Upcoming Feature – ‘Project Koenect’ By Janine Maslowsky
I am very excited to share with you a new feature that will be coming shortly to Koenect.com as part of your free membership. You may have seen the article Koenect it forward (In case you have not seen it – check it out here: https://koenect.com/koenect-it-forward/ ) where we express the importance of giving back. This program gives you a platform to give back to another member who may not have the skills or resources that you may easily have at your disposal – and then possibly to have someone do the same back for you. Have you ever had a stranger buy you a cup of coffee or pay your tolls on the thruway? The feeling is just amazing! The first time it happened to me I just could not believe it. Why would a stranger be so kind?! They don’t even know me! It is a powerful thing that can grow, while creating incredible business relationships and even friendships along way.
How does this program work? Shortly we are introducing a new Project Page that allows you to post a project you are working on and explain the type of collaboration you are looking for. You can click on a project to get more details, you can invite the member to the Lounge for further discussion of the scope of the project and then you decide where to go from there. How you choose to move forward as a team is completely up to you – we just help you make the Koenect-ion.
On this Project Page, you can also choose to use the Koenect it Forward option. Each project will have a Koenect it forward button/icon that you can click on to let the member know you are offering your skills or services for free. Again, the scope of this completely up to you. The hope is that the person being helped, will in turn do the same for someone else…hence, Koenect it forward. It is kind of like buying a cup of coffee for a stranger – a small deed that means so much! Any member who uses this program to help another member and completes the task, will earn an icon on their portfolio page that proudly displays that they have graciously helped another member of the Koenect Community.
This new feature has been in the works now for a while and we are very close to a release date. I would highly recommend you check it out once released – you might read one of the project entries and relate, realize the value in helping another by doing something that may be small to you but large to someone else. And at the end get the biggest gift of all, the feeling you get when you know you truly helped someone out, expecting nothing in return while enjoying the journey.
You’re Invited – Best Meeting Practices By Chris Jordan
Ding! A meeting invite pops up on your desktop calendar. Some employees dread this as an unnecessary waste of time, while others view it as an opportunity to contribute to the growth of the company. It is up to the meeting organizer to ensure that the time they have requested from everyone’s busy schedule is necessary, focused, includes the correct audience and ends with the proper goals in mind. Here are a few tips to keep your meetings creative and worthwhile:
A Beginning and an End
We’ve all been there. Sitting around the conference table staring out the window watching the day march on wondering when the last invitee will finally step in. Don’t let the energy drain from your meeting before it even begins. Companies must have discipline and mutual respect for each other. If a meeting is set for 8:00 AM and you accept, be there before the start time. Leaders must act as leaders and set the example. The coordinator should have a set end time as well. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the clock and stick to it.
Have a Set Agenda
There is nothing worse than going into a conference not knowing why you are there. Everyone attending the meeting needs to know why they have been invited. Provide a handout with the agenda or write it on a whiteboard. If necessary, break down a timeline of specific topics to be discussed and adhere to it. Even better, send the outline in advance so people can be prepared for the meeting.
Who’s In, Who’s Out
The host of the meeting needs to determine who must attend and who may not be necessary, to match the agenda. Keep control of the size of your meeting and be sure to have key decision makers in attendance. Keep in mind, some people may come with their own goals. It is the steward’s responsibility to keep the correct balance of ideas coming and inspiring everyone to say what’s on their mind.
Stay on the Rails
Now that all the important people are assembled, make sure to keep your meeting on the tracks. If some people are logging in via video conference, be certain that you know how to use the necessary software tools to sign them in. If you don’t, ask for assistance from an associate that does. Don’t allow yourself to be embarrassed by wasting time trying to figure out what cord goes to what port or why you can’t hear the person on the other end of the call.
Meeting Over – Now What The end of any meeting needs to have defined next steps, responsibilities and specific deadlines. Near the conclusion, appoint someone to keep track of who is accountable for what items and when they need to be accomplished. Any other uncovered items can be investigated further and the group can reconvene for follow up discussions.
Sales Tips to Stay Ahead of the Competition By Chris Jordan
No doubt about it, the sales game is a tough arena. There is no room for slouchers or slow-pokes. You must continuously keep yourself motivated to stay involved, remain competitive and always be selling. All of this must be done in an environment that is quick to seek out the newest, cheapest and most versatile products on the market. Any minute you are staving off your competitors, while also having to deal with an unpredictable consumer that shows no loyalty to a brand. Here are a few sales reminders to stay ahead of the game:
Focus on Opportunities
There is always going to be a lot of chatter in your market. Don’t get bogged down on roads to nowhere. Stay cognizant of your surroundings. Take advantage of leads by simply talking to people around you. This way you get to find the best prospects yourself. The top performing salespeople have garnered their top clients when simply conversing at informal gatherings. Remember to always be on the lookout for positive opportunities.
You must be resilient to be successful in sales. Never stop trying to close a deal with a customer. I have been rejected for nearly a year by certain clients but I stayed the course, convinced them that what I was offering added value to their bottom line and eventually won them over. This should not happen with every opportunity. Trust your instincts and run with them when it feels right.
Know Your Product
Many customers will already be on guard when they see a sales pitch coming their way. Nothing is more troublesome than a salesperson who doesn’t have knowledge of their merchandise. You must avoid this by understanding your products better than anyone. Doing this will not only help your client to gain confidence in you but will show that you or your employer takes great care in staffing exceptionally trained associates.
Ears Open Mouth Shut
The best people in sales let the customer tell the story of what their needs are. The key is to listen to what their problems are. Once you have allowed them the time to explain their concerns you can focus your sale on how you and your team can help alleviate their obstacles. You will have a much greater success rate in sales by simply listening and being a problem solver.
You can use these straightforward but sometimes forgotten tips to stay focused on sales. Never again allow opportunities slip past your guard. There is no magic formula, just continue to master your techniques and be prepared to have an outstanding year.