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7 tips for turning cold calls into hot leads

7 tips for turning cold calls into hot leads

Ringing up total strangers to chat about your business and persuade them to set up a meeting has got to rank first on the list of “Top 10 Things New Business Owners Find Terrifying.”

Cold calling is very hard to do. Simply picking up the phone takes courage. But turning cold calls into actual sales calls — that takes confidence and thick skin as well as skill.

Prospects may react with hostility or courtesy, but that won’t change the odds. You face a firestorm of rejection for every spark of interest you ignite. Even seasoned salespeople shudder at the thought of cold calling. Plus, with many marketers reluctant to take risks these days, the challenges of cold calling are even greater, especially for startup entrepreneurs.

Start your selling

If you can’t take rejection, you shouldn’t get into business. As an infant enterprise with scant resources, low profile and few (if any) client testimonials, you must practice what New York sales trainer Stephan Schiffman calls “interruptive marketing” to get your message out and find customers.

“The economy has everyone at a four-way stop sign. No one is moving,” says Schiffman, author of the best-selling Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!). “So your No. 1 competition right now is the status quo. Forget ROI [return on investment] or cost or color or anything else. Every buyer will ask: ‘Does buying this product make sense for me?’ You’ve got to give him that reason.”

When done right, with smart research, scripts, presentation and delivery, cold calls do land business — even if money is tight.

Here are seven expert tips to help your cold calls yield some hot results.

1. Aggressively target your buyers. The more you can define your markets, the greater your chances of differentiating your business and gaining access to decision makers. “Too many new business owners don’t write a business plan or they just do one for bankers, so it doesn’t cover marketing very well,” says Jim Brown, executive director of the Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. Entrepreneurs often skip the upfront work of narrowly identifying markets appropriate for their services. As a result, sales efforts are all over the map. “It’s a waste of time,” says Brown. It’s also a waste of money. Every owner should have a plan. Until you know the companies or consumer markets that are ripe to buy your wares, don’t pick up the phone. You need to distinguish yourself and your company from random telemarketers.

2. Invest in research. At Benefitfocus.com, an application service provider of employee benefits, the sales team is trained to suggest solutions to client problems rather than to simply present online demonstrations. “More often than not, sales associates are in competition with ‘the way it has always been done,’ ” explains Bob Stevens, vice president of sales and marketing for the Charleston, N.C.-based company. “Our sales associates are encouraged to research a company they are going to ‘cold call,’ so they know something about the company’s business and their human resources needs.”

3. Craft a good script — and use it. You can’t wing it. Despite the fact that you’re passionate about your baby business, communicating the benefits of your product takes distinct skills. 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 compelling reasons why the prospect should buy your product. You can then move on to secondary benefits or news. “The script shouldn’t be word for word,” says New York sales trainer Wendy Weiss, author of Cold Calling for Women: Opening Doors and Closing Sales. “It’s a way to prepare yourself for the conversation. You decide ahead of time how you want to present yourself, what reaction you want to get and how to ask for what you want.” Be ready to counter possible objections with specific explanations, statistics or case studies. If an objection arises that you hadn’t anticipated, react as best you can. Then write it down and prepare a detailed response before the next call.” Not everyone is born a salesperson. Luckily, there are things you can do to improve those skills, like hiring a coach or reading a book,” Weiss says.

4. Warm up every cold call. It helps if you don’t start on thin ice. Before calling, send the prospect a smart, useful introductory notice. “You should send a short, personal letter saying something like, ‘I’d like to introduce myself. I’ve developed a new product and I specialize in your industry. I’ll be calling,'” says sales professor Brown. “Wait two days after they’ve gotten the letter, then call.” There are obviously many introductory options, depending on your targets and products. “When possible, we precede calls with a mail or e-mail campaign,” says John Rarrick, a marketing consultant in Nyack, N.Y. “This allows us to use introductory phrases such as ‘Hi, I’m just following up on the brochure we sent you. Did you receive it?’“ White papers or special reports are useful for consulting services. Introductory discounts may stand out for suppliers or retailers. Make sure you enclose a note describing your services and indicating that you’ll be calling in a few days to gauge interest. Then, promptly follow up.

5. Be nice to the gatekeepers. An executive screener’s job is to guard the inner sanctum. Becoming irritated, frustrated, or rude with such assistants will only hurt your business. Think through strategies to get gatekeepers to open doors. Create a friendly mood. Learn screeners’ names and preferences. By making the gatekeeper an ally, you’ll win access more easily.

6. Practice, practice, practice. Like most skills, the more cold calling you do it, the better you’ll get. Rehearse your pitch out loud with friends or associates. Some experts suggest standing during calls in order to give your voice authority and energy. Everyone always says smile while you talk, because that will be also conveyed in your voice. Some trainers advise facing a mirror so you can see when your energy or body language flags and you can adjust. All such strategies attempt to substitute for the usual visual clues of conversation, which some studies pinpoint as 80% of how people communicate. Whatever helps you infuse warmth and confidence in the calls, try it. Weiss suggests dividing all your leads into A, B and C lists: “Practice on the Cs before calling the As.”

7. Then customize your delivery. But don’t become too attached to any particular script or language. Once you have a framework, you must be able to fine-tune it to fit individual prospects. Every customer has specialized needs and preferences. Edit your calling script to hit nerves for each new audience. Make sure you’re up to speed about your community and industry or market news. You want to sound plugged-in and connected whenever you call prospects.

Cold calling is difficult and daunting work. But it does pay off. To be successful at cold calling, Weiss says, “You need to be targeted and focused and to call only on those people who are ready to buy.”

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Microsoft Office 365 rocks ……………..

10 reasons why Microsoft Office 365 rocksImage

 

 

1: Security

Starting with one of the most important factors in choosing a cloud service, security has been the big stumbling block for many companies considering moving to the cloud. Microsoft’s online services have been designed with security in mind. Office 365 applications are accessed through 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption so that if a transmission is intercepted by someone without authorization, they won’t be able to read it. Antivirus signatures are kept up to date, and security measures are applied in accordance with the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing initiative. Exchange Online uses Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) to protect mail messages from malware, and it uses anti-spam filtering and antivirus with multiple virus engines.

The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is applied to Microsoft Online Services development, deployment, and maintenance. Microsoft monitors the systems continuously for suspicious activity and has a robust incident response protocol in place. Microsoft also does regular security audits. You can read more about the security of Microsoft Online Services in this whitepaper.

2: Reliability

After security, the most commonly mentioned area of concern regarding cloud services is reliability. Downtime means lost worker productivity and ultimately costs companies money. Microsoft Online Services provides a service level agreement (SLA) and has a 99.9 percent scheduled uptime. Microsoft has multiple datacenters, located all over the world, hosting redundant network architecture. If there is an outage at one datacenter, another can act as a backup. Customers hosted by the first datacenter are transferred to another, with as little service interruption as possible.

3: Compliance

Compliance with government and industry regulations is a big deal in today’s business world. Microsoft Office 365 services have been certified as compliant with ISO 27001 standards, completed SAS70 Type I and II audits, and achieved the EU Safe Harbor seal. Microsoft has also added controls for helping customers comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

4: Compatibility

In today’s economy, many companies can’t upgrade all of their desktop systems to the latest operating system. That’s not necessary to use Office 365. Microsoft Online Services supports not only Windows 7 and Vista (SP2), but also Windows XP SP3. Even XP Home edition or Media Center edition can be used, although it doesn’t support federated identity. Mac users can also access the Office 365 applications, using OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

The online Web portal for administration works with Internet Explorer 7 or later, Mozilla Firefox 3.x, or Apple Safari 3.x. The Outlook Web App can also be accessed with any of those browsers or with Google Chrome 3 and later versions.

5: Up-to-date versions

With Office 365, companies and their users get all the features and functionality of the very latest versions of Microsoft’s server products. The services run on Exchange 2010 SP1, SharePoint 2010, and Lync. Client software is Microsoft Lync 2010 for Windows (Communicator for Mac), and the enterprise edition includes the licensing for Office 2010 Professional Plus.

6: Single sign-on

Assuming your network is running Server 2008 Active Directory on-premises, you can configure Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to achieve single sign-on, so that users can log on to the domain and be automatically authenticated to Office 365.

7: Exchange Online

Exchange Online gives you the benefits of Exchange Server 2010 without the cost and overhead of deploying it in-house. User mailboxes up to 25 GB are supported (administrators can reduce the capacity on a per-user basis), and personal archives provide more storage space. Attachments up to 25 MB are allowed. Users can restore deleted items, including items deleted from the Deleted Items folder. Even if an item has been permanently deleted or manually purged, it can be recovered if you enable Single Item Recovery (disabled by default). And if you, as administrator, delete a user, you can request that the mailbox be recovered for 30 days after the deletion.

Users connect to Exchange Online via Outlook 2007 or 2010, with such features as Outlook Anywhere (RPC-over-HTTP) and Cached Exchange Mode. With Outlook 2010, you get all the new Exchange 2010 features, such as conversation view, ignore, MailTips, personal archive, protected voicemail, and voicemail preview.

Users can also connect via Outlook Web App if they don’t have the Outlook client installed, over any of the most popular Web browsers. There is a Light version that supports older and alternative browsers.

Mac users can use Microsoft Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition (free update for those who use Entourage 2008). IMAP and POP access are supported, and Exchange Active Sync for mobile devices (Windows phones, Palm devices, iPhone/iPad, and some Android and Nokia devices) is also supported.

8: SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online makes collaboration easy. You get 500 MB of storage per user account with a storage quota of up to 100 GB per site collection. Your company can have up to 1 TB total storage. Your SharePoint sites work with all Microsoft Office 2010 applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, InfoPath, SharePoint Designer, and SharePoint Workspace. Sites can be accessed via IE 7/8, Firefox 3, or Safari 3.1.2 and through mobile devices including Windows Mobile 6.5.x, Windows Phone 7, Apple iPhone 2.0 and above, and Nokia E and N series.

With Microsoft Office 2010 applications and SharePoint Online, two or more users can edit the same document at the same time. If you don’t have Office installed, you can use Office Web Apps to work with your documents in a Web browser. Also supported is PowerPoint broadcasting, which lets you broadcast your slide shows across the Internet even to people who don’t have PowerPoint. And you can manage documents offline and have everything automatically synchronized back to the server when you reconnect — a big plus for those who worry that cloud computing means being unable to get work done if you don’t have an Internet connection.

Your SharePoint sites are protected against viruses and malware by Forefront Security for SharePoint.

9: Lync Online

Lync Online is the communications service component of Office 365. You can also purchase it as a standalone service, for providing users with instant messaging, audio and video calling between PCs (PC to PSTN calling is in the works but won’t be available at release), Web conferencing, and presence. With the Lync 2010 client software (available at no extra charge), users can send IMs (the text of which is encrypted) and display presence status and monitor presence status of others. Lync integrates with Outlook so users can find and communicate with others from within Outlook (”click to communicate”). Presence information can also be updated based on Exchange calendar information, and it integrates with SharePoint Online. Users can also transfer files during IM conversations.

Users can connect to Lync Online directly over the Internet (without having to be on the corporate network via VPN or RAS), but file transfer is not available in that situation. Thanks to the federation feature, users can also IM people in other organizations that use Lync Online or host their own on-premise Lync servers. This requires that a federated relationship be set up by the administrators in both companies.

Users can attend online meetings with audio, video, and Web conferencing using the Lync client or using a phone with a PSTN audio conferencing service. Data sharing, including desktop and application sharing, whiteboard capability, and document sharing, is supported.

10: Office Web Apps

Microsoft Office Web Apps is part of Office 365, but it doesn’t take the place of the full-featured Office applications; it supplements them. For sophisticated document creation and manipulation, you need a rich local application. But there are times when you’re away from your Office-equipped computer and need to do a quick edit. That’s where Web Apps come in. No matter where you are or what computer you’re using, you have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and you can create or edit content and post it to your SharePoint site or save it in your SkyDrive folder.

You get the same familiar interface you’re used to with traditional Office applications, and documents display the same way they do in the desktop apps. You can even view files on many popular mobile devices, including Windows phones, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, and devices with Opera Mobile 8.65 or Openwave 6.2 and later.

Supported file types include both older Office formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt) and the new XML-based formats (.docx, xlsx, pptx). Users can print Word documents and multiple users can edit a document simultaneously.


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SQL SERVER 2008 : ” This query provide all necessary information of database”

/*
SQL Server2000- Daily checklist for database

This query provide all necessary information of database.
*/

create table #logsize
(Dbname varchar(200),dbstatus varchar(50),Recovery_Model varchar(40) default (‘NA’), Log_File_Size_MB decimal(20,2)default (0),
log_Space_Used_MB decimal(20,2)default (0),log_Free_Space_MB decimal(20,2)default (0))
go

insert into #logsize(Dbname,dbstatus,recovery_model,Log_File_Size_MB,log_Space_Used_MB,log_Free_Space_MB)
exec sp_msforeachdb
‘use [?];
select DB_NAME() AS DbName,
CONVERT(varchar(20),DatabasePropertyEx(”?”,”Status”)) ,
CONVERT(varchar(20),DatabasePropertyEx(”?”,”Recovery”)),
sum(size)/128.0 AS Log_File_Size_MB,
sum(CAST(FILEPROPERTY(name, ”SpaceUsed”) AS INT))/128.0 as log_Space_Used_MB,
SUM( size)/128.0 – sum(CAST(FILEPROPERTY(name,”SpaceUsed”) AS INT))/128.0 AS log_Free_Space_MB
from sysfiles where groupid=0 group by groupid

go

create table #dbsize
(Dbname varchar(200), file_Size_MB decimal(20,2)default (0),Space_Used_MB decimal(20,2)default (0),
Free_Space_MB decimal(20,2) default (0))
go

insert into #dbsize(Dbname,file_Size_MB,Space_Used_MB,Free_Space_MB)
exec sp_msforeachdb
‘use [?];
select DB_NAME() AS DbName,

sum(size)/128.0 AS File_Size_MB,
sum(CAST(FILEPROPERTY(name, ”SpaceUsed”) AS INT))/128.0 as Space_Used_MB,
SUM( size)/128.0 – sum(CAST(FILEPROPERTY(name,”SpaceUsed”) AS INT))/128.0 AS Free_Space_MB
from sysfiles where groupid<>0 group by groupid ‘

go

select
d.Dbname,l.dbstatus,l.recovery_model,
(file_size_mb + log_file_size_mb) as DBsize,
d.file_Size_MB,d.Space_Used_MB,d.Free_Space_MB,
l.Log_File_Size_MB,log_Space_Used_MB,l.log_Free_Space_MB
from #dbsize d join #logsize l
on d.Dbname=l.Dbname