The skills we teach deliver real ROI.

April 2013 archive

Swimming Naked

Being Unprepared in a Tough Market Can Catch You with Your Pants Down

Warren Buffett once said, “You don’t know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.” So picture this:  Everyone’s having a good time swimming at the beach. They’re all up to their necks in water and only their heads are exposed. Suddenly, the tide starts going out and exposes everybody down to their knees. No one is exempt. The tide affects everyone. If you just happen to be skinny dipping, then you’re exposed. No help. No exceptions. No mercy. You are stuck. Of course you can go into deeper waters, but that’ll just increase your risk of drowning because now you’re that much further from the shore and safety. This is not a good situation to be in. Did you plan well? Of course not. Do you have a lot of options? Of course not. Are you in trouble? Of course you are.

Now substitute the water with your business, industry and marketplace. And substitute the tide with market conditions. Market conditions could be the economy, the price of gas, our nation’s war, the housing market, competitive pressures, international situations and more. When these conditions hit, they take no prisoners. There’s no mercy. Everyone gets affected. Just look at the affect the recent housing market had on all sorts of businesses. It did not just affect the real estate industry and housing contractors, but it had a ripple affect on dozens, if not hundreds, of other businesses that fed off of the housing industry. (more…)

Web Seminar Recap: 4 New Ways To Take Advantage of the New LinkedIn Profile in 2013

On Friday, April 19, Bobby McDonald gave us some insight into the massive changes in terms of using LinkedIn and its new features in 2012. With these changes comes easier access to potential clients, enhanced networking and overall increased exposure within your Social Media efforts. LinkedIn has just rolled out its new profile mainstream, and that means it is now affecting you.

Bobby explained how to enhance your profile, re-optimize your content in order to take advantage of the changes such as linking in YouTube videos and make the most of your social campaigns.  Bobby’s web seminar was shorter than normal but to the point and gave great insight on taking you LinkedIn profile to the next level.

Unanswered Q & A:

My question is how can we endorse a person  for multiple skills all at one time rather than waiting for pop-ups?

The best way to endorse a person’s Skills & Expertise on LinkedIn (other than the annoying pop ups at the top of your personal profile) is to visit their profile page on LinkedIn (you must already be Connected), scroll down to Skills & Expertise section and click on “+” sign next to each Skill to endorse them

You can listen to a complete recording of this presentation at Select “View Event Recordings” in the top right corner.  You can also download your own copy of the presentation by visiting our Web Seminar Archives.

Are you interested in an extensive Social Media Training Course? Our Social Media Boot Camp will teach you everything you need to know!

Web Seminar Recap: Solution Selling in Commoditized and Competitive Markets

Bookings are the life blood of a company. Sales deliver bookings and revenue. But how does that happen? Now add to that “how” continued commoditization and ever increasing competition and you get a receipt for paralyzing FEAR!!! It is a wonder how any business gets started or succeeds. But the reality is, sales is both an art and science, both of which can be applied to any product or market.

On April 12, 2013, Mike Shook and Will Shook of Accelerence, LLC, looked at solution selling as a differentiator and game changer. They discussed how to triangulate between your company’s market position, your competitors capabilities, and yours customers’ needs into a solution architecture that can not be bid. They also discussed sales process flows, provided a tool kit of techniques and gave a road map to solution sales success.

Mike and Will explained solution selling, how your solution can sell with competitive bids and how to construct solutions that cannot be bid.  They also help demonstrate how to differentiate in a commoditized environment through various processes, techniques and tools.


You can listen to a complete recording of this presentation at Select “View Event Recordings” in the top right corner.  You can also download your own copy of the presentation by visiting our Web Seminar Archives.

Are you interested in an extensive Sales training Course? Our Social Selling Boot Camp will teach you everything you need to know!

Why isn’t my SEO working?

by Traci Lester, Digital Marketing Specialist – ASPE, Inc.

What is that noise? Do you hear it? It’s the sound of internet marketers banging their heads on their desks because their SEO efforts don’t seem to be working. But why? Well, gone are the days of being able to add meta tags to the head of a web page and have it immediately show up on page 1 of a Google search results. A large part of this is due to personalization usage data. Google is using your personalized search data to show specific results based on your activities. So how is this actually affecting results?

How Google Personalization is Affecting Search Results

Let’s begin with location biases. A lot of search results that were not meant to be local are actually pulling local results. Google’s location awareness will affect the results’ ordering.  Usage history gives Google hints about your location. Even if you’re searching from a mobile device and you’ve said you don’t want to share your location, Google will try to figure it out. For instance, I am having a DIY wedding this summer so I have been doing a lot of research on making your own wedding bouquet.  When I do a Google search for wedding bouquets, even though I didn’t specify Raleigh wedding bouquets or florists in Raleigh, several Raleigh area florists show up at the top of my search results. (more…)

Congratulations to our 1st iPad Winner of 2013!

We have our first winner of 2013! Congratulations to Maria A. of Des Plaines, IL for winning the first iPad drawing of the 2013!

Don’t fret! You still have two more chances to win! Enter NOW to win one of three iPads in 2013 from ASPE. Winners will be chosen on May 10th and June 14th.

Sign up at for your chance to win one of three iPads, an exciting way to experience the web, email, photos, video, & more.

Enter to win a FREE iPad from ASPE!

The Changing Face of Sales

How Sales Has Changed Over the Past Few Years and How to Adapt

Over the past few years the sales environment has changed in a number of ways. The reasons are vast but typically relate to the changes in our society, economy, business models, technology and more. When it comes right down to the actual selling environment, there are a few distinct attributes that stand out today that didn’t seem to be as noticeable, or even a factor, just a few years ago.

The key for all sales organizations and individual sales professionals alike is to understand and adapt to these changes. Few organizations today still live through the experience of the ‘90s where prospects would actually call them and buy something without having to work hard at finding and acquiring these leads. Back then, even poor sales performance was rewarded with revenue and quota achievement, in spite of a lack of skills and hard work.

Now that things have changed and the phone doesn’t seem to ring off the hook for many businesses, sales people have to work harder to find and sell to these illusive prospects. In order to be successful in sales today you, as a sales professional, need to understand what changes have occurred and work harder and smarter to make sure your prospects believe that your offerings will solve their problems, and that what they are purchasing is better than your competitors’ offerings. Let’s discuss a few major changes that have occurred to get a better understanding of what you might need to adjust in order to adapt and become even more successful in sales today. (more…)

Web Seminar Recap: Agile Marketing: What’s All the Fuss About?

Marketers today are challenged by many things – the speed of change, adoption of new technologies, new communications channels, globalization, and limited resources. Despite these challenges, traditional marketing planning has not changed in more than 50 years.

This seminar discussed why conventional methods of managing marketing no longer work, and why agile methods, inspired by Agile software development, can help marketing teams get more done and adapt quickly to change. Finally, it took  a look at why analysts like Gartner Group and Forrester are saying that Agile Marketing is the future of marketing.


You can listen to a complete recording of this presentation at Select “View Event Recordings” in the top right corner.  You can also download your own copy of the presentation by visiting our Web Seminar Archives.

Are you interested in an extensive Agile Marketing training Course? Our Agile Marketing Boot Camp will teach you everything you need to know!

Prospecting: All pain, no gain?

Prospecting – Everyone has to do it, but few people like it. Without new sales, businesses fail, it happens every day, in every industry. Why are some sales reps more successful at doing this than others? Based on my experience working with sales teams, I have found that those who take a disciplined approach, follow time management skills and have the proper tools will succeed.

My starting point with sales people I work with is to first look at your current pipeline. This will help you to determine the percentage of your time you should spend on prospecting. If you want to be successful and make your numbers each month, then you need to set a minimum amount of time each week prospecting for new business. This amount may go up or down each month depending on your pipeline and forecast. If you have a strong pipeline you may want to spend more time moving your deals through the sales process and closing business, and less time prospecting. But if you’re new to a sales position, or your pipeline is weaker than you need it to be, then you may need to increase your prospecting time to fill your pipeline with more qualified leads. (more…)