IOT – To Fear or not To Fear – Has Big Brother taken Over?

IOT – Is big brother here?

IOT – Every day in every way, we are giving data to Big Brother.  This occurs when you shop at your supermarket, purchase on line, search on a browser or drive using your iAuto or Google Maps.  The list is really never ending as to how data is being gathered and used. The question is: Should we Fear or not Fear this current situation?

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CRM Power Tips: Collecting Data the easy way

“Quality Data is the currency of the 21st century. Success is valued by how well you use that Data.“
So with this in mind – How can you collect data the easy way?

Tip 1. Supply the Tools.

Part of the job of any company’s management is to make sure that the correct tools have been provided so that staff can do their job effectively. Tools makes all the difference. Think of your employee like a builder. I can tell you a builder with a power saw, nail gun and quality raw material is triple the speed of production to a builder with a hand saw, hammer and basic raw material. The same comparison can be used with the supply of business tools.
For example. If you have mobile staff, then you need to give them the tools to do their work in a mobile environment, e.g. tablet, mobile phone, internet etc. Then you need to make sure that your processes or expectations match the mobile environment.

Tip 2. Tools alone are not enough – today

Apart from supply the tool to do the work, you also need to supply the software and make sure you either have trained staff or your supply the training also.
CRM Map was created as a tool that would support many products in the market for this exact reason. With this tool, you can just open your google maps and right where you are, you will see you clients, be able to add data, review data and even edit data. CRM Map is like the nails for the Nail Gun. You need nails or the Nail Gun just won’t work.

Tip 3. Make it natural

Make the data entry function, natural, simple and fun. People really can enter data and a lot of it – just look at the amount people use Facebook. There is no reason for you to restricted on the depth of data you can collect. You just need to make sure that entering data for your staff is fun and natural.

Tip 4. Update your Processes to match your needs.

Google recently stated that if a web engine is not mobile friendly e.g. resizes nicely for all size environments, this would hurt their natural SEO. This was stated, because as the world changes in its expectations and demands, so do the base processes or rules. IT is moving at a rapid rate, and that has had an effect on all areas of our life. So based on this, processes that are 5 years old, are OLD.
Here is a simple example of an out of date processes.
Enter the order
Print the order
Take the order to XYZ Department
Now, if you have people on the move, how can they do this? This process needs to be updated to
Enter the order
Either take a printed copy to XYZ department or Email the copy to XYZ department.
So as you can see an easy change, but one that would allow for remote data collection if you need this. What I find is that most changes are logical and simple, but rarely are taken into effect.

Tip 5. – Don’t waste data.

As a data analyst I can provide lists of examples of wasted data. For example, most accounting products “purge” their transactions at the end of a year. What this means is that all that data that you have paid people to enter, is being deleted. This data that could show you trends, lead to you repeat sales or allow you to on sell – all just deleted in bulk. Why? To save space in a time where data storage is very cheap. Why not store it and make good use of it.

Tip 6. Minimize duplication.

Duplicating the same data, costs you money and in fact does not add to your value. So the more you can reduce this duplication the better in all areas, cost, staff efficiency, storage management etc. The real question is why this duplication occurred at all. The main reason why, is because all sorts of people make different decisions but do not consult others. So the same data is entered twice.

Tip 7. – Collect all useful data.

I will give an example of useful data. Entering of a timesheet for an employee. Some companies such as service based organizations make people enter their times to a customer, job etc. The majority of other customers just click on and off of work. They do not collect what people do, when they start, how much time they spend in certain areas. This data could save you a lot of money and saving money allows you the resources to create extra income.

Tip 8. – “Row the same way”

I see data for a living. With my business experience, I can understand a company quite quickly, especially if I know where they are heading. So often I see poor data because staff just enter anything, as they don’t know what the company would consider “important”. So if they knew what was important and what was not, they would enter the important information and not waste time on none important data. It is like 2 men in a row boat, both rowing in different directions. Your staff need to row in the one direction and that should be in the direction you wish to go.
Finally – Use your data well.
Now you should have some good quality data coming in. Never stop reviewing your methods and techniques as there are always ways to improve. However it is now time to use this data to create profits for you. This is where management excel or fail. So now you have supplied the tools for management, their only job is to use the data tool well.

Selling Because: Blog Chapter 2: The Universal Components of Virtually Any Sales Proccess:

Selling Because” means you have a purpose in what you are doing. Knowing that purpose and being committed to it is virtually mandatory for any reasonable expectation of success. As we discussed in my Introduction all great achievers typically credit “passion,” as being their reason for achievement and I think if we ask where passion originates, it is in “purpose and intent” and again, “selling” calls for the same motivation.

I’ve spent nearly fifty years doing business on nearly every continent as a Startup CEO (often), Turnaround CEO (very often) & sales person, sales manager, and sales trainer (in dozens of markets and products) and I have come to believe religiously that while being a skilled and high earning sales person brings joy through privileges of money and reputation, my greatest “rewards” came from the customer’s genuine APPRECIATION & GRATITUDE for the products, services, and solutions “help and outcomes” that I provided to them. That genuine gratitude was a gift equal to or better than the commission I earned on the sale! I opened every new sales training class or seminar with this first remark: “If you are not here to genuinely learn how to help your clients/customers, and their staff with our products and services, please do us both a favor and leave now, because that is what I’m here to teach you and that will ultimately become the critical foundation of your success!

So now that we understand the reason for the title of this blog and its intention, let us begin:

Selling is of course, fundamentally, a communications process wherein certain product features & benefits, vendor’s strengths, services, terms and conditions, and various understandings must be exchanged between the sales professional and the client. To be effective, these exchanges must be made in an atmosphere of professional RESPECT & TRUST!  Although I’ve sold many things in my life, it is not often that these elements can be eliminated although often truncated by the buyer in cases where the prospect is simply ordering more of exactly the same products of which they are already happy and familiar. Or, perhaps, dealing with simple/ basic commodities of minimal differentiation where only price and delivery terms are given consideration. This is the really the “grizzly” zone of selling that seldom will produce any uplifting rewards unless you are able to be enormously “creative” in negotiating terms and conditions with your company and your prospect that lets you really HELP the buyer out of some difficult situation while keeping your boss happy with your results.


Generally speaking, these elements can evolve in this order of execution but depending on individual client/product/application, circumstances, the Salesperson may need to mix the delivery of these Let’s examine each more closely:


The Approach can be done through several method ie: Marketing Tactics, Sales Literature, E-mail, Audio Visual, etc. but these mentioned (and many more) are generally considered “lead generating techniques” while from a physical sales action perspective, “The Approach” typically focuses on what PROSPECT CONNECTION ACTION, is taken by the Sales Person. So, from this perspective we will concentrate on that process and begin by defining the common TYPES OF PROSPECTS that will generally be involved in “The Approach” phase:  These Prospect Types will include:


So let’ begin with the “Interested Prospect” which can most simply be identified by someone who indicates interest by pro-actively contacting you or your company in response to product advertising/promotions, perhaps from your user/client referrals, or, some form of information search that generally introduces your company and or product. This is usually the most “encouraging” type of sales lead and here, the APPROACH phase is handled by a prompt and professional response thanking the prospect for their interest and then immediately moving to a “preliminary SURVEY” stage wherein you seek to learn the reason for the prospect’s interest. Here, you want to pay very close attention to what the prospect has to say and allow them to tell you as much as they are willing to disclose about the reason for their interest. Do this by directly answering their questions while strongly clarifying any of the prospect’s issues that you may not clearly understand. It is imperative that you do not overtake the conversation and begin “Pitching” your product! (This comes in the PRESENTATION STEP) You must encourage the prospect to keep talking and tell you as much about his or her situation as possible. This will demonstrate your sincere concern for their circumstances while also communicating that your mission is to help solve these problems. Obviously, you need to know this information so you can effectively consider “if” and “how” your product will be able to answer these requirements and confirm that the overall application appears to be a good fit. Also, this phase allows you to identify “HOT SPOTS” which flag the real core of the INTEREST residing within this prospect type. Those HOT SPOTS will allow you to build strength in FOCUS of your product and company Features Advantages and Benefits as you move forward with this sale. If you are dealing specifically with a relatively simple product or service wherein the entire sales process can be easily made on the phone, and you are confident that you can indeed, help this prospect with a positive product or service solution, then, you should move immediately to the PROPOSAL step of the sale. Here, you may offer the proposed  EXCLUSIVE product features, benefits, advantages, along with Pricing, Terms of Sale and then move to the final CLOSE Stage by asking for the order and writing it up!  If this is not a phone sale situation then your next step would be, to, seek agreement for a personal visit to discuss a “detailed survey” and proposed “product demo” if it appears that there is a “likely” application fit for your product or services.

If the prospect agrees to your personal visit then:

Delivering a good APPROACH includes:

  1. Having a confirmed time to visit,
  2. Being on time and well groomed
  3. Having a Confident and Uplifting demeanour and, being well prepared, with all necessary sales tools i.e.: Documents, Literature, Sales Aids (Equipment).

When I made my new prospect approaches, I always dressed appropriately, not only for the local weather, but the type of facilities I would be visiting. If you are calling on a high rise office in a big city, a suit and tie are generally expected while if you are visiting a mining operation in Colorado, less formality will likely be more appropriate for the situation. Your appearance is the first message delivered and it speaks strongly for you, so understanding what is appropriate is very important.

Obviously a friendly, smiling, and confident demeanor with a firm and sincere handshake is a winning style in virtually any greeting situation. A salesman on late arrival that just stopped for and spilled gas on their shoes or coffee down their shirt and tie is probably better off to call and reschedule than make a bad first impression as that is one that seldom goes away.

The APPROACH phase moves on to a suitable location where you will be able to introduce to your prospect or prospect group, your reason for visiting, what you expect to achieve while you are there, also arranging any special needs for your next steps of the sale which will include the:


Note: these above noted six steps of the sale are specifically designed and trained into the company sales staff based on the specifics of the product, the target markets & applications, and specific technical training related to User Applications, Optional Product Features & Accessories, and a broad range of Competitive Products.

The PRESENTATION phase can cover a lot of territory from introducing yourself, your product/s and the associates who may be with you, of course, through the reason/intentions for your visit as well as moving into a full product DEMONSTRATION then group Question & Answer session or even a full APPLICATION SURVEY if appropriate for the type of sale being intended.  In dealing with highly technical products or very complex business applications, it is very advisable to do the APPLICATION SURVEY before the product DEMONSTRATION so that ACTUAL results can be proven on the spot. It is always here that I make effort to get the point across that my major goal and my company’s major intention is to “meaningfully help” the people and company that we will be serving with our deliverables (products and or services). This is not only a sincere gesture of intention but an important “set up” for the move into the SURVEY phase of the selling process.  I make it clear that without knowing the prime objectives the prospect would be expecting from our deliverables, I cannot have full control of delivering all and more than they expect. My mission is to HELP them in every possible ways, so I want to know where everything hurts and why, if they can share that as well.

The next phase of the sale is the PROPOSAL which is generally done in writing and often done prior to the DEMONSTRATION depending upon circumstances of type of product/service etc. If you have taken a full application survey and know all of the elements of the product deliverables (features, options, configurations etc.) that will be necessary to meet the application demands, you may wish to deliver the PROPOSAL, Immediately followed by a full system or product DEMONSTRATION to prove it will deliver all requirements noted in the PROPOSAL (along with pricing, terms and conditions, warranties, etc. which of course, were determined by the detailed requirements of the SURVEY. The final phase of the Selling Process is the CLOSE at which time you begin sharing client responsibilities with your Customer Service team and corporate management.


MYOB – 3 Ways to Increase Profits








Here are 3 simple methods to actually increase your profits.

Option 1 Improve your Sales technique.

Sales is a topic that I could spend hours talking about. As a novice I thought sales was a dirty word, but once you have been in business a long time you will see this differently.  For those who stay in business, the reason they do, is that they have good sales people. So what is a good sales person?

A good Salesperson can:

  • say No to a wrong/bad sale.
  • select the right fit/product for the client
  • endear confidence and a desire to repeat purchase
  • sell the product not just the price

These dot points mean that as a business you need to have quality, well educated, empathetic, intelligent sales people. It does not matter what the product is. What matters is the customers experience.

With this in mind, sales people need to be able to offer the right product, at the right price in a timely and professional manner. This involves a lot of skills. The application of these skills involves Sales Techniques.

The key to increased profits really can lie in getting the right technique. I met building improvement owner, and the sales technique that they employed included some very strict timing and steps. He found that the combination of timing and steps increased his sales and margins significantly.

So the key is to find the Sales Technique that matches your company and your product.

My experience shows that for each customer you need to find what matters to them, so listening is vital. A sales person that listens is over halfway home. Know if the sale is a need or a want. Know what is going to trigger your customer.

Once you know what matters, you re-enforce this with your sales script / demonstration. However with that said, Tools are vital. Ways to show off the product – Samples, Videos. Ways to confirm that the client can be confident in you – e.g. referrals. Local referrals are always best, and it is a reason that products like CRM-Map are so popular.

Finally, the sales person must close the sale. Closing is interesting. Some sales people can demonstrate, but they just can’t close – they are actually demonstrators, not sales people. Good salespeople can close a sale. There are many techniques for this, and once again this must match your company and product.

Some closing Techniques include:

Assumptive Sale : e.g. Do you want this in Red or Blue (get the client to make positive statements of ownership, and the sale is a natural)

Reason to decide today: Could be a discount, limited stock, limited stock availability etc.

3 Yes’s to close: It is physiologically suggested that if your client will agree with the sales person on 3 important points, then agreeing to purchase is a minor agreement.


Option 2. Repeat Sales to Existing Clients

The easiest and most profitable sale is a repeat sale. Very simply put, the client knows you, trusts you, your don’t have to find them, prove yourself, or establish a relationship. All of this has already been done.

So look after your existing clients.

Successful companies do this in a range of ways, e.g. Loyalty cards, personal service. Today, it was announced that Dick Smith Electrical has gone into voluntary receivership. Well I am not surprised. It is not to do with sales, but related to profits. They have never worked at repeat sales. They do not treasure their clients – you are just a number. Plus they are in an incredibly competitive market.

Repeat sales really do make a big difference in the bottom line.

This morning I had a personal experience. I have for 30 years purchased house paint from the same store. As a have a few properties, this is about $1000 per year minimum. So I keep going back, the staff know me, and after a few sales, they gave me a discount. I now know, that I don’t need to shop around that they will give me the best price. This morning however, a new staff member refused to discount the product I was purchasing – and the price difference was about 20{c36baba5c73b6c9a0b80d5e7ba0a8acbfd233dc9453b651cdb653391d31dba51}. I was not impressed. So I waited until a known staff member arrived and then all went well. However, I can state that this could have ruined a valuable relationship. So owners, don’t rest on your laurels. You need to have systems in place to care for these valuable clients even if staff change.

Option 3. Lower your costs

Lowering costs! Sounds easy, feels difficult. Well it is easier than you could believe.

I am the president of a large sporting association. With all the new laws brought in by the Fair Work Act, voluntary sporting associations have been really hit hard. So as the president, I was faced with 2 problems. Making sure that the association was running legally correct, and making sure that the association ran at a profit. The biggest problem was “But this is the way we have always done it”.

The only constant in life, is Change. Once that is accepted in a practical sense, then changing to be more profitable is possible.

So my next step was to review each and every account. I had the internal book keeper do this with me, and made sure that all rules were followed. We had to think outside of the square. This involved getting the association registered as a Work for the Dole option, plus creating a relationship with the local employment agencies, so that suitable volunteers could be located.

We also reviewed some of the products we had, so that we had products that clients wanted and were happy to pay for.

Technology can be a big cost saver if used well, but, poorly applied technology can also be a cost waster. The key is to know what technology is available, and what is the right decision? The difficulty is that no one has a crystal ball, and technology moves at a rapid rate. Here are my suggestions to using technology well in your company, so that you will save money.

Don’t get the latest greatest, unless necessary.

Buy the best value for now, but don’t expect technology to last longer than 2 years.

Get tools that will save you in staff time and give you the right information.

Get tools that will ensure your work is not temporary. Your data should be electronically saved and available to other sales people. Don’t just loose the data with either the sales person, or the electronic filing cabinet. Use a good database and store the data and make sure it is accessible as necessary.

Listen to wisdom in the field you are reviewing.

Consider alternative methods, e.g. Going Virtual, cloud based etc.

Use good Systems and Databases, e.g. MYOB, Xero, Salesforce, or Zoho as examples.

One of your responsibilities is to make sure that you give your staff the tools to do their job. Make sure these tools will work, and that the valuable data you gain is utilized and not lost.

Now improve your bottom Line.

I hope that these ideas will assist you to improve your bottom line. But if you are at least considering, maybe your next step is to communicate your needs and thoughts with an executive committee or mentors.

Mentors have many functions. They can make sure you see the facts, not just what you want to see. They can give you a kick or let you release when you need it. Mentors are great. If you don’t have one or some, then work on this. You can even pay for this type of service, with Executive Meetings.

A lot of mentors, are happy to Mentor, as it is often a 2 way streak. e.g. they get as much as they give. However, others are happy to just be there, as they have experience and want to share. But having a mentor is a good way to make sure you are on the right path.


Press Release

CRM-Map repurposes Google Maps as pathway to sales

Adelaide, Australia:  A fresh, cloud-based approach to Customer Relationship Management software, CRM-Map, has been launched today with the goal to transform the way sales teams use Google Maps.

CRM-Map Co-Founder, Cate Schafing of Accede Holdings, says by using Google Maps as the single entry point for adding new clients or prospects, or reviewing market regions, sales people, marketers and support staff will find CRM usage much more intuitive and therefore will be more likely to keep it updated.

“CRM systems are only as good as the data that sales teams, marketers and support staff enter,” says Ms Schafing.

“By using Google Maps as the interface for adding, updating or filtering sales and leads information, we have chosen a system that needs almost no training and therefore makes it dead simple for achieving high rates of CRM compliance.

“We are so confident organisations will migrate away from their complicated, expensive CRM systems that we’re offering a three month free trial; three times longer than the industry average!”

CRM-Map co-developer, Laurie Bilby, says with her background in sales and business development, she expects smart organisations to leap at the ability of being able to view clients and prospects as markers on a map, all ranked with colour codes and custom icons.

“Knowledge is power in the business world and any organisation that can get up-to-the-minute status reports of their markets at a glance will be streets ahead of their competition or industry,” says Ms Bilby.

“We also believe our decision to not charge per user, positions CRM-Map as a revolutionary advance in CRM solutions because organisations will carry less overhead, less training requirements and realise ROI much faster.

“I think it’s fitting that our Google Maps interface ensures no more leads or sales people go missing en route to new sales opportunities,” she said.

CRM-Map is adaptable for use by not for profits, social enterprises, federal, state and local tiers of government and their departments, NGOs and political parties. Location-based mapping makes it easy and affordable to track clients, assets, volunteers, services and donors. CRM-Map – is the interactive Graphic interface for all your primary CRM Data.