A sales strategy based on trust | How to get started with social media advertising | Managers in the wrong job can hurt engagement, CEO says
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March 18, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Filling jobs when the right skills are in short supply
Small businesses are using a variety of strategies -- working with schools, providing training programs or altering their approach to recruiting -- as they search for skilled workers to fill vacancies. For example, Rodon Group, which manufacturers plastic parts, has partnered with community colleges to make sure students get the necessary preparation. Meanwhile, at Nine One Nine Marketing in North Carolina, teamwork is used to overcome employees' individual skills gaps. The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.) (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (3/17)
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Caring for Customers
A sales strategy based on trust
Today's customers are more informed than ever, thanks in part to online product reviews, and they're looking to buy from companies they trust. So companies must steer clear of unethical sales tactics and concentrate on establishing trust with their customers, Jeff Kline writes. Companies can embrace this kind of "selling wisdom" in several ways, such as by getting to know their customers, producing educational content and letting sales staff customize their pitches so that it feels authentic. Duct Tape Marketing (3/14)
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How to get started with social media advertising
Pay-per-click advertising has become increasingly expensive, which has made social media ads an attractive alternative, writes Christopher Null. He provides a detailed guide for advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and StumbleUpon. PCWorld (3/14)
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Keeping Shop
Managers in the wrong job can hurt engagement, CEO says
Employee engagement is important to company success, Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen says, and managers in the wrong position can limit employee engagement. "Good managers are better at engaging teams and engaged teams can succeed no matter what the business environment is like," he said. "Teams that aren't engaged don't do as well." When managers aren't effective, often the reason is that they are not in a job that plays to their skills and strengths, Rasmussen said. Gallup Business Journal (3/14)
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Let them work barefoot: Ideas for office perks
Small businesses can boost employee morale with creative benefits that don't cost money, writes small business expert Megan Totka. Among the ideas: Create a "shoe-free environment" for workers who aren't dealing with clients, have moments of public applause for jobs well done, turn an unused office into a meditation room and offer flexible scheduling. Small Business Trends (3/17)
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Managing the Money
Getting your customers to pay on time
You can improve the odds that your business will be paid in a timely fashion by sending out invoices promptly. Make sure your invoices are easy for your customers to understand and be aware of the length of average payment cycles in your industry. Call customers if they fail to pay on time and use a pleasant but authoritative tone of voice. Entrepreneur online (3/15)
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Tips & Tools
Why small businesses should use CRM software
Customer relationship management tools can provide several benefits for small businesses, and reasonably priced solutions are available, according to this article. CRM tools can allow small companies to connect customer purchase histories with marketing campaigns, monitor buying patterns and other key metrics, and keep all employees in the loop about sales, supply and other activities. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (3/15)
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Other News
News You Can Use
NYC bars employers from discriminating against jobless applicants
New York's City Council has overridden a mayoral veto to approve a measure making it illegal for employers to discriminate against unemployed job seekers. The measure is the first in the U.S. to allow unemployed job seekers to sue employers for damages over claims of discrimination. The Seattle Times/The Associated Press (3/13)
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When you stretch people beyond their normal environment, it makes them step back and think about themselves in a different way."
-- Steve Rasmussen, CEO of Nationwide, as quoted by the Gallup Business Journal
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