25 posts categorized "Conversations with Clients"

02/13/2018

VIDEO: The new Wild Apricot Membership App

The new Wild Apricot membership application is a breakthrough for membership-based organizations. Now your members can interact with your organization from their iPhone or iPad! The member directory is searchable, you can check out your profile and you can register and pay for events. There is even a place to store your tickets. This app joins the admin app as the second mobile app Wild Apricot has released.  Here's a short demo of the capabilities of the new membership mobile app for Wild Apricot.

03/30/2017

NewPath at Digital Main Street Forum

The Digital Main Street Forum aims to assist entrepreneurs in embracing digital technologies to build and grow their business – from online marketing and leveraging data to better engage your clients, to adopting ecommerce to reach a broader customer base, the Digital Main Street Forum will help you understand the "Why" and "How To" of embracing both bricks and clicks for your business. NewPath Consulting will have a booth at this event so please come check us out!

You can register online for free.

02/10/2016

Transform Your Business Into a Digital Workplace

A short presentation on transforming your business into a digital workplace.

09/02/2014

The Five Love Languages For Small Businesses

The-5-love-languages-of-children-cover

We have fallen in love with the book  ‘The Five Love Languages of Children’ by Gary Chapman, PhD and Ross Campbell, MD. The book describes 5 languages that help any parent or guardian guide and respond to children’s needs in an appropriate way. The book also suggests that children have a primary love language that they respond to best. These universal “love languages” are versatile and can be applied to your customers and small businesses in general. Surprisingly, Dr. Chapman has not written a book applicable to small businesses, but he should!

Starting a small business can be difficult and challenging at first. Understanding the fundamentals of good business and interacting well with prospects and customers are key for long-term success. Whether you are running a small family-owned grocery store or a major corporation, any business can learn and practice these five love languages.

1. The first language is “touch”. We interpret this language as being able to “touch” your customers. It means: to know what your customers need, you must first get to know them on a personal level, if possible.

You can do this by phone, Skype or a face to face meeting. What are their challenges and issues? What sort of individual are they? Once you strive to understand them better, you can start to imagine how receptive they are to the language of “touch.”

2. This brings us to the second language, “words matter”. Knowing how to approach and talk to your clients will sharpen your interpersonal communication skills. Having a lot of interaction with various personalities and opinions will open up new doors of opportunity.

When you communicate with your prospects and customers, words of affirmation are important. Especially in difficult situations, you must keep the conversation positive and constructive. Use words such as “...and…” rather than “...but…” in conversations. And of course, don’t take small successes for granted. Customers are people and they like positive affirmation. Challenges and issues will occur inevitably when working together, so keeping language positive and constructive is key to building a strong relationship. Negative verbal or written interactions can set the relationship back immeasurably.

3. The third language is “quality time”. Make sure to take time to have strategic conversations with your customers. It is important to not take for granted their ongoing challenges and concerns. Take the time to schedule meetings on a regular basis to understand where your relationship stands. This is also an opportunity to fortify the relationship.

Please make spending quality time something you and your customers look forward to, and not as a chore. You can  start to understand how your customers think, what motivates them and drives their ambitions.

With quality time your customers will learn about your business as well. The more they know about your plans, the more they can help you succeed. The next two languages can be “spoken” by your customers in return for quality time.

4. The fourth language is the act of “giving gifts”. When you get to know your customers, there will be a point where gift giving can help to strengthen your bond. You should not give gifts just because “you have to”, as these can be seen as not genuine, or at worse as bribes.

Giving gifts is something that requires you to know your customers fairly well. You will need to know their interests and hobbies, if they have any. When buying a gift for someone for the first time, we recommend that you do not buy anything too expensive or extravagant. This will give off signals of desperation and come off as trying too hard to impress. Feel free to explore your options and choose the gift that you feel comfortable with.

Gifts on their own without the accompaniment of another love language usually takes on the appearance of a bribe. This is not the intent at all, so you should combine gifts with at least one other language. Gifts are not always physical objects and can be abstract and cost nothing at all.

5. The fifth and final language is “professional acts of service”. This is the culmination of all other languages in the world of business. Providing consistent and honest service to your customers will bring in continuous business.

You must also know how to handle difficult customers as well with acts of service. Training and teaching best practices is an act of service. Helping your customers learn collaboration and prioritization skills is also an act of service. Acts of service can also prove helpful when there is miscommunication or when issues arise. Usually acts of service take the form of “going above and beyond.” When an issue occurs, instead of talking about it, sometimes it is best to perform an act of service.

In situations when there is no way to solve an issue, the ultimate act of service is to separate your business relationship. Believe it or not, sometimes your business and customer do not have a fit,  and the best act of service is to go your separate ways.

How you choose to act around your customers will determine their responses. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how to treat your customers. You may find a preferred love language for a customer and it is wise to speak that language with them during your relationship.

These languages are guidelines for business owners and for their customers. When you understand, can interpret and practice these languages, your customers should react in a positive manner. To recap:

  • Make sure to know where your customers are coming from. Use a personal “touch.”

  • Know how to approach and engage your customers verbally and in writing. Use words of affirmation.

  • Spend quality time with your customers and get to know them on a deeper level.

  • Remember to give an appropriate gift to remind your customers you care, especially when you know them well.

  • Do acts of service especially in difficult situations. Instead of talking, act with service in mind.

04/18/2014

The 10 Highly Profitable Benefits of Email Marketing

For those that are overlooking email marketing profits, the times are changing fast. If you want to succeed with business today, you will absolutely need to get into the fray of marketing by email. With proper email promotion, you could make serious gains on any type of business venture.

Some skeptics may not be so quick to jump on the idea of marketing through email, and that’s fine. However, there are some serious benefits that will be missed as a result, and perhaps a second look may be necessary to fully grasp the rewards that are waiting entrepreneurs that navigate this opportunity well. The following is a list of 10 essential benefits you’ll find.

1. Mobile Growth – More people access their email through phones than ever before, and the numbers continue to rise. Email marketing captures people’s attention on the go, to the tune of billions, and growth is expected. If you want to get someone’s attention, mobile integration is necessary, alongside email.

2. Better Response – Across the board, sending out links through online communications found exponential growth in terms of response. Even messages that were short and sweet saw higher influxes of interest than those that were graphically enhanced.

3. Fast Delivery – When you send out a message to your list, it will land a lot faster than any other form of marketing. In a matter of seconds, you could hit thousands, and if your list is big enough, millions. No other option delivers as fast.

4. Frequent Communication – You could easily interact with your user base, fans, or newsletter subscribers on a set schedule, and ensure frequent messaging. This will give clients and customers a frame of reference that will deliver traffic, conversions and more.

5. Reduction in Costs – The cost of traditional advertising is sky high, this is not. You could save on your ad budget and deliver more targeted content to those that are truly interested, all the way saving money.

6. Targeted Delivery – When you put up a banner ad or CPC advertisement, you have to wait for the right user to click through. When delivering an email, the right user becomes a captive, targeted audience member.

7. Easy To Track – Tracking data, and all sorts of metrics are made easier with this form of marketing.

8. Ease of Sharing – Sharing an email is faster, easier and better today than ever before. One swift “forward” could send your message to thousands more people over time. The viral nature of email is not lost today.

9. Simple to Create – Creating an email message is simple, whether you use graphics or not, less than 100 words can suffice in many exchanges, and could yield incredible results.

10. Improved Relationships – Email can become very personal, as it goes into a private inbox for many, and that creates loyalty and even trust. That is something that will help business grow exponentially.

The above benefits are just some of the many elements that become standards when using this form of marketing. There are so many things that make this tool essential for business. Statistics showcase the beneficial elements, and over time it will remain a cornerstone of any major industry.

 

02/13/2014

The Top Features Of NewPath Consulting's Cloud Software Suite

There are a ton of great features in each small business cloud application that NewPath supports. It takes plenty of time to master all of these features and leverage to streamline and enhance your business operations. We wondered "What are the 20% of the features that matter 80% of the time for our clients?" The result is this post. This features run down is by no means exhaustive, but we think these features are important.

 

Typepad

Typepad is your simple-and-easy website and blog software. It offers a ton of features but is extremely flexible and easy to learn. Let's take a look at the most remarkable features.

 

Robust template design

There are hundreds of professional ready to use template designs in TypePad. Many are easily styled with colour scheme of your choice as well as your own branded banner graphic. All of our plans include a website if you don't already have one running. And if you do we will rebuild yours in TypePad so you can easily maintain it.

 

Schedule posts for future dates

You may want to schedule your posts that are automatically published  on a certain date, for example, Christmas Offers or New Year Greetings. You also don't want to miss your blogging schedule because you'll be away on a vacation or for a business meeting.

 

Integration with social tools

When you make a blog post do you post them to popular social tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Feedburner automatically, without having to login and post  to each of them? Typepad offers automatic social media posting right out of box.

 

MadMimi

MadMimi is your friendly email marketing service. You can use MadMimi to send email newsletters and updates to your clients, prospects, vendors and friends. The top features of Madmimi are:

Convenience through cloning

With this feature you can instantly reproduce one of your past email campaigns. This will save a ton of time getting a great design in place and reusing it many times. Once the old campaign is replicated you simply need to replace the content and you're ready to go.

Drip campaigns

Drip campaigns provide immediate value to your newsletter subscribers. You develop a series of emails that direct the subscriber to your product or service. The emails will be delivered in a sequential manner (once a day for the next five days, once in three days for two weeks, etc.)

Integration with Highrise, Freshbooks

Your NewPath Consulting subscription plan might already include Highrise and Freshbooks. If it doesn't, please contact us. You can import your Highrise contacts in one click and start mailing to them right away. Freshbooks integration allows you to add your clients that you've invoiced, in a single click, and ensure you're in touch with them forever via email campaigns.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides one of the best website analytics programs. This is included in each NewPath Consulting service plan. Find out if you are benefitting from the following top features:

Goals

Your website has a reason (or multiple reasons) to exist. Some reasons are - generating leads, increase newsletter signups, measure page views, sell a product or service, etc. Goals let you measure how effective your website is with respect to 'reasons for existing'. Develop and measure one goal for your website today.

Site Search and External Keyword Search

Google Analytics allows you to track the search terms your website visitors are using in your internal site search as well as when they visit search engines like Google and Bing. Once you have the information of how people are finding your website, you can develop content based on those insighs. Automatic and free market research for your business and more traffic!

Email Reports

Google Analytics lets you create many reports like Keyword Analysis Report and Pay Per Click (PPC) Keywords Report that you want to track regularly. With this feature, you can receive these reports - at a chosen frequency - via email without having to login to the Analytics dashboard.

Google Docs

Google Docs is part of Google's Google Apps office suite. It is easy to use, flexible, fast and available from any browser.

Templates: Checklists, outlines, invoices

You can easily create checklists, outlines and invoices using the templating feature available with Google Docs. These will save time in producing a quality document without missing the essential elements. You can share these documents across your organization as well.

Revision History & Autosave

You can collaborate with many people in your organization on your document - marketing, legal, management, or external partners. You can easily track the changes and see their contributions. Google Docs saves the changes automatically in real time so you don't have to worry about working on the 'latest' version. The latest version is in the cloud, always available 7/24/365.

Shared Folders

You can share entire folders with your colleagues and vendors over the Internet. You simply have to drop files in the shared folder and everyone who has access to the folder can access the files immediately. Also the files can be of any type including PowerPoint presentations, PDFs and media files, not just Google docs.

Formstack

Formstack is the form builder application that is available on all NewPath Consulting service plans. You can optimize many of your manual data collection processes and workflows with this powerful tool. You may want to start with the following features:

Calculating Fields

Have you wanted to sell your products and services on your website? Now you can do it with Formstack. With its calculating fields and integration with several payment gateways, it is just a matter of setting up an order form on Formstack to start selling anything you offer, right on your website, today.

Integrations: Highrise, Freshdesk, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Typepad

Formstack plays nicely with several other software we actively endorse at NewPath Consulting. If your subscription includes Highrise, Freshbooks, Google Calendar, Google Docs or Typepad, you can save a ton of time and automate tasks with the Formstack integration.

Learn more at the Formstack integrations website.

Approval Workflow

Would it help if you could automatically share data people fill out online with the appropriate people in your organization? For example, let's say you have several job openings from three different departments in your organization. You want to send the resumes to the correct recruiter from each department based on the position applied by the candidate. You can do that with Formstack's approval workflow feature. You can also easily send email notifications to anyone based on various rules you can setup in your form.

Freshbooks

Freshbooks offers a professional invoicing system for small businesses of all types. Are you billing and invoicing in the best possible way? Find out if these features can help you:

Available on all devices

Freshbooks offers free iOS and Android apps so that you can bill anytime and anywhere. These apps also show all your outstanding invoices so that you stay on top of your game all the time.

Recurring invoices & auto-payment

If you sell a service or plan to develop one that requires recurring billing you're in luck. Freshbooks offers out of the box support to invoice your clients regularly and get paid automatically. This offers your clients great service while you're assured of a steady cash flow.

Send invoices by snail mail

Do you still need to service clients that require a printed invoice for processing? Freshbooks has baked this feature into their product. They'll send (for a small postage and handling fee) invoices to your clients via plain old snail mail. Your invoice will have your logo and handy return envelope stamped that can be sent back by your client with payment.

Callture

Callture telephony system is available to NewPath’s Gold plan clients. It offers some great features to relay a professional, big brand image to your clients and prospects. Here are some of its top features:

Toll-free

Have you set up your toll-free number to convey a big company image to your callers? You can also set up a vanity number like (888) 781-ALEX for better brandability of your phone numbers. NewPath Consulting uses Callture to accept toll free phone numbers and route calls appropriately.

Local Numbers

Many people love to do business locally. Tap this market with a local number even though you don't have an office in the target city. Use these numbers in your advertising for better results. You can forward calls to the toll free phone numbers to any number you want including cell phones and change the forwarding scheme any time you want.

Music-on Hold

You can announce your latest offers and usage tips while people are waiting to talk to you. Businesses generally play some music, which is a waste of caller's attention. Use this time to tell the different ways your callers can benefit using your products or services. You have callers on your line, make it worthwhile for them.

If you need help using the above features please contact us.

07/25/2013

When is best to send an email?

Mailchimp.com recently published an amazing couple of blog posts describing when to send emails to your mailing list. Mailchimp sends millions of emails per year and they have a pretty decent sample that you can depend on. They publish some tremendous reports that are worth reading too! The question is how to interpret their data.

 

The first one describes the best time of day when people open their emails. If you follow their advice and send emails between 2-5pm you are surely guaranteed that someone will be in their inbox more often and the chances of your email being read are higher. Being there at the right place at the right time surely must work? Something to consider though is that everyone is doing this and the question comes back to your audience - what do they do? Do you know when your audience is opening their emails?

 

image from help.mailchimp.com

The chart below indicates that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the highest volume days for email. Is that when you want to deliver your email? Surely a late Sunday afternoon email may be avoiding the fray and allow your recipients to spend more time looking at your offer?

image from help.mailchimp.com

Finally, what time of year talks to seasonality of email. There are some wild swings around the holiday season and around summer. Click on the image below for a larger view of the graphic. The 2012 year is incomplete, but is surely a record one for Mailchimp in terms of volume. The dips around holidays indicates lower volumes, but there is something to be said in timing your efforts around the specific period in your organizations marketing plans rather than just following the massive wave of "holiday shopping".

image from blog.mailchimp.com

Looking at aggregate data is great to get an overall trend, but it is a mistake to generalize these rules for all mailing lists. Each audience is unique and should be looked and analyzed individually after multiple sends of different types.

 

Taking advantage of this knowledge, tailored to your mailing list specifics will yield the best return on your email marketing.

 

06/13/2013

Breaking the Time Barrier from @Freshbooks

Freshbooks founder Mike McDerment and Donald Cowper have really outdone themselves on their 70 page ebook on small business. "Breaking the Time Barrier" is available for free download.

image from www.freshbooks.com

A year of work has at most 3,000 billable hours. Even if you bill each and every one of those hours at $50 per hour you will still only have pre-tax and pre-expenses revenue of $150,000. Billing half of those hours at twice the rate, still earns you the same amount. The math is hard to bend your way, and there is a good reason for that. Even if you clear $120,000, you'd probably never see the light of day or your family and friends. And just try to keep that up year after year.

If you have ever wondered how you are ever going to keep your sanity, get the customers you really want to grow your business and earn the right to work with the best kind of clients, this ebook is for you. In the process you will find yourself earning much more than the average $50-80,000 per year!

The core concept in the book is how to get away from the "grind" of charging per hour. The story is told in fable form as a conversation between 2 web designers. The destination for one designer ("Steve") is a journey to "value-based" pricing. "Karen", the other designer, already runs her small business based on negotiating a price around the value her clients receive, rather than a set hourly fee.  Inside this jewel of business story-telling is a core formula centered around understanding what you and your client need to do so that both derive a high measure of value from your work together.

If you are impatient and don't have time I've embedded the book below. Enjoy. And let us and Freshbooks know what you think.

 

03/27/2013

When is the best time to send emails? 5 million emails tells us when.

Boomerang for Gmail is a handy"send later" and "send back to my inbox" utility for Google's Gmail system. Their team analyzed over 5 million emails to understand the behaviour of people's email habits. This is an excellent infographic, useful especially for small businesses who use email marketing. Take a close look - 6am is when people WANT to read emails according to their statistics. Do you agree?

 

01/09/2013

Dan Pink's "To Sell is Human" Free Offer from NewPath Consulting

Do you have a hard time selling? Did you know that these days everyone is in sales, but some of us just don't know it? "To Sell is Human" is one of the best books I have ever read on sales. Full of detailed examples and research on why to be in sales is very human. It is something we all do, and some of us are better than others at it. But why? This books gives us some very good answers, and actionable ideas on how to become better at sales.

This year NewPath is going to continue to give away, for free, books that we think are relevant for small businesses and entrepreneurs everywhere. No strings attached! The first book is "To Sell is Human".

Just fill out the Contact Us form with a few details and we'll get one out to you!