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Tesla Model 3 Loses EV Incentive in the U.K.

Tesla’s Model 3 has been excluded from the U.K.’s electric vehicle incentive.

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March
18, 2021

3 min read

This story originally appeared on ValueWalk

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) took a hit in the U.K. when the government excluded its Model 3 from the electric vehicle incentive. The car was the best-selling EV in the country, so it’s a major blow for the U.S. automaker.The U.K. excludes Tesla’s Model 3 from incentiveAccording to Electrek, the U.K. was Tesla’s largest market in Europe last year, with approximately one-quarter of all European deliveries and more than 24,000 vehicles delivered there. More than 22,000 of the Teslas delivered in the U.K. last year were Model 3s, making the car the U.K.’s best-selling vehicle overall in December. The Model 3’s popularity is one of the reasons the U.K. saw such a tremendous surge in EV sales in 2020.One of the reasons Tesla sold so many Model 3s in the U.K. last year was due to incentives on EV purchases, including a £3,000 grant and tax incentives. Today the British government changed the incentive program, reducing the grant to £2,500 and reducing the cap for price eligibility from £50,000 to £35,000.The Model 3 starts at £40,500, which means it will no longer be eligible for the U.K.’s incentive program for electric vehicles. The change occurred suddenly, and automakers only learned about the change today.Targeting TeslaA source with the U.K. government told The Times that lawmakers made the change specifically to target Tesla. The person referred to the incentive as “the Tesla subsidy,” adding that “taxpayers should not be subsidizing people to buy £50,000 cars.”Electrek reported earlier this week that the automaker actually lobbied the government for more incentives on electric vehicles, including higher taxes on gasoline-powered cars and diesel-powered trucks. Tesla also wanted the government to provide tax exemptions and continue the grants on EV purchases. U.K. lawmakers are also considering banning all new vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2030.Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the biggest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families. CEO Elon Musk took the helm at the automaker in 2008, also serving as product architect at the time. He led Tesla’s Series A funding round in 2004 and joined its board of directors as its chairman.Musk is battling Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for the title of the wealthiest person in the world. He briefly surpassed Bezos to take the title, but declines in Tesla’s stock price have taken a bite out of his net worth. Tesla shares declined another 3% in morning trading today. The automaker’s shares remain well below their 52-week high of about $900.

The Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Could Push GDP Growth to About 10 Percent, Say Economists

Online shopping, restaurant bookings, and employment gains are up.

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March
18, 2021

3 min read

This story originally appeared on ValueWalk

The third stimulus checks of $1,400 are on their way, and could prove to be a lifeline for millions of people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In turn, coronavirus stimulus checks could also give a boost to GDP growth by as much as 10%, believe many Wall Street analysts.Speaking to Yahoo Finance Live, Markowska said the January retail sales proved the existence of the “tremendous propensity” to spend stimulus checks.”I think the economy is in great shape. We are going to see the data continue to surprise on the upside probably for the next three or four months,” Markowska said.Wall Street analysts are bullish on the U.S. economy following the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Jefferies chief financial economist Aneta Markowska believes the economy is on track for “pretty strong growth” and is expecting GDP growth of 9.5% in the first quarter and about 7% this year.Markowska uses several indicators to track economic activity, such as online shopping, restaurant bookings, employment gains/losses, and more. All these indicators have started to show encouraging signs in recent weeks.Goldman Sachs’ chief economist Jan Hatzius is also bullish on economic growth. The economist reiterated his forecast of 7.7% GDP growth this year. Hatzius estimates the first-quarter growth to be 5.5%, and then accelerating 11% in the second quarter. The third and fourth quarter growth is expected to be 8.5% and 6%, respectively.Related: Beware: Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check Could Be Garnished by Debt CollectorsConsumer spending to boost economyEconomic data also supports the bullish view of analysts. In February, nonfarm payrolls were up by 379,000, well above the 200,000 expected. Private payrolls were 456,000, against the estimates of 200,000. The unemployment rate also dropped from January’s 6.3% to 6.2%. Hatzius expects the unemployment rate to hit 4.1% by year’s end.“The main reason that we expect a hiring boom this year is that reopening, fiscal stimulus, and pent-up savings should fuel very strong demand growth,” Hatzius said in a new report titled The Coming Jobs Boom.However, for the coronavirus stimulus checks to stimulate the economy, it is important that people spend them the right way, i.e. to buy goods and services. A national survey found that more than half of Americans will use their checks to pay for food, about 44% on utilities, and 35% on household supplies.Such spending would have a direct impact on the economy. In case the stimulus money flows into the stock market, or is used to pay debt, then it may not directly benefit the economy.A recent survey from Deutsche Bank found that young adults plan to spend about half of their stimulus checks on stocks. An online survey of 430 young adults using online broker platforms found that half of the respondents between 25 and 34 years of age plan to put half of their stimulus check payment into stocks.

Facebook Will Crack Down on Groups That Break Its Rules Repeatedly

The company also won’t recommend political and civic groups to users globally.

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March
18, 2021

2 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

Facebook is taking one of its most significant steps to limit the influence and reach of problematic groups. On Wednesday, the company announced a long list of policy changes that will impose new restrictions on individuals and communities who repeatedly break its rules.The most visible of those changes is a new notification people will see when joining groups with past Community Standards violations. The message will prompt you to review a group before joining — though you’re not obligated to do so. Simultaneously, Facebook will limit invite notifications from those groups. Those who are already in such communities will see content from the group appear lower in their News Feed. “We think these measures as a whole, along with demoting groups in recommendations, will make it harder to discover and engage with groups that break our rules,” the company said.FacebookFacebook also plans to put more pressure on moderators to take their responsibilities seriously. In groups with a “substantial” number of people who have violated the company’s policies in the past or were part of communities Facebook shut down, admins and moderators will have to temporarily approve all posts. Moderators who repeatedly approve content that breaks the company’s rules will see the entire group banned.Related: Facebook Starts Helping Users Find and Book COVID-19 VaccinationsFacebook will also impose new restrictions on especially problematic individuals. Someone with repeat violations in groups won’t be able to post or comment in any of them between seven or 30 days. They’ll also lose the ability to invite other people to a group, as well as the capability to create new ones.Lastly, the company won’t recommend civic and political groups to users globally. That’s a policy change that builds on one Facebook put in place ahead of the 2020 US presidential election. The company decided to make that move permanent in the aftermath of the January 6th US Capitol riot. Facebook will roll out all of the above changes over the coming months.

3 Appetizing Restaurant Stocks to Buy Right Now

With hiring up, stimulus checks in the mail, and more people getting vaccinated, things are looking much better for dining in.

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March
18, 2021

5 min read

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

A year ago, going out to eat at a restaurant was an activity met with serious concern. With so many question marks about the pandemic and widespread efforts to maintain social distance, many of these businesses were put through the wringer and saw sharp declines in sales. This led investors to take a cautious approach to restaurant stocks given the uncertainty about what the industry would look like in the future.Fast forward one year and today, restaurant stocks are looking much more attractive. One promising sign includes the recent report from The Department of Labor which stated that bars and restaurants hired 286,000 employees in February. It’s also worth considering that more people are getting vaccinated every day and many Americans have received stimulus checks, which could both be catalysts that help the restaurant industry bounce back soon. If you are interested in adding some investment exposure to the restaurant industry, keep reading on for a list of 3 appetizing restaurant stocks to buy now.Related: McDonald’s Stock Looks Appetizing in 2021Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM)First on our list is Yum Brands, a restaurant stock that could deliver tasty gains going forward. The company operates one of the largest quick-service restaurant systems that includes well-known names such as KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. While the company’s sales have been disrupted by the impacts of the pandemic, Yum Brands has adapted to the circumstances well by implementing things like mobile ordering and third-party delivery partners. The company reported record digital sales in 2020 totaling $17 billion, which represents a 45% year-over-year increase. It seems that the pivot towards digital sales channels is already paying off, which is something investors can expect to continue long after the pandemic.With over 50,000 restaurants in over 150 countries and territories, this is a company that offers investors exposure to several emerging markets that should drive growth over the long term.  The stock also offers a dividend yield of 1.84% at this time and has a 3-year dividend growth rate (CAGR) of over 14%, which makes it a great option for those investors looking for extra income. Yum Brands stock has been trading sideways for months but just rallied to hit new 52-week highs, making it an attractive candidate for investors who are looking for recovery stocks that aren’t overextended.Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG)While you might have to pay up for shares of this fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, the company’s growth prospects and strong brand might make it worth the price. Chipotle serves things like tacos, burritos, salads, and burrito bowls made with fresh ingredients in its 2,760 locations spread throughout the United States. What sets this company apart in the fast-casual restaurant segment is the fact that Chipotle offers high-quality food including naturally raised meats that come from animals that aren’t given antibiotics or hormones.Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the most successful restaurant stocks in recent memory, as the stock has rallied over 1000% over the last 5 years. What’s even more impressive is that the company reported a year-over-year revenue increase of 7.1% to $6 billion in 2020. While other restaurant companies were struggling during the pandemic, Chipotle was growing, which speaks volumes about the company’s brand and management team. This was largely due to the company’s pivot to digital sales, which grew 174.1% and accounted for 46.2% of 2020 sales. Expanded sales channels including delivery platforms and mobile ordering can drive growth for Chipotle for years to come, and the company continues to steadily add new locations including an additional 161 restaurants in 2020.Domino’s Pizza Inc (NYSE: DPZ)If you haven’t noticed the recurring theme of our list of appetizing stocks, all of the companies featured here offer robust delivery services. That includes Domino’s Pizza, the leader in the pizza delivery business. The truth is that consumer habits have likely changed forever when it comes to dining out. While in-person dining volumes will return at some point, a company like Domino’s that has been aggressively investing in its e-commerce platform and taking advantage of how popular online ordering has gotten is poised to deliver strong results for long-term shareholders.This stock was one of the big winners of the pandemic but has fallen 16.6% from its highs over the past few months. The selloff could potentially be a strong buying opportunity, especially given the company’s market-leading position and consistent earnings growth. For FY 2020, Domino’s reported global retail sales growth of 10.4% along with Diluted EPS of $12.39, up 29.6% year-over-year. This is one of the more appetizing restaurant stocks to buy right now, and even when the pandemic has been eradicated, it’s safe to say that people won’t stop ordering pizza anytime soon.

4 Customer Experience Trends Your Business Needs to Consider

March
18, 2021

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

From talking to hundreds of business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders over the last year, one thing is clear: How to best serve our customers as a company is in a state of flux. Recognizing and accepting that the ways we operated in the past might not serve our business or our customers in the best way in the landscape of the future of business is crucial.While the pandemic may have accelerated the uptake of digitalization out of necessity, we need to realize that things will never go back to exactly the way they were before. Nor should they. We must incorporate our learnings into how we do business in the future. Digitalization isn’t necessarily depersonalization. It might even lead to a highly personalized customer experience. A State of Customer Engagement 2021 report by Twilio surveyed 2,500 decision-makers at companies with greater than 500 employees. Some 96 percent of respondents said that not digitizing customer engagement would have negatively impacted their business, and even more interestingly 95 percent expected to maintain or increase their investment in digital customer engagement after the global health crisis ends. The race to embrace digital transformation continues, and as a business, you need to keep up.Related: Here’s How (and Why) You Should Get Your Enterprise’s Customer Experience Ready for the Post-Covid-19 WorldThe customer is in the driver’s seatMany of us have had the experience of talking about a specific topic, maybe a car that we wanted, while next to our smartphone and suddenly, we are being fed ads for cars through social media. Whilst this may be useful, it can also feel intrusive and become wearing. This kind of unwanted messaging can give digitalization a bad name.True personalization is not about using customer data to send people unwanted messaging. This personalization takes place with the customer’s consent and request. The customer is at the wheel and the company has the systems in place to give the customer what they want — whether that is having restaurant food delivered at a specific dropoff point or having a virtual Nike retail employee help a customer order their perfect pair of trainers from home.The customer controls how they communicate and when they communicate with the company.Related: Why a Personal Customer Experience Is Critical to Your Business’s SuccessDigital will not replace analog – it will enhance itThe future is a hybrid world. The best of both worlds.Many of us are digitally fatigued. Hours a day spent on Zoom or other videoconferencing services, lack of human contact, technical difficulties. In my opinion part of the reason for the fatigue is that it is forced upon us. But when we can finally go back to the option of in-person communication, the element of choice becomes important.Personally, I think it would be hard to justify constant flying and traveling around the country and internationally, to have in-person meetings. The time and resources spent on this would no longer be quite as accepted in the “new normal.” Not least because we need to be more conscious about the impact of our carbon footprint on the environment. We will have the option to be more discerning about when in-person is necessary.Even heavily regulated industries are on boardDigitalization is not just the preserve of innovative companies. Many heavily regulated industries, such as financial services, health care and governments, that are usually slow to change have embraced digitalization as well. If traditionally slow-moving or bureaucratic industries are welcoming technology, then, that is even more reason for smaller organizations to follow suit (if they haven’t already).Admittedly, not every company has the budget of a large corporation or a government body. But the key here is innovation. Individuals and small companies have already created amazing solutions to augment existing solutions that don’t require organizational change or a huge budget. A software developer in Massachusetts, for example, built a simple, streamlined, Covid-19 vaccination registration website (while on maternity leave!) The key here is to recognize the opportunity, listen to what people want and create digitized solutions that solve real problems. And look at how to do that with the resources that you have, whether that’s with an individual or a small team.Related: Customer Experience Will Determine the Success of Your CompanyStaying still is not an optionTo build a future intelligent, sustainable business, we need to recognize the trends of the future that are likely to occur and work toward catering to them. Personalization for our customers, based on taking feedback and the resulting information that we learn from it, translated into action is crucial to remain competitive and agile as a business. I suspect that personalization will become the expected “norm.” Technology and digitalization are a way for us to understand and cater to our customers.And it does not need to be a huge cost or complexity for the business. We need to train our employees to develop an open mind and creativity around how they serve the customer well. The question we should ask ourselves is, “How can we use customer insights and data to serve our customers better?”

Wish is already listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange, add some shares to your shopping cart!

Mexican investors can now buy shares of the Wish platform, the ‘unicorn’ of electronic commerce, on the BMV.

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March
18, 2021

3 min read

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

If you are a fan of shopping on the Wish platform (or maybe not), now you can add a few shares of the company to your cart. Since this Tuesday, the ‘unicorn’ of electronic commerce began to be listed in the International Quotation System (SIC) of the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) . As of this March 16, Mexican investors can acquire shares of the company based in San Francisco, California, under the ticker symbol ‘WISH’ , the BMV reported. Founded by Peter Szulczewski and Danny Zhang in 2010, Wish was born as an app to create shopping wish lists with products from different retailers, mainly Asian. “This allowed the technology firm to begin to grow through alliances with merchants through an online market platform (market place), and offer competitive prices to consumers,” said the BMV in a statement. Companies capable of reaching a market value of one billion dollars during their first year of launch, even before going on the market, are called a ‘unicorn’. With more than 300 million clients in more than 120 countries, @WishShopping reaches the Global Market of # LaBolsaDeMéxicoStarting today, in addition to buying their products, you can purchase the shares.Ask your Brokerage House how to do it. pic.twitter.com/g4qFV6fS2W – Mexican Stock Exchange (@BMVMercados) March 16, 2021 Today, Wish has more than 1.5 million products for sale from 500,000 merchants around the world. The platform registers more than 107 million monthly users . The firm debuted on the Nasdaq index on December 16, 2020. It fell about 16% that month, but is already in the process of recovering. So far in 2021 it accumulates a yield of 4.5% . The International Quotation System (SIC) is a platform created by the BMV in 2013 that allows investment from Mexico in stocks and ETFs listed in other markets around the world. With the arrival of Wish , the SIC adds 107 listed values in 2021, among which are Marriot and Epson . At the end of March 12, the SIC of the BMV had a total of 2,681 securities, including shares and ETFs.

Havas CX’s X Index Offers A New And Holistic View Of A Brand’s Customer Experience

The international experience network Havas CX recently launched its X Index, a global barometer of customer experience (CX). When I first heard about it, I did catch myself wondering ….does the world need another way of measuring customer experience, or does it just need to focus on delivering better customer experiences? 
According to Stephanie Nerlich, CEO, Havas Creative North America, however, the world does need another measurement tool and one that will help brands deliver those better experiences. 
Nerlich points out that “As modern consumers, we want what we want—and we want it now. As a consequence, we expect brands to offer us a simple and painless experience. Anything less is unacceptable. Despite these expectations, Havas found there was no way to assess how well brands and industries are performing from a CX perspective across a customer journey. Other companies are doing a general assessment of CX, but no one is analyzing CX across the entire customer journey”.

So, given their experience, Havas CX developed the X Index, in partnership with research institute OpinionWay, to fill that gap and allow brands to both measure and deliver better customer experiences across the whole customer journey.

From my perspective, when I took a closer look at X Index, two things stood out for me.
The first is the index’s ability to provide an insight into the minds of consumers and what they consider important across the customer journey.

In constructing the X Index, Havas CX and OpinionWay analyzed around 40 different criteria across domains such as brand perception, personalization, customer service and the customer’s purchase journey to assess, from a consumers perspective, their importance to their overall customer experience. From those 40 different criteria, they found that 9 of them are significant predictors of CX satisfaction. When combined, these scores make up a brand’s X Index Score.
The nine predictors are:
Brand:

The amount of trust the consumer has in the brand.
Whether the consumer perceives the brand as one that keeps its commitments.

Relationship:

If the brand has taken into account the consumer’s needs and previous experiences to provide them with customized offers. 
The brand’s ability to understand their needs and expectations. 
The quality of customer service received across different channels.

Purchase:

If the purchasing experience was seamless.
If the purchasing experience was simple to understand and action.
Whether the brand was intrusive or not and if they intervened at the right time and in the right way.
If the overall purchasing experience was pleasant.

In and of itself, this is a really useful, research-based list of factors that brands should consider when designing, delivering or evaluating any experience.
However, more importantly, it also shows that the determinants of an overall experience are multi-dimensional and require coordination and collaboration across teams if brands are to get it right.
The second thing is the index’s ability to identify differences in perceptions across countries about what makes up a great customer experience.
Havas CX launched the X Index in 2019, deploying it across three countries – China, France and the United States. However, in 2020 they expanded their coverage to five countries – China, France, India, the United Kingdom and the United States – and surveyed 28,000 consumers about more than 250 brands spread across numerous verticals. 
Their results show that what constitutes a great customer experience is not homogeneous and varies across different countries. 
For example, in France, the UK, and the US, their research shows that the two most important factors in the customer’s experience are the purchasing journey and their perception of the brand.

2020 X Index results for France, UK and the USA

Havas CX

In contrast, customers in China and India place much more weight on personalization and the customer service they receive than any other factor. It is also worth noting that a significant factor in their considerations is also their perception of how brands’ have responded to Covid-19.

2020 X Index results for China and India

Havas CX

Overall, Havas CX’s X Index is a fascinating new tool. 
It offers a powerful insight into what different customers value in different countries and its power will only increase as they add more countries. 
But, it also helps brands think more holistically about their customer’s experience, including how they are performing across different parts of the customer journey and how they stack up against their peers and leaders in other markets.

How to Follow Up With Sales Leads: 8 Best Practices to Land More Clients

It’s go time! Your marketing campaigns have paid off and you’ve been inundated with fresh leads to hopefully turn into sales. That last part hinges on your ability to strategically and effectively follow up on those leads without letting any fall by the wayside or scare them off by coming on too strongly. And effectively following up means doing so multiple times. According to Marketing Donut, 80% of sales leads require five follow-ups after the initial contact, but only 8% of salespeople actually follow up this many times. 

Five times may sound like a lot, but if you approach your leads in the right manner, you can effectively communicate the right messaging to them that puts you in their favor. In this post, we’re going to cover some tips on how to properly follow up with leads and increase your odds of turning them into repeat customers, including:

Segment your leads
Respond in a timely fashion
Nurture leads with useful content
Personalize your communication
Use various communication channels
Create a follow-up schedule
Track communications
Learn when to abandon lost causes
Sales lead follow-up best practices

As you may already know, it’s not only about when you follow up with your leads but also how you follow up with them. You need to consider their stage in your funnel, their pain points and needs, and the timing of your communication. Here are some best practices to help you effectively follow up with sales leads and prospects to win more business.

1. Segment your leads

Each type of lead will require a different level of messaging. Depending on how the lead came to you, it may be hot and ready to close or may need a bit of warming. For example, a lead that comes to you by way of an email opt-in campaign as opposed to a lead that filled out a ‘contact me’ form on your webpage are at different points in the sales funnel and should be approached accordingly.

Organize the leads into at least three groups: Hot, warm, and cold. Seems a bit remedial, but trust us, you’ll want to take note of the leads’ temperatures so that you don’t treat them like one size fits all.

If you’re interested in doing a more robust lead scoring initiative, there are software programs available that will separate your leads based on point values you assign to various consumer behaviors. Move leads from group to group as you get to know them better and move them closer to becoming a paying client.

2. Respond in a timely fashion

Arrange for a thank you or welcome email or phone call to be made within 12-24 hours after a lead comes in. Offer to answer any questions they may have to demonstrate the care and attention you provide to each customer.

3. Nurture your leads with useful content

As is the case with any form of communication with your audience members, no matter what stage of the funnel they’re in, you should always focus on adding value. Blog posts, infographics, helpful stats, success stories, and downloadable guides are all great options. Your leads aren’t going to become customers after one interaction, so focus on nurturing the lead, or “warming” them. Rather than trying to get them to act in the form of converting into a customer, focus on smaller steps, like downloading that guide or visiting that blog post.

Image source

4. Personalize your communication

As you can see in the email example above, it’s a good idea to personalize your correspondence by including the recipient’s name in your emails, sending them information based on the pages visited on your website, or responding personally to an online inquiry instead of pushing canned responses.

5. Use various communication channels

Leads have a preferred way of communicating and quite frankly, you have no idea what that is at this point. Use social media, email, snail-mail, and phone calls to connect with potential clients.

We don’t mean to reach out directly using every single communication tool you have! Just be sure that you’re readily available no matter your lead’s preferred medium. So, respond to social media messages quickly, answer your phone and return calls promptly, and check your inbox.

Here are a few of the communication methods you may try out:

Email: Emails are slightly less invasive than phone calls, and give the lead the opportunity to read and respond at their convenience. Yet given how many emails we get each day, the chances of your email getting lost in the shuffle are high, so it’s important to follow up more than once. In your follow-ups, be sure to use intriguing and appropriate subject lines, and to offer useful content rather than just pitching your offerings.

Phone: Phone call conversations are a great way to show your prospect your expertise and demonstrate that you want what’s best for them. However, you don’t have the phone equivalent of an email subject line to catch your prospect’s attention. In fact, you have the opposite–a foreign number appearing on their phone. With the phone call approach, it’s important that you nail down your voicemail message so that you give your prospect a reason to call you back. Like emails, you’ll also need to call more than once.

Text message: Sending text messages may be better for leads with whom you’ve already communicated. Pay close attention to your conversations with them and base your follow up texts on those needs.

Image source

6. Create a follow-up schedule

Remember, it typically requires 7-10 touches before a conversion happens. Creating a follow-up schedule will ensure you remain consistent with your communications and prevent you from letting the leads you worked so hard to attain fall through the cracks. Your communications calendar should aim to keep you top of mind with your leads but not become a nuisance.

For example, your schedule might look like this:

Emails: once per week
Phone calls: once per month
Face to face: once per quarter
Anything more than that and you run the risk of getting the brush off.

Image source

7. Track communications

If you have a CRM (contact/customer relation management) system, you’re way ahead of the game. CRM’s allow you to keep a record of all customer outreach and the results of those communications. If you don’t have a CRM, no worries – that’s what Excel is for! Simply create a spreadsheet that includes your prospects’ contact information and notes regarding the dates and methods used to nurture those leads.

From LOCALiQ’s Client Center CRM

8. Learn when to abandon lost causes

Qualifying your leads is a very important step and should be done as early as possible. Don’t get trigger happy and abandon leads because they may take a bit of work to close, but be smart about what you’re chasing down. Three qualifying categories to consider:

Do they have the means to make a purchase?
Are they motivated?
Are they the decision-maker?
If you discover they’re not qualified at this time, don’t toss their info! Put them in a “to be followed up with later” file and create a campaign to target those leads which you’ve put on the back burner down the road when their circumstances may have changed.

Follow up with your sales leads the right way

Lead prospecting is all about remaining in front of your clients without getting on their bad side … a sort of omnipresence, if you will. Your goal shouldn’t necessarily be to convince them to buy, but rather to be there when they’re ready to buy. This type of reliability bodes well for your brand and makes those leads feel respected and valued. What better way to cultivate your customer base than that?

IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline to May 17 for Individuals and Self-Employed

Just last month our very own Barbara Weltman wrote an article about tax extension myths. We don’t know if the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service read it, but they just announced the extension of the tax filing and payment deadline to May 17. The extension will apply to individuals and the self-employed.In the announcement, the IRS says the postponement applies to federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021. There will not be penalties and interest, regardless of how much you owe.As for penalties, interest, and additions to tax, they will not begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances until May 17, 2021. And these taxpayers will avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline to May 17 for Individuals and Self-EmployedIn the announcement for the extension, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig says the goal is to help Americans address the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Rettig adds, taxpayers, should file as early as possible, especially if they expect refunds. And the best way to file is electronically with direct deposit.Some Relief for the Self-EmployedClose to 30% of Americans are self-employed, and the pandemic has been particularly hard on them. And although the one-month extension by the IRS may seem trivial at first, nevertheless it is a relief. That one month can be the difference between being able to come up with the money to pay their taxes or start paying penalties and interest.Review of the Key Points from the AnnouncementIndividual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.There will not be penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax.Penalties, interest, and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021.Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15.Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments.Additional ExtensionRemember you can always ask for an additional extension if the May 17 deadline is not enough. The IRS says you can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868. You can use tax software, your tax professional, or the Free File link on IRS.gov.When you file the extension using Form 4868 you will have until October 15 to file your 2020 tax return. However, it doesn’t give you an extension of time to pay taxes that are due. If you want to avoid interest and penalties, you should pay your federal income tax due by May 17, 2021.There is another extension for the winter storm disaster relief for Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. For victims of the storm, these states have until June 15, 2021, to file individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The new extension to May 17 will not affect their June deadline.The IRS says it will provide formal guidance on this announcement in the coming days, so keep an eye on its site, IRS.gov.Image: Depositphotos

Alexis Ohanian Teams Up With Stella Artois to Help Americans Stop Losing Their Minds During Tax Time

The innovator and the beer-maker have joined forces to help everyone chill out during this stressful season.

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March
18, 2021

3 min read

There’s nothing fun about Tax Day. It’s stressful. It’s annoying. It’s enraging. It sucks. Leave it to a beer company to try to turn your tax frown upside down. Stella Artois wants us all to stop investing our time and energy in being miserable this time of year and start investing in enjoying our friends, coworkers, family members and passions. They invented Stella Mutual, a fake mutual fund that will deliver real awards to people who sign up at @StellaArtois. Some of the prizes you can win include an “Instant Tax Refund” (a $2,500 cash prize), a virtual meeting with “Fun-ancial Advisor” Alexis Ohanian and “Stock Options” — a year of your beer fridge being stocked with Stella Artois.Fun-ancial adviser Alexis Ohanian, who is also the co-founder of Reddit and husband to one of the greatest athletes of all-time, Serena Williams, spent some time telling us why he got involved with this project on an upcoming episode of the Get a Real Job podcast. Here are a few excerpts from that conversation (which have been edited and condensed for clarity):On the fallacy that non-stop hustling is a good thing”I know I made mistakes in the early years of my career by glorifying hard work and long hours to the extent that it was just not healthy for me. There are some serious diminishing returns as you put in those extra hours of overwork. After a certain number of hours, if you’re not reinvesting in yourself, invigorating yourself, you’re doing worse and worse quality work. You lose touch with the things and people who really matter.”Related: Serena Williams Keeps Showing Us How to Rise Above the NoiseOn Serena’s advice”Pretty early in the relationship, Serena said that I worked harder than her. And at the time, I immediately was like, ‘Thank you very much!’ And she looks at me and says, ‘That’s not a compliment.’ Athletes know better than anyone because their work is as mental as it is physical, that recovery time is just as important as the time you’re putting in practicing and or working.”On aspiring to wow his daughter”I know our daughter is going to have total strangers coming up to her for the rest of her life telling her what an impact her mother made on them and on the world. And that’s amazing, and rightly so. However, I’m very competitive and I want just as many people coming up to Olympia and having the same conversation about how great her dad is and what her dad did. I know I will never match just Serena’s impact on the world, but I’m still going to give it a good try. And that’s what fueled my decisions last year to step down in protest from the board of Reddit and start this new venture Seven Seven Six, which aims to bring great and positive innovations to the world.”