Retail in Crisis: How To Stay Afloat

It’s important that entrepreneurs and c-suite executives keep a keen eye out for long-term trends. The point in doing this allows them to predict the future and grasp potential markets that will keep the business profitable and above water. This is something that many retailers this past decade were not able to do and were forced to make cutbacks and changes; Target and Mexx are perfect examples.

One such trend to look out for is e-commerce- buying and selling products on the internet. It’s a well-recognized revolution. Ecommerce is destined to change the way goods are being bought and sold all over the world. People no longer want to get out of their beds and stand in lines for hours when they could simply make all their purchases online. It’s convenient and hassle free!

What is not certain is how much change there will be.


Where Does the Future Lie?

It looks as though the long-range prospect of brick and mortar retailers is death. These businesses are slowly disappearing into oblivion. From Eaton’s to Zellers to Sears to Sony to Mexx to Target, all retailers have closed some or all their stores here in Canada. There are more to come: Jacob, Future Shop….

The ones that we think are doing well are actually in the process of enacting cutbacks because their in store sales are not as successful as those online. Just a year ago, Best Buy Canada announced that it was cutting 950 jobs in an effort to thin management. The cause of cutbacks was the decline in holiday sales.

How To Stay Afloat

As consumers increasingly engage digitally and make fewer trips in store, there are serious concerns about how brick-and-mortar stores that were once the center of attention and thriving will be able to keep up. Certainly retailers may close underperforming stores and merge locations, but more elemental changes also must occur, such as:
• Turning the store(s) into fulfillment center(s).
• Take the in-store experience to a different level.
• Integrate channels relentlessly to the point that channel disappears.

Retailers who understand their customers, leverage technology, such as Contact Management Software, to evolve the customer experience and focus on their differentiators and assets have the opportunity to thrive.


12 Ways To Increase Productivity

I was rebranding my Pinterest page this weekend when I received a notification from the social network that I could upgrade my account to Pinterest for Business. I came across this very interesting infographic titled “12 Ways to Increase Productivity”. As a content marketer, I was immediately inclined to share it with my readers:

productivity infographic



Browsing through the methods for increasing productivity, number seven was the first one to stand out from the crowd. I am a proponent of the Pomodoro Technique and this technique is at the heart of my strategy for staying productive at work everyday.


What is Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique that assists users, like me, with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less interruptions and little exhaustion.

The process is simple. For every project throughout the day, you allot your time into short intervals and take breaks in between. Essentially, you work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes. Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, Italian for tomato. After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a break (15-20 min). The technique encourages its users to use a timer to ensure maximum productivity.

Every time you finish an interval, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had a tendency or push to switch gears to work on  to another task. Your goal is to eliminate  or reduce those tendencies as time goes by.

Try it for yourself or perhaps you want to know more about InfoFlo’s Task Management feature?

InfoFlo’s Task Manager allows you to create and manage your tasks or ‘pomodoros’ as the Italians like to call them.  Users can easily attach files, set email and pop up reminders, share tasks, set priority levels, tag by type or status, and more. Check out our video for more information on task management.


About Carmel Vision

Carmel Vision, a Toronto based CRM software development company, is focused on delivering a powerful management infrastructure that is designed to collect, search, and archive all content, contact and communication activities that take place in a typical office. We understand and listen to all of our customers’ needs and strive to give excellent quality at affordable prices.

Our flagship product, InfoFlo – is a central management system specifically designed to combat one of the biggest technical challenges facing any professional organization, how to efficiently organize, archive, filter and search the vital information that bombards our desktops on a daily basis. Our infrastructure allows all office activities to coexist together under one umbrella, making all critical information readily available at your fingertips.


5 Tips For Warming Up Those Cold Calls

The obituary that speaks about the death of cold calling is written all wrong. While in the perfect world, your phone would be ringing off the hook all day with customers wanting to buy your products or services, the reality is that if you want business, you need to go find it. Cold calling is one effective sales tactic to lead generation if done properly. Here are 5 tips you can implement in order to “warm up” those cold calls.

Angry phone call.

1. Job Titles:

When you’re on the phone with a prospect, be 100% certain of their job title and responsibilities. Don’t rely on one source to give you accurate information. Many lead generation sites list contacts as managers and administrators, while LinkedIn profiles and websites list them as C-level executives. There’s never any harm in double checking references twice or three times. We have all done this before in our cold calls. “Hi Mark, I had you as the Marketing Manager with ABC Corp?” To their reply of “I’m the CMO” and an almost guaranteed hang up afterwards. The last thing you want to do is undermine their hard work with a junior title.

2. Name Pronunciation:

If you ever have to cold call in the business world, you will quickly realize that not everyone you call has an easy-to-pronounce name like Joe, Bob, Frank or Kelly. On your first day, you will run into names you won’t be able to pronounce. It is vital that when you come across one of these behemoths that you: 1) make note of the pronunciation of the name on the prospect’s voicemail or 2) ask the secretary or operator for the proper pronunciation before you directly reach out to them. I have found in my experience that this can go a long way and help you stand out from the average cold caller who can never do it right.

3. LinkedIn:

Never underestimate the power of social networking. Even if you get contacts or account information handed to you from a site or service that claims to know it all, you should always be verifying your information before picking up the phone. It may sound obvious, but I would say more than half of the time cold callers are calling the wrong person. By verifying that your contact actually works within the department you are selling to, you will be 90% more likely to get a meeting, sale or interest from the prospect.

4. Create a Persuasive Script:

You can’t wing it. Despite how passionate you are about your business, communicating the benefits of your product takes distinct skill. With limited time on the phone, a written script lets you focus on points you want to make. In a few short sentences, you must provide both a description of your services and good reasons why the prospect should buy your product or invest in your services.

5. Attention to Detail:

This is an important aspect to remember if you are sending out emails, meeting requests or any form of communication. You are the luckiest person on earth if you have never received an email with your name misspelled or sentences written in poor English. My name is Alex Noudelman, but I’ve seen Ale, Aleks, Noodleman, Noudleman, Nudelman, you get the point. It’s really not that hard. Again, go back to your friend, LinkedIn, and verify the spelling.