Lost In Translation In Information Technology

The language of business has always been traditionally known as money, but these days, it's not just that. Rather, it has taken on a literal significance. While English has been known as the main medium of instruction, it has become a necessity to speak the language of other countries. What better industry will this have an effect than in information technology. IT leads are not just found locally, but also in countries and cultures that speaks a different tongue. It can have a huge impact in your IT lead generation and IT appointment setting campaigns.

Now, what are the things that you might miss that might give you translation problems?

1. You might overlook the cultural differences of countries sharing the same language.
2. Your website might not be capable of handling language translations, further adding a strain in working with your customers.
3. Measurements and units used in one country may not be understood in another country.
4. For the Chinese, it is assuming that they all use the same language. In fact, they have different dialects in each part of the country. This can be troublesome in telemarketing.
5. The Arabs, a potentially profitable market, may be missed because there are not that many programs that can translate into Arabic, including the right-to-left reading direction.

These are just some of the challenges faced by a lot of companies wishing to target foreign firms in their attempt to generate more IT leads. Given the level in which information technology has taken the world, going global might be the best.

Small Business Marketing News Update - Even With Electronic Communications, Jacksonville Businesses Need Direct Mail

(Today’s Guest Blog is written on the subject of direct mail for small business, by Jim Davis, a former senior executive in the direct marketing industry.)

In a world of electronic communications, websites, banner ads and Facebook pages, there remains one medium that is a consistent response generator for small businesses - direct mail.

Following a few simple guidelines, direct mail still can still yield excellent and cost effective results for businesses of all sizes.  The proof is in our mailbox everyday.

There are three factors that experts agree consistently contribute to direct mail success:  Audience, Offer, and Creative.  But the relative importance of these three factors may surprise some new mailers.

Think of the factors this way:  60/30/10.

A full 60% of any direct mail success can be attributed to the Audience, or, in other words, the mailing list used. Whether mailing to a geographic area, a demographic segment or a business group, a mailing is only as good as it the list used.

We’ve all receive mail addressed to Resident/Occupant or the friendlier greeting “To our Friends At”.  This is a sure indication that every household in your neighborhood is receiving the same mailing piece. And household mailings are a basic and reliable traffic-building tool for consumer-oriented, local businesses.

Compiled, demographic mailing lists which incorporate an individual’s name also are available for more targeted offerings.  Similarly there literally are thousands of specialty mailing list comprised of everything from subscription lists to individuals who have responded to previous offers.

Businesses-to-business lists are another whole category of mailing lists. These lists offer selectivity by SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code and various company size indicators (annual sales, number of employees, etc.).  And, again, there are specialty lists comprised of subscribers to various trade journals or other select groups that are available as well.

It would be remiss not to mention what may be the best mailing list of all - the one that businesses can compile consisting of their own customers. As always, existing customers represent one of the best sources of new and repeat business and every business should have the ability to mail to this select audience.

The next factor is Offer, which can impact a mailing by 30%.  Think about it – without a compelling offer or incentive, direct mail is just a simple message.  There is no reason to respond. Too many mailings have weak, inadequate or ill-timed offers for a chance at success.

Customers and prospects want to know “What’s in it for me?” and that is the question that must be asked about every mailing piece designed.

Finally Creative must be considered, but the way the offer is communicated contributes to the success of the mailing only by 10%.  It is true that there is a crucial point (typically three to four seconds) when a recipient decides whether or not to further read/consider a mailing piece. That’s when creative can play its role.

Veteran mailers often say that creative must appear to one of four basic emotions:  Need, Greed, Fear, or Exclusivity. Try looking a mailing piece you receive at home and you can learn to identify the elected emotional appeal for the mailing.

And to be sure, direct mail creative is technique-driven. That is one reason that postcards or self-mailers  -- communicating an Offer quickly, without the need to open an envelope  -- are so popular with small businesses.

The numbers 60/30/10 can vary by the mailing professional citing them but the principle always in the same.  Audience, followed by Offer and then Creative determine the success of any mailing.

So, if the secret to success is so evident, why doesn’t every business mail? One reason dominates all others: expense.

Even using the most cost-efficient mailing techniques for smaller mailers, each piece of mail delivered is relatively expensive  -- ranging from 40 to 50-cents up to a dollar or more for elaborate mailings  -- so the cost per thousand contacts is higher than most other mediums.

Still, direct mail has it place in an overall marketing strategy. As long as Americans maintain the habit of checking their mail daily, direct mail messages have the opportunity to be seen, and to sell.

How To Handle Customer Complaints

Customer complaints will forever be part of our business processes. That is why it is even more important for us to efficiently take care of it. You can say that it is one of the most important aspects of your business. After all, given the way people are connected to each other now, you will want to avoid bad publicity because you were unable to handle a customer’s concern. That can have an impact on your B2B leads generation. Who will want to have an appointment setting with you if they hear negative news about your business? That is why you have to offer a good customer service program. Your sales leads need it.

Customer Service

A bit lost? Then you can follow these eight points to guide your process. These are just a few things that you can add to your business culture. Simple enough, but with a great impact:

1. Begin with yourself – if you want to offer good customer service, you have to believe in it first. Your employees will follow whatever example you set, especially when you deal with customers.
2. Create a code of conduct to be followed – create a list of ideals to follow, and post them on your office walls or during training. This will guide for your employees when they do their work.
3. Treat your employees as customers – in this way, your employees will realize that they are an important part of the firm, and they will exert more effort to keep your business working.
4. Think of the long run – one reason why some firms have bad customer service. Thinking more about selling often translates into tactics that alienate or frustrate customers.
5. Build trust – this you can work with your telemarketing team, as this takes time to build. You need to be honest, reliable, and confident so that customers will feel confident in working with you.
6. Listen carefully – one reason why customers get frustrated is because no one seems to understand them. Take time to listen to what they have to say, and after that you can answer.
7. Go with the little things – providing a little extra for your customers can go a long way for your business leads. It builds goodwill, as well as the impression that you are the right partner.
8. Help them find another business – if you cannot provide them what they are looking for, recommend them another firm that can. It is good PR, and that customer will certainly return.
9. Provide relevant information – your firm must be able to answer what customers ask. If you do not know or is unfamiliar with your offer, then why offer them in the first place, right?

Customer service is not just about providing customers with the answer to their questions, it must also be able to create a relationship with them. These days, it can be hard to find new business, so it makes perfect sense for you to try keeping the current ones. A wise investment, as some pundits will say.

The Other Steve

The Issue About Honesty In Business

Source: www.randalclark.com

Nothing sours a great working relationship like knowing that that business relationship was based on a big fat lie. No business in any industry appreciates a liar because honesty is an essential part of any business venture. Why do you think it’s so hard for SMEs to get appointments with Fortune 500 decision makers? When millions of dollars in profits and the livelihood of hundreds of people are on the line, company executives and directors have to make sure that that critical decision will be for the benefit of all parties involved, and that critical decision won’t happen if honesty is not part of the equation.

Even white lies are not acceptable in the harsh environment known as the business world. Competition is a constant threat, and should your more aggressive competitors sniff out a deceitful statement, don't expect them to let you off the hook without a price.

This is best exemplified by Yahoo's recent dismissal of its (yet another) CEO, Scott Thompson. Thompson succeeded former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, but after only a brief 5-month term in service, Thompson was ousted by Yahoo. The reason? It seems Thompson thought that adding a degree in computer science to his resume won’t be much of a problem, considering a large number of tech CEOs these days didn’t even finish college. However, admitting that you don’t have a college degree and claiming that you do have one (when in fact you don’t), are entirely two different things. Thompson blames the resume gaffe on Heidrick & Struggles, an executive-recruiting firm that got him his previous Paypal position. However, it should be noted that not once did Thompson try to correct the bogus information on his bio, which means he was willing to continue playing the part of a “computer science engineer” had Daniel Loeb (founder of Third Point LLC and Yahoo investor) not checked his bio.

Others might argue that, in the case of Mr. Thompson, it is better to retain a liar who is skilled in getting work done than an honest employee whose work is only mediocre. Well I say let the liars lead and let's see where your company will be in 3 years! Your business might become lucrative, but in all probability, that business will no longer be yours. Another great concern here is the nature of Yahoo’s business. As an internet corporation, Yahoo handles large amounts of confidential client information. If the directors of Yahoo didn’t fire Thompson, how are they to expect users to continue entrusting their information with a company whose leader is less than trustworthy?

Honesty is the greatest requirement for integrity, and a leader's integrity is one that he should protect with the utmost care. Think about it, if a supposed leader needs to lie just to get the position he wants, it only means that he is not worthy to be in that position in the first place. Honesty is a moral and social obligation that should never be disregarded by business leaders, no matter what size of company they work in.

Small Business Marketing News Update - Florida Trend Magazine Reveals Surprising Demographic Stats About Northeast Florida And The Entire State

If you were to market a product or service to the youngest county in the state of Florida, which county would you select?

According to the May issue of Florida Trend magazine, Duval County, with a median age of 34, beats out every other county in the state.

If you were to test market a product, service or restaurant, which city would you pick?

Jacksonville ranked 15th in the nation by marketing research firm Acziom as a preferred test market city because it more closely reflects American demographics. Tallahassee was the only other Florida city on the list.

Florida Trend sheds light on a bassboat load of interesting statistical information regarding the state of Florida. And these updated stats can play a key part of marketing. Being able to target the accurate demographic profile of your audience is the one of the first steps in the marketing process.

Florida Trend has compiled extensive coverage on the changes of demographics over the years, explaining that the perception of Florida has been changing from a state of cheap homes, retirees and tourists to a state featuring its ports, the bioscience industry and research institutes.

Some additional demographic highlights from Florida Trendinclude…

Population Numbers
Florida’s population is 19.05 million – ranking it fourth behind New York with 19.47 million; Texas with 25.67 million; and California with 37.69 million. Florida is projected to surpass New York by 2016.

Population Distribution
In 1900, two-thirds of Floridians lived north of Ocala.
By 2012, nearly have lived south of Lake Okeechobee.

Florida ranked second in the nation for the lowest percentage of residents born in the state – 35.2%. Nevada is first with 24.3%.
The largest number of people moving to Florida came from New York, with more than 55,000 in 2010. This is followed by Georgia, Texas, New Jersey and California.

Florida’s Ethnic Communities
Hispanics – 22.5%
African-Americans – 16%
Haitians – Miami Metro area has 36% of the Haitian nation’s population, making it number one in the U.S.

If you are interested in knowing more about where Florida has been, where it is going and the various perceptions of the state, be sure to the get the current issue of Florida Trend.

Do College Dropouts Turn Out to be More Successful Entrepreneurs?

Why Is Singapore Is Good For Your Business

Silicon valley can very well be considered the mecca of startups, and most companies aspire to migrate their businesses or establish a branch there. This decision, however, will bring them straight into a world of high competition for capital, talent and above all, quality sales leads.

Business to business companies should try to consider other locations that would offer them highly profitable business opportunities. One such strategic location is the Republic of Singapore.
B2b companies will have great opportunities awaiting them in the tiger country. The country has recently been distinguished as the leading Asian country in terms of economic competitiveness according to a study commissioned by Citigroup.

Setting up your business in Singapore is relatively easy, what with government funded subsidy grants and quick business registration processes. Business sales leads generation can be easily accomplished by hiring a lead generation service provider from BPO hubs Philippines or India.

Singapore’s proximity to other developing asian countries makes it a valuable and strategic business location, particularly the mobile industry which is gaining a strong foothold in Singapore and neighboring countries Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

While most startups prefer to establish their business in the silicon valley, for Bubble Motion CEO Tom Clayton, Singapore was the ideal choice for his thriving startup. The country’s business industry is world-class. However, the most appealing aspect about Singapore was its proximity to Bubble Motion’s market - Indonesia, India and China. Bubble Motion is a Twitter-like mobile app that allows voice messages to be sent out to one’s followers. His decision has given his startup the chance to connect with the largest mobile service providers available in Asia, including: Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone, KDDI and Telkomsel and required only five months of marketing to get the Indian market to embrace his product.
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