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Customers Are Always Right—Or Are They?

The business world had first heard the maxim, “The customer is always right,” when Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of the Selfridge department store in London, used it to reassure customers that they can always expect good service from his company. More than a century later, it’s still being applied by many business giants, often to the exasperation of employees.
Decade after decade, this mentality has been drilled into the heads of entrepreneurs. Workers are told to look beyond the need to do what is just. They’re expected to turn the other cheek and smile when an irate customer is calling them down. Well, here’s a secret for you that everyone knows but nobody wants to spill out: The customer isn’t always right. You know it, and business owners know it, too.

Why ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ Mentality Is Wrong

Why This Mentality Should Be Ditched

Businessmen have long touted the customer-is-always-right mentality. However, it’s time to let it go and accept that it could destroy employees’ morale, mess up the business process, and harm customer service in general. Customers are not always right—they just think they are. However, that doesn’t mean you should continue to apply this principle mindlessly in your business. Here are six reasons why this mentality should’ve been flushed down the drain a long, long time ago.

1. Customers don’t always know what they’re doing

Customers are not experts. They may be aggressive in asserting their opinions, but most of the time, they don’t really know how their words and actions affect the bigger picture. To contend the absolute power of customers, regardless of their individual attitudes and unique situations, is one way to send good business flying out the door.
If you know that the client is wrong and your employee is right, don’t suck up to the former and disown the latter. Instead, be just and reasonable. Remember that part of your job is to help both customers and employees. Telling customers they’re right when they’re not doesn’t do them—or you—any favor. Don’t bend over backwards every time a client complains. Remember, you’re the expert, not them.

Why ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ Mentality Is Wrong

2. Most customers are resistant to change

The case is simple—there are many consumers out there who are simply not progressive thinkers. They care more about keeping the status quo as it is than exploring possibilities for improvement. They don’t care if you’re trying to create something new; they’re not going to adopt it until the rest of the world is onboard and they’re the only ones left in oblivion. The fact that there are still many retrogressive people in the world can put you in a vulnerable spot, especially if your business is geared towards innovation. As you know, the enemy of business success is stagnation, so it will harm you to stay on one spot for the longest time just to please regressive customers.

3. Unreasonable customers are bad for business

Most entrepreneurs are possessed by the illusion that the more clients a business has, the better off it will be. While this may be justified to some extent, it’s not an absolute truth that every businessperson should uphold. There are things more important than garnering a massive consumer base and earning money—and yes, we’re talking about dignity and respect. That said, it’s only appropriate to fire a bad customer who is on the verge of burning all of your resources and energy. Remember, you can only expend so much, so don’t use up all your resources on clients who deserve them the least. Dedicate them instead on reasonable clients who are willing to work things out. Do your part, and if that doesn’t lead you anywhere, move on. After all, no reward can make keeping a difficult customer relationship worthwhile.
To use author Peter Fader’s words, “Not all customers deserve your company’s best efforts. And despite what the old adage says, the customer is most definitely not always right. Because in the world of customer centricity, there are good customers…and then there is everybody else.”

Why ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ Mentality Is Wrong

4. It gives bad customers an unfair advantage

Since when does being rude gets rewarded? Abusive customers need to know that they can’t always get what they want. Sometimes, they need to adjust their mindset. What makes more sense is for nice people to be treated with care and respect. Businesses should run the extra mile for those who leave a long-lasting positive impact, not for those who only bring problems.

5. It makes employees unhappy and resentful

The customer-is-always-right principle is a double-edged sword. Not only does it encourage rudeness; it also dampens employee morale. By choosing a hard-to-please client (who is halfway through the door anyway) over a valuable employee who’s been with you through tough times, you’re only reinforcing the prejudice regarding employers not having the employees’ back—and this will upset your employees. To quote Bret Larsen, CEO of eVisit, “Chances are, you assembled your team based on their values and abilities. Put faith in that. Support them however you can.”

6. It results into worse customer service overall

If your argument for insisting that the customer is always right is that it’s a good customer service principle, then you need to reevaluate your business assumptions. To borrow words from author Alexander Kjerulf, “Believing the customer is always right is a subconscious way of favoring the customer over the employee, which can lead to resentment among employees. When managers put the employees first, the employees will then put the customers first. Put employees first and they will be happy at work.” When employees are happy, they feel more motivated. This ultimately leads to a more positive environment where customer service can thrive best.
The gist is simple—customers are not always right. However, that doesn’t mean they’re always wrong either. You have to weigh in the facts and use your judgment fairly. That’s what being a good entrepreneur and employer is about, anyway.
 

Resources:

Beal, Andy. “Why the Customer Is Not Always Right and Why It Doesn’t Matter.” American Express. July 25, 2011. www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/why-the-customer-is-not-always-right-and-why-it-doesnt-matter
DeMers, Jayson. “No, The Customer Is Not Always Right.” Forbes. September 2, 2014. www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/09/02/no-the-customer-is-not-always-right/#74b964ad4412
Kjerulf, Alexander. “Top 5 Reasons Why ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ Is Wrong.” Huffington Post. April 15, 2014. www.huffingtonpost.com/alexander-kjerulf/top-5-reasons-customer-service_b_5145636.html
Page, Bubba. “3 Reasons Why the Customer Is Always Right…Is Wrong.” Inc. October 15, 2015. www.inc.com/bubba-page/3-reasons-why-the-customer-is-always-right-is-wrong.html
“The Customer Is Always Right.” Phrases. n.d. www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/106700.html

Boosting Productivity with the Help of Nature

Do you find a certain monotony in your professional life wherein you feel cooped up in a little concrete square during work hours? Are you distracted by the many different sights, sounds, and miscellaneous goings-on in the office? Is this dip, if not crash, in productivity immensely affecting your performance? Then perhaps you need a bit—or a lot—of nature.
It’s a known fact that spending time outdoors can be beneficial to your health. Not only can you soak up vitamin D from the sun, but nature also regulates your mood and ultimately makes you feel freer. Thus, you become less susceptible to anemia, growing happier and more positive in general.
How does that fare for an entrepreneur? The general health benefits of taking a few hours of rest in nature’s glory far outweigh the pros of staying in an indoor office. You may want to consider setting aside time to step outside and enjoy the greenery before returning to work on your output.

Correlation of Productivity and Nature

Years of research back up how the environment affects productivity. In fact, a team of German researchers reported that even just seeing green rectangles for two seconds is enough to improve creativity. Talk about extreme.
On the other hand, however, it may not be feasible for you to work outside the office. Perhaps it’s because you have sensitive data you must keep secure. In that case, how about bringing the outdoors indoors? Investing in the general look and atmosphere of your work environment can be just as beneficial. Small adjustments like adding potted plants in the office can do wonders to your productivity. The same goes with the repainting of your walls. It’s a good thing the Pantone color of 2017 is Greenery because it can help boost creativity in the workplace.
There are other ways to let nature help you. Check the following infographic from SlideGenius to maximize your office efforts with nature’s guiding hand.
 

 

Resources:

Burkeman, Oliver. “Nature and Nurture.” The Guardian. March 16, 2013. www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/16/this-column-change-life-nature-nurture
Wise, Abigail. “Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier.” Huffington Post. June 22, 2014. www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/22/how-the-outdoors-make-you_n_5508964.html

How Deep Listening Results to Better Understanding

Communication in today’s landscape is one big irony. While the different forms of digital media are thriving, face-to-face conversations are braving what could be called “dark times.” People today are more preoccupied than before—they tend to listen less and talk more. Unsatisfying communication is rampant in both the small setting and the big picture. We see relationships crumble and fights ensue because of the poor way spouses, parents, children, neighbors, friends, and colleagues communicate. We all suffer and endure the negative consequences of this notorious problem, which exists even among political parties, ethnicities, nations, and religions.
And the most disturbing part is that poor communication seems to be more than just a trend but a facet that is deeply ingrained in our present culture. If we look closely at it, communication seems to be both the problem and the solution. The complication can be traced back to people not showing enough interest or having enough forbearance to purse their lips, open their minds, and simply listen. Poor listening is the problem, and deep listening is the answer. Only by acknowledging this fact and working towards achieving it can we bring about a shift in the way communication works in the digital age.

What Deep Listening Truly Means

Deep Listening as a Tool for Improving the Way We Communicate
We all know and practice active listening, which entails repeating what the speaker says and seeking clarification for ambiguous ideas. While active listening is highly encouraged, to truly solve the problem of poor communication, we need to master deep listening, a more contemplative form of communication that involves listening to oneself before others.
Deep listening occurs when your mind is quiet and you’re able to suspend your reactive thinking and just open your thoughts to every possibility. It entails what John Keats called negative capability, which refers to when you’re “capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” The nature of deep listening may appear paradoxical—after all, it claims that to better communicate with others, you must first pay attention to yourself. But by applying the principles of deep listening, you can become a more receptive, emphatic, trusting, and trustworthy listener, which can ultimately lead you to becoming a good communicator.

Three Steps to Connecting with Your Body, Speech, and Mind

Deep Listening as a Tool for Improving the Way We Communicate | meditate | Yoga
According to David Rome and Hope Martin, two trainers who have been studying and teaching deep listening for more than a decade, there are three techniques for tuning in to your mind, body, and speech: awareness meditation, the Alexander technique, and focusing on felt senses. By practicing these techniques, you can keep in touch with all aspects of your being—which is, ultimately, the foundation of deep listening.

1. Awareness Meditation

This type of meditation is known to some as mindfulness and to others, peaceful abiding. Whatever you call it, this principle lies only on two simple ideas: to watch your thoughts come and go without acting on them, and to always return to the present moment no matter what. Usually done in the form of a sitting meditation, it puts emphasis on body presence. One of the main inspirations for this technique is “The Four Foundations of Mindfulness,” an article by Buddhist meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. It explains the following:

  • Mindfulness of body. “The basic starting point is solidness, groundedness. When you sit, you actually sit. Even your floating thoughts begin to sit on their own bottoms. You have a sense of solidness and, at the same time, a sense of being.”
  • Mindfulness of life. “The instinct to live can be seen as containing awareness, meditation, mindfulness. It constantly tunes us into what is happening. So, the life force that keeps us alive itself becomes the practice of mindfulness.”
  • Mindfulness of effort. “The sudden flash is a key to all Buddhist meditation, from the level of basic mindfulness to the highest levels of tantra. But it is not enough just to hope that a flash will come to us; there must be a background of discipline.”
  • Mindfulness of mind. “Mind functions singly. Once. And once. One thing at a time. Things always happen one at a time, in a direct, simple movement of mind. Mindfulness of mind is to be there with that one-shot perception, constantly.”

Deep Listening as a Tool for Improving the Way We Communicate | Awareness Meditation

2. The Alexander Technique

This principle is what molds you into developing equanimity so that you can avoid becoming a victim of your life circumstances. It enables you to look after yourself while facing the rigorous demands of life. By assuming an objective point of view, you not only open your mind to see how you interfere with your natural and intrinsic inclinations but also discern which habits and qualities you should let go of.

3. Focusing on Felt Senses

Originating from Western philosophy, this technique involves cultivating three inner skills: self-knowledge, a caring presence, and an intuitive insight. As its name suggests, this principle involves noticing your senses as you feel them. Usually, you don’t pick up these senses in your attention radar, but if you try to be more attentive to your emotions, you will be able to notice them easily. By noticing these sensations before acting on them, you’ll be able to choose your words and actions better in future arguments, helping you improve the way you communicate.
The sum of these three contemplative practices is powerful enough to effect a dramatic change that can impact everyone. If only more people learn and apply these valuable skills, we could all see a significant shift in the quality of communication in the twenty-first century.
 

References:

Bailey, Joe. “What Is Deep Listening?” Goodlife Zen. n.d. goodlifezen.com/what-is-deep-listening
Popova, Maria. “The Art of ‘Negative Capability’: Keats on Embracing Uncertainty and Celebrating the Mysterious.” Brain Pickings. n.d. www.brainpickings.org/2012/11/01/john-keats-on-negative-capability
Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa. “The Four Foundations of Mindfulness.” Lion’s Roar. November 30, 2016. www.lionsroar.com/the-four-foundations-of-mindfulness
“Deep Listening.” Mindful. n.d. www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree/deep-listening
“Deep Listening.” Mindful. August 26, 2010. www.mindful.org/deep-listening
 

20 Habits That Will Fuel Your Creativity

Writers know the feeling of a writer’s block: forced imageries, that slight and awkward change in style, words being eked out just to say that something is written. Along a similar vein, visual artists suffer the same. There’s no inspiration. No guiding hand on the canvas. No mind’s eye seeing what a piece could look like or even a little imagination for a pitch. The worst part is that a creativity block can afflict anyone, even those not particularly creative.
It’s a tough spot to get out of. You need that huge mental boost to overcome it, but maintaining it is a different matter. Even in the other end of the spectrum, people who say they aren’t creative find it hard to jumpstart their mind juices to produce something.
How do people get mentally stuck anyway? Is it because the proverbial “muse” that artists of yore wrote, painted, and sculpted about is absent? Modern science has a different answer. In a radio interview with Public Radio International, Dr. Heather Berlin, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says, “[T]here tends to be a pattern of activation when [people] have decreased activation in a part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. And [it] has to do with your sense of self, … making sure that your behavior conforms to social norms.”
In short, when creativity sets in, people “lose [their] sense of self.” The moment they become conscious that they are without the normal bounds of work rules, they slip back in, and the former mindset is gone.
Have you ever stopped to think about the rut you’re in? In this article, business coach and trainer Mark McGuiness posits that there are seven types of creative block, and it involves more than just your mentality.
Lucky for you, there are tons of articles that give ideas on how to overcome that pesky block. The following infographic lists down habits you could start doing now to get your creative juices flowing.

20 Habits

Resources:

McGuinness, Mark. “7 Types of Creative Block (and What to Do About Them).” 99U. n.d. www.99u.com/articles/7088/7-types-of-creative-block-and-what-to-do-about-them
Perry, Susan K. “10 Creative Block Breakers That Actually Work.” Psychology Today. September 14, 2012. www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creating-in-flow/201209/10-creative-block-breakers-actually-work
Shockman, Elizabeth. “Creative Block? Here the Neuroscience of How to Fix That.” Public Radio International. April 5, 2016. www.pri.org/stories/2016-04-05/creative-block-here-s-neuroscience-how-fix

3 Reasons Why Taking Your Presentation Online Is Beneficial

In today’s technological age, it’s impractical and unwise to confine a presentation to the four corners of a room. Whether you like it or not, the majority of your audience can now be found in digital nooks, where their attention is constantly being fought over by brands. If you haven’t explored this platform yet, chances are your competitors have already beat you to it. But not to worry, it’s not too late to set things right and keep abreast of the latest developments in the presentation industry.
Before you close the door to the digital option, hear this out first. Moving your presentation online presents a number of benefits, which ultimately enable you to become more productive, more practical, and more popular. Specifically, the following are the top three gains you can expect by simply going digital.
How Much Can the Online Platform Increase Your Presentation Reach? | Stage presentation

1. Maximize your audience reach

As a beginner, perhaps the most pressing issue you have in mind is, “Where do I start?” The good thing about the online platform is that it has many entry points. You can start by promoting your presentation on social media or by building a website that showcases your content. There is no one starting point. Instead, you have to find what works for you. The key here is to build trust among your audience and familiarity among your colleagues. Once you have considerable experience, you can begin participating in trend shows and attending global conferences, but until then, you have to start somewhere.
Assuming that you’re still a budding speaker exploring the digital field for the first time, the easiest and most practical route for you is through social media. After all, more than half of internet users nowadays have five social media accounts on average. Facebook alone has more than 1.7 billion monthly active users, according to Statista. This social media giant is a market leader not only in terms of reach but in scope as well.
There are many ways to share PowerPoint presentations on social media, including turning a deck into a video presentation or a gallery of slides. As long as you do it right, you can’t possibly fail. Indeed, it pays to know what works and what doesn’t. When choosing platforms, make sure to consider the number of users, reach, scope, and compatibility with presentation documents.
How Much Can the Online Platform Increase Your Presentation Reach | Accessible

2. Make your content accessible

If you want your presentation to stand the test of time and survive your audience’s memory, there’s only one way to go: DIGITAL. After every presentation, make it a point to upload your main ideas online so that your audience and other business prospects can have better access to your content.
Also, when uploading a copy of your presentation, make sure to leave notes where they’re warranted so that readers can better understand the hard parts. As much as possible, include additional sections like Notes and Appendices, where you can clarify and expound on important points. By going the extra mile with your online presentation, you’re showing your target audience and potential clients that you’re serious in promulgating your message. This will draw them closer to you and take you more seriously.
How Much Can the Online Platform Increase Your Presentation Reach? | Connect with more audience prospects

3. Connect with more audience prospects

Expanding to the digital platform is not only a way for you to reach your target audience but also expand your market and widen your reach. Since a good number of your audience are already online, your chances of forging new connections are higher. As long as you have good and accessible content, you’ll have no problem gathering a loyal following.
Indeed, it pays to be open to different methods of reaching out to people, regardless if they are your target audience or not. Going online welcomes new opportunities to grow your brand as a presenter. 

Final Words

Establishing an online presence can go a long way to making your brand known to the world. The online realm makes it more possible to reach your target audience as well as other business prospects. The business industry is getting more competitive day by day. This is why it would only be wise for you to explore every possible opportunity to expand your reach. It would certainly take time for you to get used to new changes, but with dedication, you’ll be able to see your hard work pay off.
 

Resources:

Finkelstein, Ellen. “Why You Need to Get Your Presentations on the Internet—And How.” Ellen Finkelstein. June 19, 2011. www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/why-you-need-to-get-your-presentations-on-the-internet-and-how
Knight, Stormy. “20 Reasons to Put Your Business on the Web.” Net 101. n.d. www.net101.com/20-reasons-to-put-your-business-on-the-web
Mander, Jason. “Internet Users Have Average of 5.54 Social Media Accounts.” Global Web Index. January 23, 2015. blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/internet-users-have-average-of-5-54-social-media-accounts
“How to Share a PowerPoint Presentation Online.” iSpring. June 5, 2015. www.ispringsolutions.com/blog/how-to-share-a-powerpoint-presentation-online
“Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2017, Ranked by Number of Active Users.” Statista. n.d. www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users
“Number of Internet Users Worldwide from 2005 to 2016.” Statista. n.d. www.statista.com/statistics/273018/number-of-internet-users-worldwide
“Number of Social Media Users Worldwide from 2010 to 2020.” Statista. n.d. www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users

The Attributes of a Great Public Speaker

Since time immemorial, humans have taken to the stage so that they could be seen and speak their hearts out. With each word, they captivate and mesmerize people. With every breath, these speakers commanded the language like no other, making crowds stay and listen, and even wanting for more.
It’s not like history has a shortage of outstanding public speakers. Those who have rhetoric skills, who have etched their names in eternity, along with the long list of heroes, villains, sinners, and saints, are remembered long after their time, immortalized by their craft in history books and the Internet. From legendary Roman spokesperson Cicero and Greek general Pericles to author Susan Cain and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the world has seen its fair share of public speakers who can dominate the stage and fascinate their audiences with their piece or with whatever they present.
But what a public speaker so endearing? How do they command the charisma that inspires listeners to their cause? Is there a trick to their success? Are they magic? Through simple inspection, the most obvious commonality among them all is their ability to move the emotions and opinions of their audiences.
Today’s age doesn’t have much of the oratory events that the ancient times had; the closest in modernity, and arguably the biggest, is the annual TED Talks. Apart from the leap in technological levels and different preparatory techniques, though, is there any other difference between then and now in terms of oration?
If anything, what’s most intriguing are the speakers. From then up to now, time has tried and successfully proven that the very attributes that made names like Cicero, Pericles, and Demosthenes legendary are the very same benchmarks of a great public speaker today. In short, when you exhibit and emulate the following traits, then you can be one of the greats of this era. What are those characteristics? The following infographic will fill you in.

Resource:

Inzunza, Victor. “History’s Greatest Speakers and Their Greatest Speeches.” Pencils.com. December 3, 2012. www.pencils.com/historys-greatest-speeches

How Can I Become an Effective Webinar Host?

It’s understandable why some people refuse to host webinars to boost their marketing campaign. The experience can be stressful when undertaken the wrong way. First-timers who aren’t confident enough to believe that they have what it takes to pull off the event can find the experience nerve-wracking. Like most presentations, webinars require careful planning. Hosts are expected to devote ample time to ensure that everything goes well—and the implications of that fact alone are enough to give anyone cold feet.

However, if there’s one reason why businesses should still consider hosting a webinar, it’s that the pay-off is well worth the hassle. A webinar provides a whole range of functionalities that other types of media and social platforms can’t offer. For instance, webinars are a quick and surefire way to forge new connections and generate trust from potential clients in your target niche. Also, compared to live seminars, webinars are more practical and regulated because they cost less, demand less time, and can be controlled from start to finish.

If you leave out webinars from your campaign, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities. To keep abreast with the latest technology, you need to host effective webinars.

The Secrets of Successful Webinar Hosts

There aren’t many webinar hosts out there who can draw their target audience’s attention from the start and sustain it until the end. However, those who are skilled enough to do this aren’t hard to emulate. In fact, their strategies when analyzed are easy to understand. Below are some of the secrets of successful webinar hosts.

1. They craft attention-grabbing headlines

Coming up with a catchy headline is winning half the battle. Your potential attendees have no way of knowing exactly what they’ll be getting out of your webinar, so it’s important that the title of your event packs enough information without sacrificing fun.

2. They learn their way around webinar technologies

You’d think it’s obvious, but many webinar hosts still don’t realize that getting the hang of webinar technologies before an event is an absolute must. They wait until the last minute before doing a test run. By leaving out this important step, they take value from their overall experience and the audience’s. The result is dissatisfaction on both ends.

Even on the onset, you should be involved in deciding which webinar tool to use. Consider all possible factors when making this decision. Also, make sure that your provider is willing to train your team so that you can make the most of your webinar experience. Knowing how webinar technologies work will enable you to provide clear instructions to your audience. Equipped with this knowledge, you can walk them through the various features and functionalities of the tools you’re using.

3. They put audio over everything else

In a live presentation, the way you carry yourself onstage is as important as the way you sound. You need to keep the audience invested not only in what you say but also in the way you say it. The same can be said about webinars, although audio-related factors are way more important in this platform than visual ones. Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, the audience sometimes don’t get the chance to see you face-to-face. The only connection you have with them is your voice. This is why it’s imperative that you get a good external mic and a soundproof room to aid in audio quality. On top of this, you should make sure to use a confident and conversational tone to keep your audience engaged.

4. They hold the audience’s attention to the last minute

Don’t be too naïve to assume that your audience will stay with you from beginning to end. People’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. With so many distractions that technology offers, you have no choice now but to compete for your audience’s attention. It would serve you well to add interesting elements like lively videos, good humor, captivating narratives, intriguing facts, and relevant questions into your presentation.

5. They practice and practice some more

One way to make sure that your webinar is seamless is by doing a test run. As they say, practice makes perfect. By reviewing your performance before going live, you give yourself a chance to polish the whole thing and minimize errors. Don’t wait until the last minute before you try out the webinar tools you’re going to use. Test them ahead of time—ideally at the same time you review your content and delivery. Practicing your act will help lessen your stress and give you more confidence.

6. They take marketing seriously

The most successful webinars are those that are marketed optimally. There’s only one way for you to attract a wide audience, and that is to promote the webinar ahead of time. Explore different social media platforms and start online discussions to promote the event. By maximizing all marketing opportunities, you can also maximize audience reach.

7. They review feedback to better themselves

No matter how good you are, there is always an opportunity for learning—a room for improvement that you may have overlooked before. That’s why after delivering a webinar, you should review your performance and take whatever feedback you can, whether good or otherwise. By doing this, you can become a better webinar host.

Webinars are here to stay, so the wise thing to do is tame the platform while it’s still not overused. With the aforementioned tips, you can become a better webinar host and expand your brand reach.

Resources:

Carucci, John & Sharan, Sharat. “How to Ensure Webinar Audio Quality.” Dummies. n.d. www.dummies.com/careers/business-communication/webinars/how-to-ensure-webinar-audio-quality

Dietrich, Gini. “14 Steps to Hosting a Successful Webinar.” Convince and Convert. n.d. www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/14-steps-to-hosting-a-successful-webinar

Pappas, Christoforos. “Hosting a Winning Webinar: The Ultimate Guide.” eLearning Industry. August 22, 2015. elearningindustry.com/hosting-winning-webinar-ultimate-guide

Pappas, Christoforos. “Top 7 Tips to be a Successful Webinar Host.” eLearning Industry. October 5, 2015. elearningindustry.com/top-7-webinar-tips-successful-webinar-host

Warren, Gabriela. “How to Organize and Host a Webinar.” Lifewire. September 20, 2016. www.lifewire.com/how-to-organize-and-host-a-webinar-2377237

Weller, Nathan B. “The 15 Best Webinar Software Products from Around the Web.” Elegant Themes. January 17, 2015. www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/the-15-best-webinar-software-products-from-around-the-web

Overcoming Nerves When Giving a Presentation

Giving a presentation doesn’t always come naturally, especially when standing in front of a crowd isn’t your forte. It’s a skill that takes time to learn and perform just like singing or acting.
As much as you practice, though, one thing can derail you: stage fright. It’s a whole different experience when you’re rehearsing in a confined and controlled environment compared to when standing in front of a crowd.
Fear is inevitable. It is the usual initial feeling people have when they’re aware that something bad can happen. However, most find themselves harboring and being crippled by that possibility for a long time. Ever heard of Murphy’s Law?
You don’t have to experience the same fate. As long as you know how to avoid or fight it—and improve despite of and because of it—you won’t ever have to deal with bothersome stage frights. 

Getting Rid of Presentation Stage Fright in Two Simple Ways | Frighting on stage

Finding a Cure to Presentation Anxiety

Fighting off anxiety can be challenging. You never know when it will come and attack you. When it affects you, you feel weak, not knowing when it will go away. But fear isn’t a physical barrier. In fact, it‘s all in your head. You created it, and you can eliminate it.
Anxiety occurs when you anticipate a bad event. It’s normal to feel anxious when you’re in a stressful situation. And it grows when you keep believing it’s true. The only way to destroy it is by understanding that it’s all in your mind and becoming proactive on it.
Ask yourself the following questions: “What am I being anxious about?” “Where did it come from?” “Is now the time to think about it?” “Will it help me deliver my presentation?” Rationalizing points out the weight of your problem and its urgency. Breaking down your worries and your responsibilities helps you decide how to move along on your work. Instead of entertaining that fear, rehearse your pitch in your head. Your anxiety will be addressed by focusing on the task at hand. Stay on track and don’t let your mind wander off. Mentally pushing the nuisance to the far end of the room will make it leave. 

Getting Rid of Presentation Stage Fright in Two Simple Ways | Relax

Preventing Stage Fright Successfully

There are many reasons why presenters experience anxiety before and during a presentation. Apart from anticipating a faulty performance, procrastination, laziness, and carelessness are the other elements that trigger it. . Sometimes, the reason why you anticipate mistakes is because you know they are consequences of something you did wrong in the past. Maybe there’s a gap in your presentation that you deliberately neglected or maybe you can’t help but think about the practices you should have not missed. These simple yet reoccurring things can make you feel anxious on your big presentation day.
Crafting a great presentation takes much research and preparation. Being able to come up with great research takes a lot of effort and time. And on top of all that hard work, it also takes a lot of practice to make sure you feel ready to present your deck.
When you care to invest that much to prepare your pitch, consequences that make you anxious won’t get in the way. Instead, you gain confidence and feel empowered enough to present your pitch with your head held high. 

Getting Rid of Presentation Stage Fright in Two Simple Ways

Prepare, Present, and Prosper.

There’s no way of telling what’s going to happen next. Why waste time being fearful of outcomes you’re not even sure will happen? If you place fear in the present, you’ll see that it has no business being there. Your presentation should be the only thing on your mind when you walk onstage. The dialogue between you and your audience is your priority. Focus so that nothing can change the way you planned to deliver your pitch.
Remember that prevention is better than cure. Make time to prepare your deck and rehearse your performance. Learn how to present your deck better than the last time. Nobody becomes a public speaking expert overnight. Plan your slides carefully and practice your lines.
Lastly, don’t fear judgement or fill your mind with worry. You have the power to stop self-sabotaging thoughts. 

Resources:

Bellamy, Wallace J. “Fear… It’s All in Your Head.” DrBellamyDMD.com. July 12, 2016. www.drbellamydmd.com/patient-education/fear-its-all-in-your-head
Esposito, Janet. “Conquering Stage Fright.” Anxiety and Depression Society of America. n.d. www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder/treatment/conquering-stage-fright
Maina, Antony. “16 Ways to Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking in Public.” Small Business Trends. October 6, 2015. www.smallbiztrends.com/2015/10/overcome-stage-fright-speaking-in-public.html
Purtill, Corinne. “Murphy’s Law Is Totally Misunderstood and Is in Fact a Call to Excellence.” Quartz. May 16, 2017. www.qz.com/984181/murphys-law-is-totally-misunderstood-and-is-in-fact-a-call-to-excellence
Reynolds, Garr. “Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery,” 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: New Riders. 2012.
“Managing Presentation Nerves: Coping with the Fear Within.” Mind Tools. n.d. www.mindtools.com/pages/article/PresentationNerves.htm

Successfully Introducing Your Product in a Business Presentation

When you launch a product for the first time, you’re automatically handed the responsibility of ensuring its success. The audience will look up to you for answers because you’re the expert in that particular setup. You’re expected to know more about your product than anyone else. Rightfully, you are also entitled to feel excited or overwhelmed. After all, you’re handling a do-or-die moment for your brand. The key to conquering this situation, of course, is to win your audience’s favor. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Show, Don’t Tell

When introducing a new product, it’s not enough to simply tell your customers about it. You need to let them see it with their own eyes and test it with their own hands. Of course, before doing that, you should draw the audience’s attention and interest first. Make them want to experience your product and explore its features. You can do this by creating a point of comparison between your product and that of your competitors. Convince your audience that you are the right choice. Take note that your clients will form their opinion based on what you show them, so give it your best shot when showcasing your brand.

How to Launch Your Product in a Business Presentation

Build Enough Hype

Market your product without overselling it. You can use all kinds of platforms and outlets to let your target audience know about your business. Expand the reach of your market through print advertising and social media marketing. Give your potential clients something to anticipate. You can go on and highlight your product’s best features, but don’t promise something that you can’t deliver. Ultimately, you want the hype to be real.

Also, it’s important to seamlessly shift your presentation’s focus from the product to the audience. Don’t just proclaim how great your product is. Instead, tell your potential customers how it can make their lives better. That way, they’ll have more reason to look forward to its release.

How to Launch Your Product in a Business Presentation

Solidify Your Expertise

Credibility is crucial to any brand. When presenting your product for the first time, it’s important to impress as many prospects as possible. To do this, you need to demonstrate how knowledgeable and well-experienced you are in your industry. This is the time for you to flaunt your credentials. What has your business achieved so far? What projects are you working on now? Who are the experts who make up your team? What are your plans for the near future? All of this can give your audience a reason to trust in you and believe in your product.

How to Launch Your Product in a Business Presentation

Communicate Confidence

In a business presentation, it’s important to communicate just how much you believe in your brand. If you don’t trust your own product, no one else will. Confidence is a magnet that draws people in. Make sure you’re equipped with at least that before you step into the stage.

Your product launch doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can make it exciting for yourself and your audience if you implement the aforementioned tips. With sufficient preparation, you can deliver a presentation that highlights your new product’s best features and places your brand under the limelight.

Resources:

Bly, Robert W. “How to Convince Customers to Buy from You and Not the Competition.” Entrepreneur. December 15, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/252960

Shope, Kendrick. “How to Sell Something Without Being Sleazy.” Infusionsoft. February 29, 2016. learn.infusionsoft.com/sales/sales-process/how-to-sell-something-without-being-sleazy

Tallent, Barbara. “How to Create a Product Presentation.” Infrasystems. n.d. www.infrasystems.com/product-presentations.html

Watkis, Nicholas. “Is Credibility the Most Important Ingredient for Business Success?” My Customer. November 6, 2012. www.mycustomer.com/experience/loyalty/is-credibility-the-most-important-ingredient-for-business-success

Closing a Deal Without Assuming a Salesperson’s Role

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s nothing inherently wrong with hard selling. If you know you have a wonderful product that should see the light of day, then by all means go and sell it hard. However, you need to be wary of the caveats and repercussions that you may encounter along the way. Make sure that when convincing a prospect of the value of your business, you remain honest and true. Also, before going around and trying to talk people into investing in your product, make sure that you’re adept enough to communicate and empathize with them.

The problem with most salespeople today is that all they care about is closing the deal. They don’t bother about being honest with the consumer. They hardly go out of their way to find out what the consumer really needs. This is exactly why sales agents have developed a notoriety so ill that people recoil when they see a salesperson trying desperately to catch their eye. The harsh truth is that being a salesperson today is synonymous to being pushy and annoying. If the economic landscape is to reach a higher bar, this stigma has to end.

The Logic Behind Using a No-Pitch Promotion

No one can change the salespeople’s reputation but the salespeople themselves. Many companies have already figured out the right ways to reach consumers without distressing them. Surely, a lot more would follow if only they knew how. If you still haven’t employed the right techniques in selling without coming off as obnoxious, here are two of the main reasons why you should change your ways now:

How to Make a Deal Without Sounding Like a Salesperson

  • To take the pressure off the audience

What seems to be the salespeople’s role today is to serve themselves and their company. However, there should be a shift in perspective. Instead of thinking of their own good, salesmen should serve customers and see how they can help alleviate their concerns. Instead of inconveniencing prospects, salespeople should strive to make matters easier and more convenient for them.

The last thing you want as a salesperson is to give the impression that you’re trying to squeeze every penny out of your customers. Shoving the product down the customers’ throat won’t make them pay for it. Put them at ease and let them be comfortable so that they can make that decision for themselves.

  • To differentiate yourself from corporate players

One of the advantages that a small business holds over a goliath is that it has an option to personalize the customer experience. Customers like it when they’re treated in a special way. This is why even big players in the business field should try to mimic the small-business model of sales. As a salesman, you should be more personable. Take your time in easing the prospect into your business. Instead of rushing to pocket the money, let the sales process unfold. If you focus on attending to your client’s needs before anything else, the deal will close itself.

How to Make a Deal Without Sounding Like a Salesperson

Four Proven Ways to Sell Without Being Aggressive

Most salesmen are torn between hard selling and using alternative sales techniques that are subtler and less aggressive. On the one hand, hard selling makes a salesperson feel like s/he has done everything in his or her power to gain a new customer. On the other hand, it is usually a turn-off to customers, and therefore, a big no-no. Fortunately, there are easy and effective ways to sell without sounding like a salesperson. Here are some of them:

1. Be transparent about your business processes

Make your business processes open for the public to see. Share every thought and effort that went into creating your product or developing your service. Tell your prospects what went wrong and what worked out in the end. In other words, lay your brand bare before them.

By doing this, you’re essentially inviting people to trust you and see you not as a business without a face but as a familiar friend whose struggles and successes they had the privilege of knowing. By being vulnerable and letting them into your business’s personal bubble, you’re giving them an invitation that they can’t turn down. The bottom line? Genuine stories sell.

2. Demonstrate what your product does

Merely talking about the product won’t cut it. To persuade a crowd of skeptic consumers, you need to let the product speak for itself. Show your prospects exactly how your product works so that they can judge for themselves whether it’s good enough to satisfy their needs. A product demonstration is a quick and effective way to tell someone just how great your offers are without actually telling them.

How to Make a Deal Without Sounding Like a Salesperson

3. Pitch at the right time and in the right place

Timing is key in every field, and it’s not surprising that it’s just as important in sales. A good salesperson can tell when it’s appropriate to approach a customer with a product offer or when it’s best to just drop it and focus on addressing the customer’s immediate concerns instead. Watch for external cues that will give you hints on whether or not a customer is open to a sales pitch. If you insist on troubling a prospect, you might end up losing a potential client for good.

4. Focus on addressing the consumer’s pain points

It only makes sense that if you let your prospects do the talking, you can’t possibly annoy or offend them. In fact, if you assume the role of a listener from the start, it’s likely for them to relax and feel comfortable around you. That said, before you make a pitch, make sure to hear out your customers’ side of the story first. Let them spill out their concerns so that you can thoroughly assess the situation. Only talk when you know that you have something useful to offer. Your proposed resolutions should revolve around their problems. Remember, the goal is to help the customers, not to take their money.

The approach to sales described here isn’t new or farfetched. In fact, it has been used by top marketers for many years now. However, until every salesperson learns how to use the methods of soft selling to better attract and gain customers, the reputation of the sales world will be stuck in the dead zone.

 

Resources:

Charles, Jeff. “5 Easy Ways to Sell Without Being Pushy or Obnoxious.” Small Biz Trends. August 31, 2015. smallbiztrends.com/2015/08/easy-ways-to-sell.html

Flynn, Pat. “How to Sell Without Selling: The Art of No-Pitch Promotion.” Smart Passive Income. May 20, 2014. www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-sell-without-selling-the-art-of-no-pitch-promotion

Gregory, Alyssa. “12 Tips for Using a Soft Approach to Make the Sale.” Sitepoint. June 22, 2010. www.sitepoint.com/using-a-soft-sales-approach

Iannarino, Anthony. “Don’t Mistake Selling for the Hard Sell.” The Sales Blog. May 28, 2010. thesalesblog.com/2010/05/28/don%E2%80%99t-mistake-selling-for-the-hard-sell

Nornberg, Vanessa M. “3 Ways to Tell When a Customer Is Ready to Be Sold.” Inc. August 8, 2014. www.inc.com/vanessa-merit-nornberg-nornberg/3-ways-to-tell-when-a-customer-is-ready-to-be-sold.html

Verrill, Ashley. “How to Sell Without Sounding Like a Salesman.” Scott’s Marketplace. July 17, 2013. blog.scottsmarketplace.com/how-to-sell

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