elements can help to bring a positive change to your life. It’s too easy to become engrossed in the world of Internet when there’s a whole world right outside the front door!

Author: Pat Tate

As a senior Pat Tate started to explore Internet Marketing. She uses her blog as a journal to keep track of the people and programs that she has met along the way. Grandma’s Internet Marketing/blog

She is an avid golfer and invites women to join her to talk golf at Women’s Golf Center

She has always loved toys and as the proud Grandmother of five beautiful Grandchildren she gets to play with new ones. Grandma’s Toy Review

Profanity filter for WordPress

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We’re working on a new version of our website at work.  We currently use Intense Debate for comments – but we want to leverage Buddy Press more – so we chose to go with the built in stuff.  That being said – we need a profanity filter – I think we’ll give this one a try.

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