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Mylo, a Lockton Company

News and Announcements  - 
 
Thought you might find it interesting & motivating to read about a family business that started when a son asked his dad to partner so they could afford to hire a secretary instead of relying on the answering machine. Now that business is still a family business but their high-energy client-focused dedication has led them to be the largest privately owned insurance brokerage in the world!

Dream Big
http://riskandinsurance.com/family-pride/ 
Celebrating 50 years in the business, Lockton remains focused on being privately held and expanding a unique culture.
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Gary Viney

Discussion  - 
 
9 spots left..If you are interested in learning
how I earn up to $700 or more per week of
honest income working from home.
Are you willing to put in the work and ready?...
text me for details.
2017 Beast Mode!.😎
Gary V.
469-892-8837
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Oliver Gwynne

Discussion  - 
 
When Projects Go Bad: Annoying Your Client

To bring to a close our series of blogs on what to do to try and save that faltering project I thought I’d cover some of the stupidest ways you can put a project in trouble yourself.

Silent Running

It’s unbelievable how some people go quiet after they’ve got the job. They put all the effort in during the pitching process and then suddenly disappear. Prompt responses during a project are key and this is one of the major reasons a project can be derailed before it’s even begun. Often before actual payment has been agreed you’ll have a final question. This is usually something small and straight forward but a slow reply here can end your chances before you begin. After all the prospect still has all the other potential suppliers they can go back to. A small delay might not seem like a big idea but can be a real killer.

Being Awkward

It’s key to say what you need in order to get a project started in your pitch. it’s all so annoying when a potential client says ‘okay sends me information’ only to be met with a shopping list of questions and scenarios and ways to pay. Keep it simple and straight forward!

Not Doing It

This is pretty obvious but not delivering actually what you said, when you said, how you said is a sure fire route to annoy your client. The often used example is McDonalds. Do McDonalds produce the best burgers you’ve ever eaten? I certainly hope not. They aren’t the best but you can go to any of their locations and get the same burger, at the same price and you’d struggle to tell the difference between one location and the other. Consistency is an important factor. Better to under promise and over deliver. Oh and along the same theme, a personal hatred of mine is when people have great examples on their site but their work nowhere near matches up to it.

Personal Service

One of the main benefits of working with freelancers/small businesses is that usually you get a much better service from them. Sometimes though the professional boundary can be pushed. A few updates are friendly and nice but one freelancer I encountered would regularly tell us “I’m at the barbers” and “I’m just going for a shower” this came across as increasingly unprofessional, and also made it seem as if they didn’t care about what was an important project for us. Even if you have to fake ‘being in a meeting’ it can be better than saying you’ll get round to something once you’ve walked the dog.

Keeping Mum

As a freelancer or third party you’ll quite often be privy to insider information about a company, how it works etc. It’s also quite likely that opportunities or clients might overlap. It’s important you don’t accidentally spill the beans about a competitor’s inner workings. If this ever gets back to them, you’re the first person they will suspect and this will represent a serious breach of trust.

Money

This is a major one for me. People who ask for their money early. If you’ve agreed payment terms with someone then you shouldn’t try and get them to give you the money early. This is especially annoying when people do it for personal reasons “oh could you just pay me early so I can have some spending money on holiday.” I always pay people when I say I will and it really pisses me off when people try and squirm for their money.

Every client has their pet hates but these are some simple things you can do to put your project in danger.
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Mary Shulzhenko

Discussion  - 
 
4 Tactics to Keep Customer Satisfaction High in the Busy Holiday Season

Despite all the fun, holidays put lot of stress not only on the customer service teams, but on customers as well. In rush hours average handle times often shoot upward, wait times escalate, leaving many frustrated. Here are 4 tactics to keep customer satisfaction high in the busy holiday season: https://goo.gl/yGAXBS
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Oliver Gwynne

Discussion  - 
 
When Projects Go Bad 8: Don't Forget

You’ve had a bad experience with a client. Hopefully you’ve been able to grit your teeth and get through it. naturally things will go quiet for a while until suddenly, out of the blue the client comes back.

Don’t Forget

Perhaps this lesson could be summed up by its title. As part of your working practice you should keep a CRM that goes over every project its worth and notes. This is especially useful if a project has gone wrong as if the same issues keep cropping up…it could be you not the clients!

When a client comes back it’s important to look over your notes and remind yourself what went wrong and take extra steps to try and prevent it. It’s tricky but you need to have a friendly conversation with the client that addresses the issues before even starting.

Ch-ch-changes?

Having said this, in my experience this doesn’t always sort the issue like you’d hope. This is especially true when dealing with tricky, indecisive clients. No matter how much you politely tell them, they will continue to be tricky and indecisive. With some clients it even became a running joke.

Now That Costs More

Where you have a paying client, the possibility of regular work but a few problems it’s worth keeping that client around. The difference is that you charge them more for the privilege. This is directly as a result of the extra time you’ll need to work with them and if you phrase it in a nice way during the quote, the client will be happy.

“I would estimate this would take 3 days but if we can keep the changes down to two rounds, I will knock off half a day’s payment.” This provides a great incentive to the client to work with you and frames a potential problem client in a positive light.

Repeatability

If you decide to give a client another chance (and vice versa with them and you) and find yourself facing the exact same issues, even where you’ve taken extra steps to avoid them, at that point I would suggest that unless you need the money then get through the project and get rid.

Choosing your clients is a key process in success. Do everything you can to help people and make the process as simple as possible, but don’t put yourself in a stressful situation for the sake.
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Oliver Gwynne

Resources  - 
 
When Projects Go Bad 5: Stand Off

When a project is in trouble, you will often find yourself in a stand off with a client. Usually it goes something like this: they weren’t happy with something, you managed to sort it out, but now they won’t pay you until everything is 100% perfect.

Deposit

You might remember way back when we were discussing how to convert a successful pitch into a sale I talked about the dangers of deposits. When you have a projects that’s going off the wrong suddenly there becomes a very real chance that you’re not going to be paid the full amount. That means that potentially you’ve done all the work, devoted all your allotted time (and often more if a project is going wrong) and now won’t get half your money.

Disappear

Where there has been an ongoing argument the issue of trust comes into play. The client is unhappy about the service so far, but worried that the second they pay you you’ll disappear and therefore feels justified in withholding the money. The issue for you is that this dynamic can’t go on forever, you can’t keep working on this project and not getting paid. You have much more to loose than the client. They might have an 80% completed project, but you’re missing 50% of your earnings.

Extra Round

Normally in a process you will have given the client an amount of changes. now sometimes when things are going wrong this goes completely out of the window, but where possible try and hold them to this. What you then do is give the client an extra ring of changes. So rather than have a constant back and forth on what you need to do in order to get paid you say:

“Normally Fred we give clients 3 rounds of changes, obviously this project has had it’s trouble so what we’re going to give you 2 rounds of changes for nothing to apologise. Write up a full list of everything you think needs doing. We’ll then divide that up into essential and non-essential activities. We’ll complete all of the essential steps before payment, which will leave only the tiny extras. This gives us both a clear understanding of what’s left to do and also assures us that we can get paid for the hours we’ve put in.”

In some cases a client might insist that you do everything before they give you a penny. Make sure you refer tightly to the initial brief and don’t do any extras. Ensure you’ve covered your arse should they decide to run out.
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V Giridhar

Discussion  - 
 
More than just a Lemonade stand -How to scale up ur #smallbiz #SMB #smallbusiness - #blogger

Scaling up your business is one of the hardest things to do, no doubt about it. Not only can it be hard to decide what areas should receive the most attention, but ensuring there are enough resources to grow is even more troublesome. Ideally, a growth strategy is prepared before the business has even launched. …
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Oliver Gwynne

Discussion  - 
 
When Projects Go Bad 4: Communication

Your client isn’t quite, happy, you’re struggling to meet their needs, maybe your behind schedule, maybe you’re having a bad day. It’s often tough to know how to respond to a client.

Do Respond

When pressure is building up, your client is angry, it can be very tempting just to hide away from the world but this is the absolute worst thing you can do. Having a clear line of communication is important. Where possible you should be the one going to them and not the other way around.

Be Honest

We’re all human and we’ve all had to let someone down. Client’s respect honesty and if you fess up, put your hand up and take responsibility then they will usually be forgiving. The absolutely worst thing to do is to use a spurious excuse as to why you’re late, or lie. If you get caught out then that’s it for your relationship.

Be Positive

Sometimes all a client needs is to have a bit of a shout, get things off their chest and things will be better. When communicating it can be easy to fall into a trap of completely placating a client. After all, you want people to be happy with your service. You can only apologies so much, and after that it’s important that you and the client are on the right track to solving the problem. The issue comes where a client might be over-exaggerating their unhappiness in order to try and reduce the price or sneak in extra work. This does unfortunately happen which is why it’s key to be nice but firm.

Don’t Sink

You may already know that your relationship is dead. You might simply never want to work with this client again and where shouting and bad tempers are involved it can be all so tempting to sink down to their level, join in and leave. Not only is this unprofessional but you will regret it in the long run. When you look back at projects that have gone wrong, you want to say objectively and honestly that you’ve done everything in your power to help that client. Grit your teeth and try and get through it.

Be Formal

If talking in person or on the phone gets you no where one tactic to get through a project is simply to revert to formal emails and block their number. This should only be considered in extreme cases but enables you to have a paper trail and be professional. Don’t get sucked into unnecessary email tennis or slide remarks though.

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Mary Shulzhenko

Discussion  - 
 
15 Reasons Your Customers Don’t Like You

Assuming that your products or services are absolutely great, do you know what can drive your customers away and prevent you from building long-lasting relationships with them? This infographic provides 15 major reasons (mostly related to customer service) why your customers don’t like you: goo.gl/eFHgmj
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Sanjay Choudhary's profile photoMary Shulzhenko's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Sanjay Choudhary Thank you!
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Oliver Gwynne

Resources  - 
 
Good Client Relations 16: Smaller Clients

Coming to the end of our topic about good client relations I wanted to do a quick summary of some of the positive and negative attributes of both bigger and smaller clients.

Bigger Impact

One of the main positives about working with those smaller clients and my personal favourite thing, is that you can have a much bigger impact on their business. There’s nothing better then being able to add value to a business, it quickly builds relationships and leads to repeat work.

Quicker Decisions

Another plus about smaller businesses is that there are less people and usually that means you get clearer line of communication. Quite often you’ll be dealing with the MD or owner. This enables fast communication…which also means you should get paid quicker, too.

Bigger Decisions

Talking of money, one of the downsides of smaller clients is that money is more precious for them. As such although decision ‘in-project’ might be quicker, actually getting them to commit can be harder. Smaller clients will want value for their money and counter-intuitively will often have higher expectations that your higher paying clients.

More Loyalty

Smaller clients will value that care and attention that they wouldn’t get from say a big agency. That also makes them less likely to shop around as opposed to a big company where you may be one of a number of suppliers.

Fragile

The main downside with any smaller client is that by their very nature they are more fragile and therefore more affected by outside sources. So if a client pays them late, you might get paid late too.

Outgrow

On your journey in business, if you’re doing all the right things you will often start to outgrow smaller clients. It simply won’t be sensible to give them your time when you could be earning more elsewhere, but don’t overlook them completely. I think having a good mix of clients will ensure long term growth. You do have to remember though, you aren’t in business to do favours.

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Mary Shulzhenko

Online Marketing  - 
 
8 Ways to Win More Loyal Customers with a Personal Touch

Getting more loyal customers does not necessarily need to take huge marketing budgets. When it comes to customer loyalty, it’s usually small gestures that get appreciated the most and remembered. Take a look at these 8 ways to win greater customer loyalty with a personal touch: https://goo.gl/EqdJv8
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About this community

Mission: To champion small business, provide resources for growth, and advocate against government regulations. WELCOME NEW MEMBERS:) "CLEAN WALL" RULES: 1. NO Promotions of any kind! (blog links, site links, etc) 2. NO invitations 3. NO review request 4. NO trashing anyone! Period. 6. If you're not sure if its "OK" to post, then don't. 7. All posts are for the mastermind! Re-authorizing group posts to make your own product is not authorized and is disrespectful to the poster. Duh, Its a Mastermind! 8. Be a giver! You get back what you send out. Remember to start with search function, before asking for help. You can make great connections that turn into deals here, just do it in PM and not on the wall ok? If you are a leader or expert in your field and think you are above the rules. You are not, in fact I expect more out of you. Thank you Randy Schrum
 
Speak and be heard by everyone.We all want to speak and be heard, and there is nothing worse than trying to say something to someone who just does not get it.Usually, this is because we are trying to tell people something from our viewpoint. To make sure that the listener understands, we have to talk from their viewpoint. This means coming out of your ego and seeing the world from another view.Whether its business or personal, the point is the sa...
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If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a group. South African Proverb I absolutely believe in team and collaboration.
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Outsourcing is self care. Your greatest asset is you!
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Being an #entrepreneur requires lots of hard work and passion for it. However, most entrepreneurs will tell you that it's worth it. #Entrepreneurship means being your own boss and making your own rules.
If you have an idea then start making it a reality and live a life of an amazing entrepreneur. Here are the top motivational factors that induce people to opt entrepreneurship. For more infographic visit: http://www.crowdinvest.com/blog/infographics/

#businessplan #business #startupmistakes #startupbuisness 
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Dana Blouin

Discussion  - 
 
My Team building efforts at the new startup, Mango Labs are coming along nicely. Pretty soon I will intro my team in some of these videos. Until then, Please enjoy

https://youtu.be/n3VQP-njkV0

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Dina Lynch Eisenberg's profile photoDana Blouin's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Dina Lynch Eisenberg For me it starts with the people I select for my team, I think picking the right team is key. Next is on me to empower them to do their best work, I also work very hard to be transparent in as much as I can with them so they are part of the process. There are a lot of other things that go into setting culture as well, but from a team building perspective those are my keys.
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Oliver Gwynne

Discussion  - 
 
When Projects Go Bad 2: Angry Feedback

In the last lesson I talked about how to handle negative feedback. This is often the earliest and easiest way to combat a project going bad. Sometimes this feedback can be nothing to worry about at all, but on other occasions feedback can stop being constructive at all and start to feel more like a personal attack.

It’s Not Me, It’s You

To recap last week’s blog: When you get negative feedback it’s important not to respond straight away, try and be objective and ask for as specific points so as to make improvements. When feedback feels more angry or more personal, this can be all the harder to do. The first thing I would always remind people, is that it’s hard to know what is behind a client’s anger and it isn’t always you.

There can be many motivating factors behind an outburst. It can be tempting to respond to hostility with hostility but the high road is always best.

Fingers Wag

It’s hard not to feel insecure when someone is questioning the quality and output of what you do for a living. Quality is so often the stick that is used to beat us, and this is especially true of anyone working in a creative field. One example I always use on my mentees. Vincent Van Gogh. Now Vincent sold hardly any paintings during his lifetime. No one wanted them. Clearly the quality was awful. Yet today they are worth a fortune and loved throughout the world. This is one of the best examples of just how arbitrary quality can be.

Stress Factor

I always tell people that generally everyday working life is better when you work for yourself, BUT when you have a bad day…you have a really bad day. Unhappy clients can cause a lot of stress not least from the possibility of a loss of expected earnings. When you’re dealing with unhappy clients, seek out those people in your circle for support. I’m talking friends and family but also your freelance community who might be able to give you a bit of impartial insight into what could be done differently.

Chew Loudly

Here comes a strange bit of advice. I don’t think that being chewed out (shouted at) is the end of a relationship. Now don’t get me wrong some people are going to get out their frustration and that’s it…you’re gone. Generally though I think that when a relationship is over it happens quietly. Either you’ll never hear from that client again or you’ll quietly be told that your services are no longer needed. Sometimes a chewing out is actually an opportunity to get things right. IF you can react positively and quickly.

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Oliver Gwynne

Discussion  - 
 
When Projects Go Bad 1: Feedback

So far we’ve had lessons on how to pitch, how to convert that pitch into a job and how to ensure you have good client relations during that job. We’ve covered some of the negative attributes that clients might be guilty of and how best to deal with them. Often factors like Penny Pinching or Micro-management will be the source of issues on projects, but now I want to go into how to salvage a bad project hopefully before your client leaves. The first tingling sensation that your project is about to take a wrong turn often comes during the review stage. The client isn’t happy with your work.

No Middles

One of the major disadvantages of any new client is that there’s a learning curve as to what they will want and what they like. In a normal job you only have one boss to please, and usually it won’t take all too long to figure out what they look for. When you’re working for yourself you have lots of different clients, all with their own personalities and preferences. You also don’t have a lot of time to find these out. Even with a clear brief this might not always be subjective, especially in a field that’s subjective like design.

Everyone’s A Critic

It can be quite difficult if you’re not used to handling criticism when you get negative feedback. This is especially true of small businesses where you know all the blood, sweat and tears that’s gone into getting the sale in the first place. Least of all that all nighter you pulled in order to get them this done in time. Objectivity can be hard to come by…especially when you like what you’ve created. This is the exact reasons why big agencies will have the people who ‘account manage’ they sit in the middle and absorb the brunt of the blow when negative feedback comes in.

DON’T Respond

The first thing to do is buy a little time. NEVER ever respond back in the same way other than to acknowledge their message. Buy yourself a little time and try and come back and review your work in the most objective way possible. Print out your original brief and see if you’re ticking all the boxes. Sometimes its easy to see something so often, you stop seeing the mistakes.

Specifics

If you look at your work, feel its hitting the intended brief then you need to open a dialogue with your client. Do not be too defensive. Ask your client for examples of what they’d prefer, what exactly needs to be changed. Remember everything is subjective so the more specific the better.


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Campbell Jof

Discussion  - 
 
43 Small Business Logo Design Services
Perhaps no branding element is more important than your logo. Often the “first impression” that most prospects have of your business, it needs to present a number of key branding elements at one glance: Name – what’s your business called? Slogan (optional) – what does your business do that’s relevant to your prospects and how … Continue reading "43 Small Business Logo Design Services"
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V Giridhar

Discussion  - 
 
#growthhacking the Unique way that will help #SMB #business increase #biz #conversions team@sdi.la 
Here is a brief list of 7 things your landing page absolutely needs to have a high conversion rate, from growthhackers in the field.
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