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  • Luck is what happens when Preparation meets Opportunity

    It is a strange thing to describe a fire as an opportunity, but indirectly it has been an opportunity to test whether we were prepared for it.  Obviously, I would prefer that we did not have to test the theory.

    Let me start from the beginning.  In the early hours of Saturday 22nd October I was called out to go to the office because the burglar alarm had gone off.  My immediate thought was, blasted spiders crawling over the sensors have set off the alarm again.  You might have noticed from this that this has happened before.  As I turned the corner and the office came into view I was horrified to see that all the windows were open and that smoke was billowing out of them.  I then noticed that smoke was billowing from the downstairs premises.  To cut a long story short, there was a fire downstairs and ...

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  • What are the characteristics of the customer today in the B2B environment?

    The IoD West Surrey Branch sales forum held its second meeting on Thursday 16th July at the Y Centre in Guildford and the topic of discussion was ‘The Customer’.

    In brief we wanted to try and describe what today’s customer looks like and what he expects. Some very interesting information was presented by Hugh Stafford-Smith of SABA (7) Consulting who was the facilitator of the meeting.

    Like the March Hare, top executives have not got the time; they are under time constraints to produce and therefore what was acceptable many years ago in educating the sales person as to what the company did and the issues it faces are in the main no longer valid. The decision maker expects the sales person to be versed in what the company does, the issues it faces in that particular sector of the market and explain what remedies might be applied to help ...

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  • Coaching for Companies, Teams and Individuals with The Company Coach


    Having helped work on the revamp of the Company Coach website and having known for a few years one of the principal drivers behind a company that specialises in helping individuals and organisations perform better in communication, education, leadership etc it is great to announce that ‘The Company Coach’ have not only rebranded and made over their website but is also offering some quality advice and information on the new Company Coach blog.

    Sally and Peter Kleyn head up an impressive team that helps fuse in depth sales and management principles with an impressive array of scientific process tools and diagnostic abilities (Check out sections on Psychometric testing and SAVi verbal analysis systems). In business since 1991 The Company Coach, or White House Training and Distribution Limited, as it was formerly known have expanded from offering sales training to incorporate management and leadership training in various ...

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  • Don't Let Your Web Designer Use mailto Tags

    The first thing I look for whenever I appraise a colleagues work is the presence of a mailto tag.  Whilst they are useful and at times necessary so as to be able to provide the user with a quick and easy method of emailling you directly, it is also a very quick way of adding an email address in a SPAM database. 

    SPAMBots are programs that crawl the web looking for websites with visible email addresses (predominantly email addresses within mailto tags).  They literally 'harvest' anything they find: addresses are added to databases, emails are sent, inboxes overflow.

    To check whether mailto tags have been included on your website, navigate to a page you now has a visible email address and carry out the following steps:

    Internet Explorer users:

    • Right Click and choose 'View Source'
    • Press Ctrl + F - this will present you with the 'Find' dialog box
    • Type in ...

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  • Why Should Businesses Automate Parts of Their Sales Process?

    Following the e-shot and blog post last week about TaskCentre for CRM I thought I would follow up and show an example of why businesses should use automation in their sales process. In this short video I show an example of using TaskCentre to automate a simple information processing task such as receiving an enquiry from a website.

    Automation is by no means the panacea of business practice, you can’t automate absolutely everything… but think on it, if you were to go through every process and activity that has to happen to create and maintain a sale you may go through hundreds of activities, junctions, forks and cycles within that process. If there is a causation link that can be measured through the sales process, you will know that missing out any of those links may hamper or at worst destroy the probability of succeeding. Some tasks cannot be automated ...

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  • Business Process Management For CRM with TaskCentre


    Our latest e-shot to go out to our customers focuses on our latest offering with relation to Business Process Management for CRM and discusses the massive power that companies can have automating key processes within their business cycle to maximise efficiency and keep the flow of business going.

    TaskCentre is a great engine to use in setting up and automating processes. It runs in the background and can be set up to perform any amount of detailed activities in response to certain scenarios. Let me give you a scenario where process becomes so important. A lead comes in to your business, it gets taken by a call operative and that lead needs to be assigned to a sales person. That sales person needs notifying either at convenience or straight away (that sales person might be in the office or out at a meeting). That sales person then needs to follow ...

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  • How To Measure The Success Of An Email Campaign

    Last week in Email Campaign Terminology Explained I explained the various key phrases and words that are used when discussing email campaigns. This week I will look at email campaigns at a more personal level and as a result the way to measure the success of any campaign.

    There are a variety of schools of thought as to what constitutes a successful campaign: some will measure it by the open rate (this will vary based on the nature of the eShot you sent), some will measure it based on click through rate (this will vary based on the time the recipient has at the moment of receiving your eShot – furthermore some users are savvy enough not to click on a link within an eShot as they assume they will be tracked), some will measure it based on the Return On Investment (ROI) that the eShot generates (this is harder ...

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  • BEWARE - FTP Hacking

    Be aware... recently we have noticed a rise in FTP hacking, successful brute force security hacks.  A number of sites, unfortunately the Nomis site as well as client sites and I imagine many others, were comprimised.

    FTP hacking, brute force security hacking, is where a hacker manages to guess your password and then obtain access to the raw files of your website: it conjures up images of a person tapping in "12345", then "54321", then "23456" etc., like in the movies, in fact it is a lot more sophisticated and can lead to problems such as Google blocking your site and advising visitors that the site contains malicious content - not very good PR. 

    The examples of FTP hacking that we have seen in pages show a line(s) of script that has been added to the html code which forwards the user onto another site or downloads malicious programmes.

    Ways to try and reduce the risk of FTP ...

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  • Email Campaign Terminology Explained

    Before you can begin to interpret whether an email campaign has been successful or not it is necessary to understand what terms like "Hard Bounce", "Soft Bounce", "Opt In", "Opt Out" etc mean.

    The A-Z Glossary Of Email Campaign

    A list of IP addresses suspected of sending SPAM

    Emails that are returned to you, as a result of an error such as the email address not being valid, the recipient’s inbox being full etc.

    Click Through Rate (CTR)
    This indicates how many times a link on an email has been clicked.

    Double Opt-In
    This is a process where a user signs up for a service and then, having received an email etc, is then required to confirm their subscription.

    Hard Bounce
    This is when an email is returned to you without it ever reaching the recipient. In cases like this is important to read the return message, as it will ...

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  • How To Write A Striking, Captivating, Enticing Email Campaign Subject Line

    The majority of any preparation time, in terms of an email campaign, is often spent on the content and message of the email itself, yet people forget that the first thing that is read is actually the subject line: the subject line needs to strike a blow, to captivate the recipient, to entice them to read further. The subject line can literally make or break the success of your campaign.

    So what is the magic formula? Well unfortunately there isn't one. There are, however, a handful of tips to bear in mind.

    First The Tips

    There are a variety of approaches your subject line can adopt:

    • The subject line can be treated like a news headline – "'Product X’ is now available with new features and benefits for users"
    • You can be mysterious (not too mysterious mind) enough to arouse a persons curiosity – "Find out the secrets behind a ...

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