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April 2014

Are You Missing an Opportunity?

Are You Missing an Opportunity? 900 600 Kari Switala

I recently hosted an in-home women’s clothing party. Timing of this event could not have been any better, as it was the night before my presentation on “Increasing Your Referral Opportunity”.

Let me set the stage. It was 6:00 on a Wednesday night and I had wine, chocolate treats, and fun appetizers for guests. One by one, women filtered into the room. They were curious about the clothes, but reluctant about being the first to try them on. Sensing the hesitation, I broke the ice and grabbed several items of clothing. Within minutes, all fifteen women were digging through shirts, pants, jackets, and dresses. Soon, we were in the midst of a teenage girl’s room.  Clothes and hangers were strewn everywhere. You could feel the excitement.

After assembling various treasures, guests were directed to the dreaded payment chair. Instantly, the mood changed in the room. It was the dose of reality we all have when spending “a little bit more” than originally intended (aka the Costco condition).

What happened next took me by surprise. Immediately following payment, guests became giddy once again and excited about the arrival of their purchases. Sensing this upswing of emotion, the clothing representative took advantage of the opportunity and delivered her call to action.  Guests were asked to host future parties in exchange for free clothing. Obviously, this company had researched the best time to open the door for future sales and had trained consultants to strike when the opportunity presented itself. Brilliant, I say, just brilliant!

Okay Kari, nice story, but what’s the point? The lesson to be learned… take a moment to look at your sales process.  Are you missing key opportunities to ask for more business, a referral, a testimonial? More than likely, you’re missing numerous chances to build future business.

Take fifteen minutes today to list your sales process from start to finish. Put a star by those areas where you receive the most positive response from customers. Those stars indicate key opportunities to deliver your call to action. Just ask! 


To upgrade or not to upgrade? That is the question…

To upgrade or not to upgrade? That is the question… 900 600 Kari Switala

To upgrade or not to upgrade? When I’m asked this question, my first response is, “It depends…are you actively using Linkedin already?” Upgrading to Linkedin premium has a lot of advantages, but it’s not a golden key. You have to be engaged on Linkedin to experience the benefits of the premium version.

If you are actively posting and using Linkedin currently then I would definitely recommend upgrading to the Linkedin premium account for $19.99 per month (please note there are many other upgrade options for recruiters and sales professionals as well). If you’re not active on Linkedin then I would hold off on upgrading until you start utilizing Linkedin on a regular basis. Here are a few of the benefits of upgrading to Linkedin premium:

  • Who’s Viewed Your Profile Feature: this feature alone has brought me over $10,000 in revenue. By upgrading your account you will now be able to see ALL of the people that viewed your profile and how they found you as well (what keywords they used, etc.). I check to see who’s viewed my profile at least 3-4 times per week. If someone’s viewed my profile that’s not connected with me and they’re a good potential prospect, I will click to connect with them. Remember if someone is viewing your profile, there’s a reason for it! I love this feature!
  • InMail: the InMail feature allows you to send an email to someone you are not connected to. For example, if I wanted to send a message to the President and we were not connected, I could send the email via InMail. Linkedin says this feature is 3x more effective then regular email. In fact, they believe in it so much that they will guarantee that your message will be delivered to that person’s inbox. If the person doesn’t respond within 7 days then Linkedin will credit your account. That said, as much as this feature is very cool, you still have to be creative, persistent and have a plan. You can’t just expect that the President or CEO of Target will respond to your message when you’ve never met and don’t have any obvious connection to them, right?
  • Premium Search Filters: with each level of upgrade you receive additional premium search filters. Why is this important? If you are using Linkedin for prospecting you can really narrow your search to find the exact prospects you want to connect with by using these premium filters.
  • Saved Search: if you are not using the saved search feature as a basic Linkedin user you should be. With the Linkedin Premium account you get up to 5 saved searches a month. What this means is you can do a prospect search and then save it and Linkedin will send you a weekly update with new people that fit your search parameters…making your prospecting easy and automated!
  • Profiles Per Search: with a basic account you can see 100 profiles per search on Linkedin. With the premium package you can see 300 profiles per search. Once again, expanding your prospecting opportunities!
  • Sneak Peeks: be the first to experience and use the new Linkedin features. Whenever Linkedin launches a new feature they often pre-release it to their upgraded members to try it first.

Hopefully you found this information to be helpful!