How Productive People Work Less and Get More Done

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.  — John C. Maxwell

What does your morning usually look like? What routine do you follow on a day-to-day basis? What tasks do you complete in this routine? In what order do you complete the tasks?

If you are like me, you have a morning routine. You likely never chose it; it is something that you developed and followed as the years went by.

Don’t believe me? Look at it this way. What gets added to your list first? Socks or pants? Shirt or pants? Shirt or socks? Do you run around in your socks, shirt and pants or are you like most productive people in your socks, pants and trousers before you grab your shirt? Or do you do something else entirely?

The order in which you get dressed in the morning is irrelevant. But what happens next is something that you should follow closely.

Do you check your emails? Check your phone notifications? Answer text messages from colleagues and friends? Log on to Twitter or Facebook? Do you walk to the subway or the car, picking up a coffee on the way? When you get to work, do you chat with colleagues about irrelevant stuff? Do you open your email to deal with client issues and requests? Do you get caught up in the middle of office politics? Conversations about what happened in the news yesterday?

Does any of this get you where you want to go? Are any of these things really that important to you and your goals? Are they truly important activities or are they just driven by habit?

How Productive People Work Less and Get More Done

Working in fast-paced environments over the years, I have found that one of the startling differences between those who achieve more normal results and those who achieve phenomenal results is that the latter group focus on doing something that leads to their long-term goals and dreams first. They do it before opening their emails, dealing with minor gripes and getting distracted with office politics.

Essentially, they learned to take a bite out of the big pie, the one that they really want to eat; the one that will give them the utmost people. They make sure that those first hours of the day are focused on the really important stuff.

Some come in earlier to do it. Some wake up earlier to do it. Some shut their doors (to minimize distractions) and do it. Some give themselves a small amount of time to do the other stuff and then red circle time to do it…

But all productive people do it early in the day and make sure that every day they take steps towards their vision of where they want to be – in work and in life.

How you start your day really does matter. When you start with the minor stuff (e.g., chats with colleagues, dealing with office politics), you feel frazzled and swamped and you end up getting nowhere. When you begin with the big stuff (e.g., marketing projections, sales projections), you feel focused, productive and clear.

How to Use InfoFlo to Stay Productive

CRM tools like InfoFlo can assist you with getting organized and will help boost your productivity. As a result, you will improve your relationships and communication with customers, which in turn will increase your company’s profitability margins.

With InfoFlo, you will be able to safely store all current and potential client information, including their contact details, social media profile information,  relevant notes, milestones etc. This provides you with a bigger picture that helps you manage your sales and leads in a more efficient manner.

With CRM Software you’ll be able to:

  • organize customer data
  • track your leads
  • maximize your selling potential
  • collaborate with your staff and team members
  • store and actively manage contact and customer data

Download a free trial version of InfoFlo today. You will instantly notice the difference in your productivity style. Satisfaction guaranteed.


How to Learn from Your Biggest Sales Mistakes

How to Learn from Your Biggest Sales Mistakes

From my own experience, these 3 big sales mistakes that taught me important lessons. They are:

  1. Overselling
  2. Impatience
  3. Being uncooperative

Here is why….

In my first few months in the sales industry, I experienced the problem of overselling. I was young and I was too eager to sell. I thought that we must do everything and anything just to close a deal. My assumptions were definitely false. And I learned this in the most difficult way possible. The number of sales I made that year was nowhere near the the goals I set for myself. I can probably say that I had good intentions, but it caused more bad than good.

Another sales mistake that I made was being impatient, which I am sure most of us are guilty of once in a while. Throughout the years, I learned that sales people should not push too hard to rush the sale. Some sales cycles can take several months to a few years, and many business-to-business sales involve a number of decision-makers. Being pushy will only push the prospect out the door.

The final sales mistake that I would like to highlight is one of the most important. In sales, we have the tendency to work alone. It’s a competitive field after all. It’s like you against the world. But sales isn’t supposed to be like that. To be better in sales, you need to work well as a team and with colleagues from different departments. In time, I learned that success in sales is more of a team effort than an individual skill.

I have made several other mistakes, but I think these three are the most important for me. These three sales mistakes made me what I am today. A confident writer who loves promoting and writing about CRM software and productivity tools.

You can learn from your mistakes. It’s even better to learn from other people’s mistakes. Avoid these mistakes and you will definitely make your selling more successful.



7 Types of Prospects that Are Wasting Your Time & How to Spot Them

7 Types of Prospects that Are Wasting Your Time & How to Spot Them

How do you spot an uninterested prospect before they take up too much of your time? How do you maximize your time on making calls to prospects that are actually interested in buying something from you? Our CRM Implementation Specialists have compiled a list of potentially “uninterested” prospects to help junior sales reps filter them out in the early stages of the sales cycle.


1. The Ignorer

We all encountered this person in sales. This is a person that after the first call does the disappearing act. Your emails go unanswered. Your calls divert to voicemail. My rule of thumb unresponsive prospects turn into unresponsive clients. Which is unproductive. I typically reach out once. Twice. A third time. And then, I move on. Three strikes and they are out.


2. The Discount Seeker

This is a person who does not care about how upscale your product may be or the number of extra features it boasts. They simply care about finding the best deal possible. Every question they ask is centered on the price. They will push for a discount or try to get your product for free.

It is important not to cut corners and not to jeopardize the quality of your product simply to win a lead. Ask yourself: how happy will the customer be? How long before the customer will cancel or move on? Will I be able to retain the customer on an ongoing basis?


3. The Researcher

The researcher is a person who has been tasked to learn more about your product, industry, and market. They are neither the decision-maker nor the purchaser. The only thing they are in the business of is learning on behalf of someone else in their company. As a sales rep, you want to cut out the middle man and get the actual buyer/decision maker on the phone. That way, you will avoid potential misconstruction of the information, as the researcher passes it on.


4. The Undercover Cop

The undercover cop in sales is a competitor that pretends to be an interested buyer. They will have a sense of curiosity that goes beyond that of the typical purchaser. If they’re not asking questions that are centered on how your product will solve their problem, they are not a consumer.

They might ask questions like: Are you funded? How many employees work at your company? What upgrades are you releasing next? Their questions will sound very senior in the way they understand your product and the market.


5. The Introvert

When a prospect is reluctant to give out their personal information and identify themselves, they are (in majority of cases) not serious about buying from you. Before you discount them as not serious, it is important to find out the exact reason why they do not want to give out personal information. You should continue chatting with them for 3 to 4 calls in order to establish a trust. The best rule of thumb is to drop them if they do not release the information after three follow-up communications.


6. The Power House

Some business prospects you are trying to go after are just too large to keep investing resources in. Since you likely want to close deals within a certain time frame, a larger company might take months to close a deal. Because larger prospects take far more resources to land, you are better off focusing on the smaller leads, which can add up to more in the end.


7. The Irrational

This is a person who does not make decisions rationally. They are afraid of making commitments and refuse to identify their decision making criteria, and do so on purpose. As well, they change their mind on a moment’s notice. If I spot a prospect like that, I steer clear. If they’re behaving that way before the deal is done, imagine what they’d be like after they become a client.


Let InfoFlo help make your sales cycle more productive. We can help you keep track of every call, every task, and milestone. Download your 30 day free trial today.


Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM: Which Will Secure Your Data Best?

Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM: Which Will Secure Your Data Best?

on-premise and cloud crm

In September, 2017, 2.5 million Americans and some 100,000 Canadians were affected by a cyberattack on Equifax databases.  The company, a consumer credit reporting agency, had known about the attack since July 29. However, it waited close to two months to report the hack to the public.

I was horrified upon hearing the news. In the past 5 years, I purchased home and car insurance, installed internet and cable TV, and leased a new car. To be eligible for all of these services, the companies I was doing business with used Equifax to check my credit score. Knowing how sensitive my information was, I expected Equifax to add more care to it.

Upon contacting Equifax and waiting 2 hours on the line I was told, “We host all our information in the cloud. Our cloud-based database was hacked into despite efforts to squash them. The only way to protect yourself is to subscribe to our free monitoring services. We will contact those affected by mail.”

Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM Debate

My experience with Equifax reignited a debate: Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM. Which one will secure my data best?  I am sure everyone by now is thinking the same thing.

Many businesses with a small IT budget and few resources feel cloud-based CRM is a far more viable option for them. That’s because the CRM system requires little to no intervention from the IT department and are hosted be the developers. The product developers own the servers, handle the updates and are responsible for the general management of the platform. If there are any issues with the system, it is the responsibility of the vendor to fix it.

On-premise CRM applications are not handled by the vendors. Upon implementation, you and your IT department take over every aspect of platform management. This means that you and your IT department intervene when networks and services are down and install the necessary software to prevent hacks.  Essentially, you are in the driver’s seat. You call the shots and you do not depend on others and their policies to ensure the safety and security of your data.

The Solution

I am finding that the majority of CRM users are switching over to on-premise CRM applications because of recent cyberattacks on large companies, such as Yahoo, Equifax and eBay, and their databases.

Any cyber attack is a service interruption and is detrimental to businesses and their clients. The only way you can be proactive in stopping them from affecting you and your operations is to switch to on-premise. You call the shots and you determine what kind of security measures you need to take to secure your client information. If something does occur, you choose the appropriate action instead of relying on someone else to take it for you.

For on-premise CRM solutions, the implementation may seem costly. However when you look at the long term benefits, the pros outweigh the cons. We market InfoFlo CRM as a program with a onetime fee of $99/user with free upgrades for life. Once implemented, the data is all yours and no additional costs will be incurred. You determine your security needs, what you want added/deleted, and who has access to your databases. You will never have to worry about someone mismanaging your sensitive data.

Download a 30 day free version of InfoFlo today. Click here to speak to a CRM implementation specialist to learn more about how our on-premise solution will work for your needs.


How to Convert a Negative Review into a Happy Customer with a CRM Tool

No entrepreneur wants his or her customers to be unhappy. Not to mention that it is bad for business. The following are 6 proven ways to reply to upset customers and their negative reviews and potentially win them back. Having a Customer Relationship Management Tool (CRM) can significantly make the process of Online Reputation Management easier on you and your CSR staff.


How to Convert a Negative Review into a Happy Customer with a CRM Tool


1. Investigate the Review

Ask for some honest feedback from all parties involved to determine if there is truth behind the complaint. If you are using a Contact Management Tool, review all the appropriate notes and files attached to the case. Respond only when you have a clearer picture of the situation.


2. Sleep on It!

Ignore your impulses. Have something written down within seconds of reading the review? Sleep on it! Studies show that a period of unconscious thought leads to improved decision making. Review the message again in the morning. Have a friend or objective party review the message and revise it if necessary.


3. Respond!

You should always respond to the review no matter how frivolous the claims are. Use your CRM tool to customize the message and make the customer feel that their business is valued. To appear less general, online reputation management experts suggest breaking each point down and addressing them one by one using bullet points. Those seeing the review and the response will be pleased to know that you care about your customer service and go the extra mile to ensure your customers’ happiness with your product/service.


4. Apologize with Sincerity

You can easily deflate a tense situation with an apology. Use the LAST acronym to help guide you: Listen, Apologize, Solve, and Thank. It is essential not to skip any of these steps and to do them in the order listed when responding to a negative review.


5. Act as Humanly as Possible

Show empathy, communicate in a friendly tone and use your real name. And if the forum supports it, it helps to include your actual photo. That way if the reviewer has any questions they know who to approach. Most consumers will contact businesses offline to resolve the matter once and for all and give the business a chance to rewrite a wrong.


6. Take it Offline

If the issue is not a quick fix or involves confidential information, opt to take it offline. The best way to reach an agreement is to start a dialog in person. First, you already know the customer’s troubles and can think how you can make it better by offering compensation. And live conversation won’t let it seem bribery. Once the issue is resolved the happy consumer will most likely remove the negative review or at least revise it to include new developments.

We hope this article has provided you with some tips to consider when dealing with all types of online reviews, and how to turn any type of customer feedback into an opportunity to grow engagement and brand loyalty. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


5 Amazingly Helpful Sales Tips for Introverted Entrepreneurs

Introverted Entrepreneurs Can Sell!

Introverted entrepreneurs can be just as effective as their extroverted counterparts, if they know how to use their strengths to pitch a good deal. The most important thing to remember is to avoid the use of the same techniques as extroverts. You will only end up looking bogus and ingenuine to your prospects.

The following are 5 amazingly helpful tips for introverted entrepreneurs trying to test the sales waters. They helped me, an introverted copywriter, break free from my personal bubble and innovate by taking risks and trying new approaches. I proudly share my experiences because I feel have overcome many obstacles, including a speech impediment, to establish myself as a successful entrepreneur. I hope you can do the same in the coming months or years and take these tips to heart.

1. Be Yourself

The key to being confident in sales is knowing and owning your sales style. Think of it as your trademark. Many people have a false perception that you must be pushy, extroverted, or “salesy” in the sales department. That’s not entirely true and I am the first to admit this. You can be quiet, introverted, goofy as long as you remember to be honest, yourself, and knowledgeable about what you sell.

2. Don’t Quit on the First Try

Depending on the industry you are working in, not every customer is ready to buy your product/service the same day they call or drop in. If someone tells you they are not ready, it does not mean the deal is a dead end. You will still need to follow up. 63% of deals are closed after the fourth chat, yet 9 in 10 sales people quit after the fourth call. Those 10% are making a lot more money because they are persistent and show perseverance.

3. Speak Less, Listen More

Contrary to popular belief, the best sales staff do not have to be great talkers to close leads. The sales people who talk more end up talking about a whole lot of things that do not really address what their prospects need. As an introverted entrepreneur, you use your exceptional listening skills to listen to what someone is telling you, and gain a fuller understanding of your prospect’s situation. What I am saying, your superior listening skills will help you match products/services with customers with more accuracy.

4. Make it Personal

Connect with your prospects on a personal level. Sometimes it is the common interests, other than sales, that help you connect in ways other sales people cannot. Talk about yourself and what makes you unique. Your hobbies, your family, your love of tuna subs etc. People remember the person, not the product. Make it look like no one can question your knowledge in yourself.

5. Invest in a CRM Tool

As an introvert, developing new leads may not come naturally. Cold-calling strangers may not be your strength. Investing in a CRM tool like InfoFlo can help ease the load. InfoFlo will help you better search, sort and qualify leads, follow up on sales opportunities systematically, increase target reach rates faster, and prioritize and rationalize following activities. Click here to learn how. You may wish to download our free 30 day trial to reap the benefits immediately.


Sales Productivity Tips: How to Earn Consumers’ Trust

Warren Buffet once said, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Establishing trust between your brand and consumers is critical to retaining customers as well as acquiring new ones. Word of mouth marketing still works. Consumers still rely on review sites to determine the right fit.

Fortunately, it’s easy to build trust in a business relationship. Here are the basic rules to live by in sales.


The Don’ts

  • Don’t make impossible promises.
  • Don’t spam.
  • Don’t be pushy.
  • Don’t treat customers like fools.
  • Don’t cherry pick. No company has splendid reviews. Everyone has one or two things they need to improve on.
  • Don’t forget to protect customer information. Security is of high importance to customers.


The Do’s

  • Do reply promptly to inquiries.
  • Do genuinely listen to customers.
  • Do be transparent.
  • Do less talking and more listening.
  • Do be fair.
  • Do be honest with customers.
  • Do give customers time to think and sleep on the information.
  • Do do some giving without expecting anything in return.
  • Do stop worrying about sales so much and be honest with your customers. Your reputation is at stake.
  • Do keep a clean reputation online.
  • Do use some form of productivity software to help you manage customers and their accounts.

If we missed an important point let us know in the comment section.

It’s important to meet the needs of your customers, whether they say it explicitly or not. At the same time,  you should make sure you are setting realistic expectations. If you’re resolving an issue, be sure you direct your customers through any process and communicate regularly, thanking them for their patience and their business. Building relationships with your customers and managing their expectations takes extra time and effort, but it is rewarded by positive word-of-mouth and loyalty.


CRM Software – Knowing Which Leads are Good for Business

It can be very tempting to look at the number of leads you have compiled and be satisfied. However, those figures can be deceiving and may eventually do nothing for your bottom line.

“More leads” does not mean that “better” sales are the only objective. You can generate hundreds of leads, but if none of them convert then you just wasted precious time and resources.


Not All Leads are Created Equal

A quality lead is not someone that just gives you their contact information. If they do not fit your target audience, they will most likely not convert and hinder the productivity of your staff. In economics, there is a concept called “the point of diminishing returns”. “The point of diminishing returns” refers to when the effort/resources expended becomes disproportionately high compared to the output.

Some customers are more ideal than others. This means they will spend more, purchase related products your company offers, and make referrals. How you find the ideal lead is by analyzing your existing customer base, finding the high-quality customers and documenting the attributes that make up the ideal prospect through your CRM Software. When you clearly know the leads you want to target, you increase the number of leads you close.


Retention over Acquisition

The best way to generate leads is to spend more on customer retention and less on the acquisitions. Studies show that only 12% of marketers focus on retention, despite the fact that it costs five times as much to acquire a new lead.

When devoting resources to existing customers to either upsell, cross-sell, or resell your efforts will be focused and have a much higher probability of converting. A recent study showed that just a 5% increase in retention spending can yield anywhere from 25 per cent to 95% in returns! This is especially true if you already started with a base of high-quality leads.

Quality over Quantity

It’s not about collecting as many leads as possible but rather collecting leads that are most likely to lead to a sale or stay engaged with your product/service. These leads get added to the CRM software database where future communication is much more customized and most likely stems directly from a sales representative. In this scenario, a brand would measure their spend vs the number of qualified leads that turned into sales.  The benefit that a lead would typically receive in this scenario would be a bounce-back offer towards the purchase.


A comprehensive CRM tool that is customized to your needs will help you distinguish between good leads and bad and assist you with retaining the current client base for longer periods. Don’t be afraid to say no. It’s better to be upfront and honest, then to make consumers purchase a product or service that they may not need. Remember: your reputation is more than the acquisition. Click here to try our CRM tool 30 day free trial.


5 Tips to Master the Art of Cold Emailing

Prospecting either over the phone or email has changed drastically over the last two decades. In the modern world, the term is more flexible and encompasses unsolicited outreach as a whole. For some cases, dialing up a non-qualified prospect might be a good option, but in other circumstances it may not. It all depends on your industry and the target market.

1 in 50 business owners list their phone as their preferred method of contact. A long time ago, when cold callers were reaching prospective clients on their office lines,  cold calling was the best means of communication. Today, with more individuals relying on their personal smart phone devices for work, sales calls from an unknown number feel more intrusive. The ubiquity of caller ID also makes these attempts easier to screen.

If you are one of those industries that has a difficult time with cold calling, cold emailing may be the solution for you. But of course, breaking through crowded inboxes is a difficult task of its own. Social media can be effective, but here too exists a subtle balance between being useful and obnoxious. We are here to offer up practical cold emailing tips you can use today.

An effective cold email does five things. It should:


1. Tailor the message to the recipient

You need to do some research. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do that. Personalizing your email blast means that you’ve thought about who the recipient is,  what interests them, and what products/services they may need — you’ve created a “working profile” about the recipient. I say “working profile” on purpose because it is not set in stone and should be changed frequently as the relationship evolves. This shows them you have put work into understanding them.


2. Validate Yourself

When we meet a stranger or get an email from them, we first want to find out who they are and why they matter. Having a connection that validates your product/service is the strongest form of social proof you can offer to prospective client you are cold emailing. If you have any direct connections, mention them. A mutual connection means you are no longer a stranger.


3. Keep it Short

Keep the email short and sweet – 2-4 sentences; 5 sentences at the MOST. Anything beyond 4 sentences will see your response rates decline. Include visuals, such as videos, infographics, cartoons, photographs etc. Visuals make information easy on the eyes for recipients.


4. Add as Many Details in Signature

Your email signature needs to include your business address, links to social media profiles, and contact information. All elements must be present to build trust and credibility with the person reading your cold email.


5. Include Post Scripts

Post Scripts are useful in that you can use them to ask to speak to someone else. This also serves as a way to fulfill the opt-out responsibility in your email and still keeping it personalized. A lot of people will read the P.S. before the rest of the email. A good example of something to add to post scripts is a call to action for a white paper or enewsletter.


Easily create professional email marketing campaigns and email templates, manage subscribers, and send to unlimited contacts all for one flat fee. Click here for more info.


How to Make Successful Cold Calls

What do the best cold calls have in common?

3 things: persistence, charisma, and product and industry knowledge

But that’s not enough to get the prospect to listen and not to hang up.

In your description, you asked how a prospect who is guarded can trust a complete stranger. That’s a good question. And in my opinion, the answer to this question is key.

To make a successful cold call, you should not feel as if you are a stranger.

Of course, you are still technically a stranger because most probably your prospect doesn’t know who you are and what you do until you call the. But you can change the dynamics by doing any of the following:

  • Research about your prospects and personalize your call
  • Write a customized sales script
  • Find a referrer

Make sure that before you cold call, you know relevant facts about your prospect. Make sure that you have read about their company and their industry. If you know a lot about your prospects, you can ask better questions. Talk less and listen more.

And one of the best ways to not be a stranger in cold calls? Find someone that can refer you to their friends, family members etc. Referrals are a good way to earn your prospect’s trust immediately. Look for a network and ways to connect.

Most Important Cold Calling Tip

Don’t jump to memorization.

The first thing most cold callers do when presented with a script is jump straight to memorization because they do not want to be caught reading from a script word for word. Improper memorization techniques are the primary reasons sellers end up being insincere and inauthentic. An experienced actor will be the first to tell you that they read through a script several times before attempting to memorize it. This allows for thoughts, ideas and questions to develop naturally as he familiarizes himself with the content. Get the big picture of the script first and let memorization be a natural byproduct of that familiarity.

It’s quite common to think that over-practicing a script will cause you to sound phony or insincere. This belief is simply a misconception  Knowing your lines well enough so that you don’t have to struggle for the words or meaning frees you up to place your energy on delivering your message in an impactful and persuasive way.