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Building Client Relationships: What To Do And What Not To Do

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By Maria Thimothy, Sr. Consultant at OneIMS, helps businesses grow by creating and capturing demand and managing and nurturing relationships.

Relationships are complicated. How many times have we heard that sentence or even believed it or experienced it to be true? Businesses, however, are often under the misconception that business relationships are simple, transactional, and black and white.
If your goal is not only to establish transactional connections with clients but actually also to foster and develop them into long-term mutually beneficial business relationships, then you have to actively build them. Since not all clients have the same needs, it is up to us to find a way to tailor our approach and ensure that we serve our client’s primary and secondary needs, and even some needs they don’t know they have.

Learn: Study Your Client
The first step in establishing any long-lasting relationship is to learn about your potential new partner. You cannot build good business ties unless you really find out how your clients and their businesses operate. This is especially important in the digital marketing industry, where we work with a wide range of clients from many different business backgrounds, and two are seldom alike.
It is important to dig deep to understand the market within which your client is trying to compete and do research to find out more about competitors as well as the industry at large. This way, from the start, you can approach them from a place of knowledge. On top of this, however, you also need to get to know your individual client and their business model, practices, and short- and long-term goals.

You may find that they come to you for marketing advice, but they have no idea who their competition is or they’re unaware that their operational systems are actually holding them back from taking their business to the next level. This brings us to our second point.
Educate: Give Relevant Advice
Although some of the advice you give may not fall into your remit, the reason they hired you to begin with is that you have studied their background, so you will be able to go above and beyond your role to really deliver tailored guidance and services. In fact, you may find that some of the advice you give will not directly benefit your business in terms of profitability.
For example, if you highlight to them that their legacy systems are in desperate need of an upgrade, you may have to refer them to a third-party business to help them improve their IT infrastructure. While this clearly does not impact your bottom line directly, it will impact your clients and therefore yours indirectly. The more successful the business overall, the better their chances of survival, and the more likely the chances are for a long-term relationship with you.
Furthermore, your client will see that your advice and interest in the success of their business is not simply narrowed down to how you can make money by offering a service to them, but rather that the service you provide is all about looking at the bigger picture to help improve profitability for all. In this way, you will become a trusted advisor known for giving reliable advice in the best interest of your client, and the next time they have a problem or question, they will be more likely to turn to you for feedback, rather than others who do not really listen and are only looking out for themselves. 
Keep Some Things To Yourself 
“Know your audience” is very useful advice. While it is important to know your client and their business well and provide well-rounded advice, you also want to avoid going too far in this direction and overstepping your remit. Whether you are doing your research and getting to know your client or you have been working together for a while now, you may come across issues that you think need fixing. However, if this list becomes too long, it can be tricky to determine what you should communicate to your client and what you should keep to yourself.
You want to avoid providing too many “fixes” that can come across as “hard sells,” especially if they require a large upfront monetary investment from your client. When you are confronted by this conundrum, be conservative in your advice, and err on the side of caution. Float a few ideas for changes or upgrades, and see how the client responds. Listen to their requirements, and based on this feedback, give a few (three maximum) pieces of advice and keep the rest to yourself. This way, you avoid overwhelming your client. Once they have had time to think and respond, you can always further develop or provide more advice from there. 
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Remember that getting to know your client should always be a give and take. You want to keep the lines of communication open between yourself and your clients. Always listen and ask for feedback, but don’t be afraid to provide pertinent and pithy advice even if unsolicited.
Giving your honest advice about what may need improving in your client’s business will generally be seen as a sign of goodwill and will help build rapport and trust. It is true that sometimes the advice you give will not be directly beneficial to you; however, it will help strengthen your client relationship in the long term, which is always beneficial to all parties involved.

Three Tips For Creating An Irresistible Job Résumé

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By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plug-in for Google Analytics.

Your résumé is vital to the success of your career. There’s no way around it; when your résumé is created with care, you’ll have an easier time finding a job that fits your needs from a financial and self-growth standpoint. 
Many people think that the old way of building a job résumé is still just as valid as it was decades ago. The truth is, things have changed a lot throughout the years. Employers now have the power of the internet to search for applicants in seconds, and with over 4.66 billion internet users worldwide, competition is fierce.

Today we will look at three tips you should keep in mind when creating your résumé and sharing it on digital job boards. 
Let’s dive in! 
1. Trim Unnecessary Information
First, you should eliminate unnecessary information from your résumé. In college and throughout high school, we were told that every good résumé needs to start with an objective. The purpose of this section is to show potential employers what we want from our lives so they can judge whether our goals align with their own. The reality is the objective section of your résumé is likely causing employers to skip over your application. 

Employers today know that countless people have the exact same objective, rendering this piece of information obsolete. Instead of adding filler content to your résumé, use this opportunity to display your relevant job skills. 
You should also consider removing your accolades if they are technologically outdated. For instance, an IT specialist will not find it impressive that you’re a master of Windows 2000. Your skills must be relevant to the job and current technology. 
2. Invest In Online Courses
While we are on the topic of skills, let’s talk about the importance of taking classes and earning certifications. There are plenty of online courses available that can help you develop your skills as a professional. Research your industry and find courses that interest you and are relevant to your field. 
Online classes can help you sharpen your skills and write a killer résumé. If an employer is thinking about hiring you, seeing that you are certified in a topic relevant to the job can seal the deal. 
For instance, if you wanted to hire a social media specialist for your online business and 100 people applied, you would likely instantly remove the people who are not certified. Employers will filter potential hires based on their experience, so additional training and certifications will make you stand out from everyone else. 
3. Use Keywords For Visibility
When you think of keywords, you probably think of search engine optimization (SEO) for a blog or business. It might surprise you to learn that using the right keywords in your application can improve your chances of landing a job. 
In most cases, businesses post their listing to online job boards where participants can apply when they are ready. Employers can search through applications and filter candidates who haven’t yet applied on job board hubs. 
Adding the right keywords to your profile and résumé can instantly improve your market visibility. In other words, if someone needs to find an employee and searches the database, they may come across your profile because you used the right language in the résumé you uploaded. 
I suggest including words or phrases that are relevant to your industry throughout the job listing. If you’re looking for a job as a writer, you’ll want to include plenty of relevant primary and secondary keywords about writing. This slight adjustment could put you in a position where employers are coming to you instead of the other way around. 
Back To You
These three tips will not guarantee you a job, but they will give you an edge in a competitive market jam-packed with qualified candidates. As your career grows, don’t forget to make changes to your skills, add certifications and update your references. When you’re done, you’ll have established yourself as an experienced, educated and qualified candidate.

Providing Clarity And Connection In The Face Of Uncertainty

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By John Berkowitz, CEO and co-founder of OJO Labs, the first end-to-end platform for buying and selling homes at scale.

I’ve always believed that the very best companies start with the best people. The best people are looking for more than a job. They seek a vibrant culture, a place to learn, grow and contribute — and a place where they might have an outsized impact on the world. 
The headquarters of my company was built with the best people in mind. Our mission was emblazoned on the wall in the lobby entrance, the first thing you’d see in the morning and an end-of-day reminder beckoning you back. As our company grew, the values and behaviors that support our mission came to life through the day-to-day interactions in our workspace. With frequent breakout brainstorms on the patio, dogs bringing joy and warmth to our space and roaring lunchtime laughter in the kitchen, the energy and camaraderie were palpable. 

Then the pandemic hit. Our once-bustling locations were suddenly empty. We were forced to put company culture through the ultimate pressure test as our entire workforce went 100% remote, like so many others fortunate enough to work from the safety of home. Without physical offices to serve as cultural hubs, we had to rethink employee engagement from top to bottom. At the same time, what our people needed most from leadership and each other had changed drastically. 
Faced with so much uncertainty around us, we knew company culture was a vital aspect of this transition. We also needed to provide clarity and connection — and we had to do it with team members in hundreds of locations. The approach was similar to that of a hard tech problem, where we knew not everything would work; we’d double down on things that were successful and fail forward trying. Guided by our company value “relentlessly improve,” we were unafraid to test new paths even though we were unsure of the outcomes. 

1. Foster Culture Beyond The Office Walls 
After making what, at the time, was an early decision to close the office, we did what every other company did. At least at first. We logged into Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting. We leaned even more heavily on Slack to get things done. These were lifelines, but online tools and forums couldn’t replicate the energy and serendipity of our physical office spaces. 
So we spun up new ways to come together. Two engineers launched a grassroots morning talk show, bringing a recruiter on as producer. Their show is now both wildly popular and core to our culture. We launched a virtual workout program and hosted office pet meet-and-greets. We ultimately learned more about our colleagues as beautifully whole people.
We created new traditions that felt right for us. And we doubled down on some things that had always been a priority, like providing employees with the time and space to be their best selves. We built on our unlimited paid time off policy by shutting down operations for a week in July, when racial reckoning and political unrest had reached new heights. We made the decision to recognize Election Day as a companywide holiday from here on out. These changes have had a massive impact on our team — we’ve found a way to come together and support each other even without an office space to call home.
2. Provide Clarity In The Face Of Uncertainty 
Beyond bringing our culture online, we knew we needed to step up and lead in new ways. While we couldn’t offer complete certainty, we could provide clarity to cut through the noise and put our teammates at ease. In times of crisis, your first instinct may be to protect employees from the turbulent highs and lows, but bringing them along for the ride fosters trust and calms the waters. Transparent by nature, we committed to being transparent by design, bringing our whole company into the most consequential decisions and discussions happening at the executive level.
When we took on the seemingly impossible task of raising funding amid a global pandemic and closing a massive acquisition, we were upfront with our team about the opportunities in front of us and also the risks we were taking by pursuing them. The outcome was uncertain, but our employees had the clarity they needed. We went in with eyes wide open and incredibly optimistic. 
3. Create Meaningful Connections 
The work we do at my company directly impacts the lives of homebuyers and owners. It’s important to remember, especially when so much is in flux and it’s easy to get stuck (or completely lost) in the weeds. With so much going on, it’s so easy to lose sight of what you’re working toward. So we set out to create meaningful connections between teams and our broader purpose. 
We launched a series of workshops to engage people across departments in research, ideation and execution around our purpose. These workshops not only helped us become more focused as a business but also gave employees an opportunity to reconnect with the organization and remind each of us what we are working toward each day. 
In addition, we brought in speakers to educate the company on the challenges facing homebuyers and owners today. We held seminars on topics from inequality in the real estate industry to how we can promote anti-racism in corporate America. Each session laddered back to our overarching purpose to level the playing field for all homebuyers, owners and sellers and gave employees actionable steps on how they can make an impact.
Looking Ahead
The changes we’ve made in the wake of the pandemic aren’t Band-Aid solutions. As an organization, we recognize that the future of work has changed forever — and we’re embracing that. We have no expectations of returning to corporate life before the pandemic. We’re creating a new playbook. We’re redefining what it means to be an employee for our company, and this, in many ways, feels like the opportunity of a lifetime.

No Coding, No Problem: How Anyone Can Be a Tech Founder

No engineering background required.
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December 3, 2020 3 min read
This story appears in the December 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Entrepreneurs of the future may seem a lot more tech savvy…while also being a lot less technically savvy. It’s thanks to a movement called No Code, and it could change how business is built.
With a spate of new tools that don’t require writing code, anyone can build a website, launch a mobile app, customize an e-commerce shopping experience, or even create a logo. “You don’t need to have a computer science degree to start a tech company. You just need an idea,” says Brianne Kimmel (pictured), whose VC fund, Worklife, has invested in these platforms. “The first No Code conference was just a year ago, so it’s very new. But it’s been fascinating to see, during COVID, the number of family members sitting down at the dinner table and starting a mini tech company.”
Related: How to Tell Whether Emerging Tech Is Worth Your Startup’s Time
The tools also saved many existing local businesses this year by making it easy to shift online, a trend Kimmel predicts will continue, considering the web’s expanded market. In fact, Zapier, a platform that lets users connect their apps, found that among the fastest growing tools this year were Netlify, Webflow, Leadpages, and Squarespace — all of which, Zapier cofounder Wade Foster says, “speaks to the acceleration of apps that help small businesses sell more.”
Bianca Padilla and Jonathan Magolnick know this from experience. They founded Carewell, a site that sells adult care products, based on an idea they had on their first-ever date in 2015. (They’re now married.) Initially, they kept their personal story hidden, figuring it made the site seem less professional. Then they realized customers responded well to their personal touch, so they overhauled how they interact with them — and the entire back end of that is now run by Kustomer, a no-code customer engagement tool. “In one month, we launched the new site, bought a home, and got married,” Padilla says. “It was crazy!” 
Related: 3 Employee Traits That Help Scale a Tech Business
What’s next in No Code? Founders may not have to wait for someone else to build the tools. This year OpenAI released GPT-3, which can write code all by itself. “GPT-3’s mind-­boggling performance has convinced many that superintelligence is closer than we think,” reports Towards Data Science. Maybe super-­entrepreneurship is, too.

What To Know Before You Start A Gold Or Precious Metals Business

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By Tyler Gallagher, CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, an international alternative assets firm with offices in Beverly Hills, Toronto, London and Dubai.

Selling gold and precious metals can be a highly lucrative endeavor if done right. In fact, it’s a $182 billion industry that’s expected to grow a whopping 9% per year until 2027. But far too often, I see entrepreneurs try to gain a foothold in the market only to fold within their first year.
That’s because a precious metals professional lives and dies by their reputation. To keep your name respected in the industry, you have to master the ins and outs of sourcing, testing and estimating your bullion, coinage and jewelry. 

As the founder of a precious metals investment company, I’ve decided to put together a quick guide to the must-know aspects of the industry for hopeful entrepreneurs. If you can get these basic ground rules down, you already have a head start on a good chunk of your competition. 
Let’s start with where you source the metals. 

Over time, your long-term goal is to forge relationships with large precious metals wholesalers. This is when your margins really start to grow and you can scale your business rapidly. But until you’ve amassed a decent amount of capital to get an account with the market-makers (mid-seven figures), you have to start smaller. The market-makers buy directly from the mints.
But you aren’t there yet. In the beginning, you have to start with the public retail showrooms, auction houses or pawnshops to source your gold and precious metals. Check with your local auction houses to see if they sell jewelry or scrap jewelry. See if you can work out a deal with your local midsized pawnshops to buy their scrap metals at 100% value. Then, Google if your state hosts safety deposit box auctions to source low-cost, high-quality metal from unpaid bank accounts.
I recommend staying away from eBay, Craiglist and classified ads if you want to avoid scammers and frauds. Stick to trusted, local-level suppliers where you have due recourse if you run into a bad actor. 
Now, let’s talk testing. When you’re buying wholesale off the major distributors and market-makers, testing becomes less important because the suppliers themselves work with independent analysts to test the authenticity of their bullion. Pawnshop and auction metals absolutely must be tested via any of the following methods:
• Electronic testing.
• X-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing.
• Acid testing.
It’s not enough to check for hallmarks on your bullion or coinage. These days, those can be faked pretty easily. Take it a step further by hand-testing your gold, silver or platinum’s chemical properties using an acid testing kit. Here’s a great guide to DIY acid testing for absolute beginners who want a quick testing method using low-cost materials.
Electronic testing is a better method for testing low-carat metals (14-carat or lower), but they can sometimes misinterpret a gold- or silver-plated metal for the genuine article. If you want to take this route, there are plenty of electronic testing devices available on Amazon for $200 or less.
Last, portable XRF tests are the most expensive option, but they’re highly reliable. They involve spectrometers that can detect the authenticity of a metal in 10 seconds or less, but they run several thousand dollars and even well into the five-figure range for a decent piece of equipment. I strongly recommend acquiring an XRF device at your earliest opportunity because it’s bar none the most reliable method of testing.
Last, you need to be able to accurately determine a precious metal’s value. As an entrepreneur, your goal is to buy low and sell at a profit, so it’s imperative that you understand the true value of the scrap metal you’re buying, refining and selling. 
Mobile apps or desktop services can be a huge help for estimating your metal’s value. As a rule, the closer you get to 24-carat gold, the more valuable by weight it’ll be. 
In the industry, we rely on this formula for estimating the price per gram (PPG) of gold:
Current spot price x purity (in carats) x (PPG you’re paying the supplier) / 31.1 = market gold PPG
This is a great back-of-the-envelope method of manually calculating the market value of your gold based on the spot price. Simply take the finished PPG and multiply by its weight to get the true market value of your gold that’s ready for sale to the customer.
Becoming A Precious Metals Professional
Once you’re doing seven-figure annual sales, you might be able to cut deals directly with the big gold and silver market-makers. Until then, the long road to becoming an accredited precious metals investor starts with frequenting your local auction houses, pawnshops and estate sales. From there, it’s a matter of rigorous testing and estimating to establish yourself as a trusted name in the business.
The road to success for a precious metals business owner can feel long and arduous, but it’s well worth it. It’s an evergreen industry that’s been around for millennia — if you can carve out a slice of the market for yourself, you might one day be able to turn your hustle into a full-blown brokerage or wholesaler.

Giving your storytelling impact: it’s all in the delivery

30-second summary:
The final stage of the storytelling process involves going beyond defining and structuring your story, to thinking about the actual delivery
Delivering a story in the right way – with a combination of passion, confidence and conviction – can be extremely powerful, creating an emotional response that compels the buyer to take action
There are some simple steps you can take to deliver your story in the most impactful way possible, including setting the scene in advance, building personal credibility, engaging the audience, and closing with confidence
This should equip you with everything you need to start transforming buyer experiences throughout the sales cycle with the power of story.

If you’re reading this, you’ve made it through to the third and final instalment of our B2B storytelling journey. We started by discussing the importance of laying the groundwork for storytelling success or, more specifically, getting to know your buyer.
The level of noise and competition in the industry is greater than ever, making it vital that you tell the right story, to the right buyer, at the right time. It’s certainly a tricky challenge, and one that requires you to know your buyers better than they know themselves.
This will enable you to understand their specific needs, in turn putting you in the best position to develop a story that will truly resonate.

We then outlined the three key elements of an effective storytelling structure that will help any seller stay on point when interacting with buyers. An effective story structure should clearly outline the key points that you are trying to get across, empowering you to tell a story that drives more effective selling by moving buyers through the sales cycle.
Like all good things, this journey must come to an end, but there’s still one important step left to take – arguably the most important step – in the storytelling process. That is, of course, the delivery.

Related Content

Time to deliver
Once you have the foundations in place, you must then be able to deliver the story in a way that is engaging, memorable and persuasive. We recommend going beyond just defining your story, to thinking about how you actually deliver that story so that you are the only option for the buyer.
This is vital, as how you say something can often be more powerful than what you are actually saying. And it all comes down to confidence and conviction. Delivering a story with confidence means that you know your story, while delivering with conviction shows buyers that you believe what you are saying.
This makes it more likely that they will buy into you and the brand you represent. Deliver your story with confidence and conviction – along with a liberal dose of passion – and you’ll be amazed at the response you receive.
This is all made possible by the hard work that has come before. The combination of preparation, structure and passion creates a unique superpower known as “situational fluency,” meaning there is nothing that can throw you off your game.
You can adapt the delivery based upon how the buyer engages without sacrificing the outcome you are driving for. You can address any potential speed bump without losing focus of your story.
Although it’s not always easy to achieve, there are some simple steps that will help you deliver a story in the most impactful way possible.
1. Set the scene
Find out in advance who will be in the meeting, how much time you’ll have and how the meeting will be conducted. If it’s a virtual meeting, make sure you’ve addressed all the technical elements and have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
Make sure you understand both the customer’s business and industry. Review recent press releases, news articles and any relevant industry reports so that you can deliver the most appropriate story and present yourself as a trusted advisor.
Finally, quiz your contact on what the perfect solution or demonstration would look like for their organization and specifically ask what the buyer would like to see. A one-size-fits-all demo is never an effective one, so this step is crucial to ensuring that you can put your best foot forward.
2. Kick-off professionally
Start by introducing all the participants and summarize what you will be showing the buyer. Confirm that this aligns with the buyer’s expectations for the meeting, so you can be confident that they’ll be interested in your story.
Consider stating the customer’s three to five most critical needs, and then demonstrating the entire flow of your proposed solution if requested. Finally, summarize your understanding of “what’s not working” to establish the current situation.
3. Build personal and brand credibility
Use the next few minutes to differentiate yourself and your company from the competition. Leverage the power of your personal credentials, customer references and breadth of offerings to build trust.
Consider personalizing an opening slide with a logo or quote from a customer that is similar to the buyer to provide early validation. Remember to outline that customer’s pain points and how your solution overcame them.
4. Engage the audience
Make a point of addressing all customer attendees at least once or twice, and highlight how what you’re showing is of value to them. Supplement this with periodic “pause for questions” to confirm you are addressing the buyer’s needs and interests, allow for questions, and clear up any confusions.
As you move through the demo, map what you’re discussing to the buyer’s pain points and express the associated value by confidently stating “what this means to you is X.” Weave in customer success stories and anecdotes to illustrate your experience and expertise.
5. Separate yourself from the competition
When it comes to competitors, be professional and factual, not slanderous. Reference information on your competitors that’s available in the public domain where possible, and use that to explain how your product or solution differs.
Linked to this, sales reps should be sure to ask prospective buyers if they can address any concerns about the company or product offering that competitors may have previously planted.
6. Close with confidence
At the end of the session, recap what you just discussed with the buyer, along with the associated value behind it. Ask open-ended questions to understand how accurately you addressed the buyer’s needs and pain points, revisiting any segments of the story if required.
Sales reps should finish by asking for contact information they don’t already have if higher-level decision makers are attending for the first time, identify any actions for both parties, and establish the timeframe for making a decision.
And that brings us to the end of our storytelling series. You should now be equipped with everything you need to start transforming buyer experiences throughout the sales cycle with the power of story. All that’s left now is for you to go and do it.
Brian Cotter serves as the SVP, Sales Engineering of Seismic Software. Brian started at Seismic in January of 2019.

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Elon Musk is no longer the second richest person in the world, look who beat him

The Tesla mogul fell to third place in the Forbes billionaire rankings and is further and further away from Jeff Bezos.
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March 5, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
This was not a good day for Elon Musk , as he lost his position as the second richest person in the world . The Tesla CEO’s fortune posted losses of about $ 6.2 billion , dropping him to third in the Forbes billionaire rankings .
Musk’s losing streak began on Wednesday, as at the end of the day he had lost around 6.5 billion dollars . The mogul stayed at number three for several hours until this morning, when fluctuations in the stock market helped him recover and return to the position he held.
However, today’s session was not in its favor, as Tesla shares fell close to 5% . Now, your net worth is 150.900 million, while last February 17 was 191,000 billion.
Although this could be normal behavior for the stock market and it is very possible that it will rebound in the near future, for now he will have to give the crown to another billionaire.

Source: Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List
With Elon Musk fighting two consecutive days of losses, now the second richest person in the world is the Frenchman Bernard Arnault , owner of the conglomerate LVMH , with a fortune of 155.600 million dollars .
The LVMH group encompasses more than 70 luxury brands . These include Louis Vuitton , Christian Dior , Fendi , Givenchy , Marc Jacobs , Fenty Beauty , Bvlgari , Tiffany & Co. and Sephora.
Until last month, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos took turns ranking first and second on Forbes’ billionaires list. However, now the founder of Amazon surpasses the CEO of SpaceX by nearly $ 25 billion , as his current net worth is $ 175.4 billion .
Just 10 days ago, on February 24, Tesla fell 25% and Elon Musk lost more than $ 15 billion in a single day . At that time, the 49-year-old tycoon’s fortune was $ 166.1 billion .