Archive for November, 2011


Demo Glam & Glitter… What to look out for on a product demo!

You gather the team, you organize the efforts to create a meeting with the new vendor(s) of choice, you are exhausted and now the time has come for the vendor-client meeting.

What do you need to look for and how do you think they are going to perform after the initial signing on the dotted line?

Either the vendor is going to come in with amazing screens, laptops, high quality business cards (I have seen metal ones!) high end suits & goodies or you may have a casual wearing, paper business cards, small laptop vendor come in. Regardless of what they wear or what they come in as, what comes out of their mouth during the demonstration of the product is the most important part to pay attention too.

Key Terms to pay attention too:

WE PROMISE: Hearing this is like a broken record similar to a child promising to remember to do their chores on a daily basis, but you find yourself constantly reminding them daily to remember.  

WE GAURANTEE: This is very scary! How can you guarantee traffic, customers, increase and such? It’s impossible to throw that term out unless the vendor has full control of the actual online consumer. Demographics & general location play a major role in this.  Are they at the front door of each and every consumer “MAKING THEM” come to you? I highly doubt it. If your vendor is guaranteeing results it is a term loosely used and a headed direction for failure. (A way to get you to sign faster)

SPECIAL ACCOUNT: I have heard this several times.  “You will be one of our Special Accounts & will have lots of attention”… What about their other clients? Do they get the Special Accounts treatment & do you think the non special accounts would be a bit disturbed if they heard that they weren’t? The proof is in the pudding when you make those calls to clients that are not listed on their testimonials page. This brings me to my next point.  

CALL OUR TESTIMONIALS: Sure thing, this is nice giving the opportunity to do your homework but what about the non testimonials. If they claim they have several hundred accounts, ask for the list and you can have the opportunity to pick and choose who to call that are not on the Testimonials page of their website.  Remember you want to pay for a great product which then entails to great customer service.

WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN: If you hear this, have them include it in on the agreement. When this is mentioned in a demo, this is not going to help you one bit because once you sign and throw that request in either the developers or programmers are going to say “Can’t do it”… This will safe guard your request if it is in writing along with the other request you may have.

LOOK AT THIS GUY: They may pull out a few customers that are performing amazing with stellar numbers. Grabbing up clients that have demographics, location, products and such can help create a huge performance for those numbers month in and month out. What if you were the guy with a smaller demographic and location, don’t expect those numbers; this is just part of the Glam & Glitter of a product demo to show only the best of the best. What about the smaller guys?

IF YOU SIGN TODAY: Reminds me of the 4-squares & the Sharpie marker when I sold cars! Now what if I don’t sign today! Are you going to pull all these promises and guarantees away from me? You haven’t even done your homework yet, so why in the world would you sign today?

If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s not going to be. Just pay attention and be educated when meeting up with your next vendor.

I may not have covered all of the words to keep an eye & ear out during a product demo. Do you have any that you have heard but were never lived up to?

All views & opinions are solely based by the author Jennifer Schrader

jennifergene@hotmail.com (231) 360-0730


Being part of working from my satellite office for close to 5 years, I cannot imagine it any different if I went internal. I have been asked several times on how I do it, what I do along with much criticism to that effect.  For example “You must have a lot of time” and such, trust me you will find yourself more busy working from your external office than you would internally.

Yes, working from your satellite office has many perks & many disadvantages too. Usually the disadvantages can dwell heavily unless you are able to deal with them properly and take advantage of them in a positive way.

Here are the advantages & disadvantages for working internal compared to external for both the employee & employer. The new age is taking over virtually so why miss out on the advantages of hiring the best & be part of an amazing company.

TIME                                                                                             

(Employee) if you actually add up the time you spend by driving to work, lunch breaks, mid breaks and such, you can pile up 3-4 hours a day of no work. What could you have completed or done in 3-4 hours a day? You may also find yourself more productive in the afternoon hours or evening. I myself am more into the evening hours as for some reason my brain seems to be a superstar than in the morning. For some reason you have a doctor’s appointment during the week & needed the day off, you can always make up the time on a weekend which then helps you get a head of the upcoming week, weekly planning and creating a list of what needs to be done.

(Employer) having your employee have that additional 3-4 hours of productivity within your workforce can help produce more work flow, completion of tasks and be ahead of the game for your company. As mentioned above, if your employee is unable to work during the week day, they can make it up on the weekend or into the evening hours. Bonus to you!

STRESS

(Employee) I think we all have been here with the manager hanging over your shoulders, breathing down your back and noticing stress levels are higher than normal. Just from the stress can create incomplete deadlines, lack of professional work, creativity & time management. From driving to your employment is stressful.  Working from your home office can help alleviate the tension & stress from overbearing management, driving, deadlines and much more.

(Employer) Having your employee work from their home office can be very stressful to you. Worrying about what they are doing, not being able to see their face, see their progress & attendance. There are many ways to prevent yourself from that unnecessary stress.  With the digital age of communications, Skype, Live Chat & many other resourceful tools can be a benefit for overseeing your employee and their daily activities. You remember the old saying “The proof is in the pudding”…? Just from seeing the outcome of their completed work, tasks, professional outcome & deadline completions can help you with knowing they are working more productively and professionally.

DISTRACTIONS? What distractions?

(Employee) Take a moment to think of your particular work day. Just notice how much time you are taking to answer questions, chatting with a co-worker at the water jug, running to grab a document, running an office errand. With working from your home office you are less distracted with overhearing conversations and such so you can put forth the focus that is needed into the work that is needed to be done.

(Employer) I think you would rather see a productive employee then one that is distracted by phones ringing, chatty co-workers, non direct focus to certain projects that you know need absolute attention and no need for distractions. I think you get the point. Have the ability also to have scheduled times to meet with your team via chat or online can also be less distracting.

MONEY

(Employee) This is surely the added bonus for working from your home office by far. Less fuel to place within your vehicle, great write off’s at the end of the year,  additional clothing to purchase for the office, short cry from your child’s school (in case of emergency) and less missed time due to car failure, snowed in and such.

(Employer) If you are looking to save money, this is how you take the first step. Companies can save up to $6,500 annually, per employee, if they worked just 1 day from home a week! Employee retention is another way of savings as your employee’s will stick with your company more than having them based internally. Wouldn’t you like to see your employees be with your long term or pay more for new ones every so often?

LOCATION INDEPENDENCE & HIRING THE BEST!

(Employee) This advantage can be a large hit for yourself when you have the skill level and demanded need to get the job done properly & professionally. You can work from anywhere in the world & different time zones.  You will be able to have the flexibility to communicate with your employment regardless if you are traveling or on vacation when there is a desperate task or deadline to reach.

(Employer) You will be able to hire the best of the best in the world regardless of their location! This again will prevent you having to pay any relocation fees, moving fees and such.  Having this ability to find the best, the options are endless to recruit the best, acquire new ideas, methods & strategies that are beneficial if you are able to grab up the superior candidates that are right at your fingertips.

Working external compared to internally is not an easy task for the employee themselves. It takes the right individuals to take on this particular role.  DISCIPLINE! This is a major must. Yes, it is surely nice to work from your home office however making sure you are in the office at the crack of dawn and plugging away at work throughout the day is habit that needs to be created by yourself. Your time flexibility is great however you may catch yourself in the office into the hours of the night. This disadvantage “You can never leave work at work” is something you need to control also.

I walk right across my hallway to my office and I shut my office door at particular times to prevent myself from going in there to check emails as I will find myself working on the next project that can wait until the next day.  Having that discipline will help you develop the habit of a very productive day for your employer and yourself.

Do you have any objections, insight or suggestions for working internal or external?

All views & opinions are solely based by the author only. Jennifer Schrader

jennifergene@hotmail.com (231)360-0730