Autospeak-Straight Talk contains articles covering digital and social media marketing social communities and events marketing

Why Put a “Brain” Behind Your Website? Conversion, Conversion, Conversion

(Posted on Dec 19, 2014 at 01:09PM )

Websites Need to Evolve. Websites need to be engaging and interactive. Visit any website today and they're much the same as they were 20 years ago: they're entirely one way for the most part.

Ownership of social media is shifting away from Marketing and Communication as engagement increasingly relates to inbound customerservice-based topics. Rather than social being seen purely as a space for companies to deliver outbound marketing messages, it is the inbound customer queries that allow for meaningful points of engagement and the building of brand advocacy

Social CRM Community tools allow businesses to better engage with their customers by, for example, listening to their opinions about their
products and services.

Why Put a “Brain” Behind Your Website? Conversion, Conversion, Conversion

Posted on December 18th, 2014 by Brad Title

A study of Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers underscores how behavioral analytics on websites can drive smarter chat and better conversion In recent years smart dealers have been re-focusing their digital marketing spend on driving traffic to their own websites, versus relying on high-priced, low-closing third party Internet leads. This means spending more on SEO, [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Revisiting Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Strategies for the Coming Year

(Posted on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:59AM )
You should make it a point to revisit your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies for the coming year to pinpoint areas that you can improve upon and benefit from.

Search engine results pages (SERPs) can be divided into two categories, organic search results and paid search results. Ranking well on organic search engine result pages is essential and is a primary goal of search engine optimization. Organic search results comprise the majority of clicks from search engines, with many sources claiming as much as 80% of all search engine traffic.

*70 percent of links that search users click on are organic results.
*70 percent to 80 percent of search users ignore paid search ads.
*75 percent of search users are not clicking past the first page of search results.

Organic search traffic produces 25 percent higher conversion rates than traffic driven by equivalent paid search traffic.

The Cost of Not Being Mobile Friendly is Apparent

(Posted on Dec 15, 2014 at 04:51PM )
How people access their e-mails today is yet another reason that shows us the importance of having a mobile friendly website. It is no longer an option but something you need to implement. 

With the amount of people accessing the internet on mobile devices the risk of losing out to competitors is becoming more and more apparent and the cost of not being mobile optimized greater than cost to implement. 

Ensuring scalable content can be delivered to mobile devices is an important and now low cost part of any business or enterprise as more and more people demand such experiences across virtually all industries. All your devices are important – that’s why it is a must that your interfaces are as easy to master as possible from a common dash board.

Follow these 10 essential mobile-friendly email tips to ensure that the emails you write display properly on any device, so that they get opened and read more

Cutting Through The Noise to Market Smarter

(Posted on Dec 6, 2014 at 04:07PM )

Businesses that integrate content marketing, social media and SEO strategy are seeing big results. Integrating these marketing channels can be a challenge and marketing from Ground Zero provides a very cost effective way of pulling all these channels together to provide impressive long term and sustainable results.

For any business looking for better ROI along with small and medium sized businesses with limited digital marketing resources it is important to cut through the noise and find ways to provide your business with the most economically viable and sustainable ways to build your brand, provide great customer service and drive new business.

Most businesses have an online presence with exposure to social media to some extent but in many cases do not feel they have the resources, to take their online marketing to the next level. If this describes your present situation read on because marketing from ground zero can be the answer.

Brands Building Community Should Promote Own Sites

Today, as reported by by Gavin O'Malley at Media Post “At least as community-building tools, marketers should forget about Facebook and Twitter. That’s the crux of a new report from Forrester Research, which suggests that the social giants are losing their grip on what has historically been known as “social” marketing.

“Top brands Facebook and Twitter posts reach only about 2% of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1% of fans and followers interact with each post,” Forrester analyst Nate Elliott explains in the new report. “Marketers need to rebuild their social relationship strategies around sites that work.”

In place of Facebook and Twitter, Elliott and his colleagues suggest that brands build out their own social-friendly properties. Indeed, U.S. online adults are nearly three times more likely to visit a brand’s Web site than to engage them on Facebook.”

More than 80% of small businesses cite that (Ground Zero) - their website is the number one way they engage with customers. This statistic alone shows that businesses should be looking for ways to more fully utilize this precious resource.

Great Customer Service Is Key to Free Publicity

There is no better way to provide excellent customer service than through an onsite community. More than two-thirds of American consumers said they're willing to spend 14 percent more on average with a company that delivers excellent service, according to new survey from American Express.

Providing great customer service can also get you free publicity through recommendations and referrals. Forty-six percent of respondents said they always tell others when they've had good service interactions, and 42 percent said that a recommendation from a friend or family member is more likely to get them to do business with a new company.

The Power of Customer Loyalty

New customers driven by existing customers’ recommendations are the second-biggest source of revenue—more than new customers who come to a business from other sources.

Repeat customers were by far the biggest source of revenue for more than 43 percent of entrepreneurs, while new customers accounted for about 19 percent of revenues.

Whatever the trending term these onsite customer care and benefit centers (communities) can benefit companies across the industry horizontal. There is no better way to create measure and maintain customer loyalty and drive referrals and recommendations than by having an onsite social community.

An onsite social community offers benefits that no other medium can match and is the most economical way to maintain and grow a loyal customer base. One Big Broadcast has been a leader in developing and customizing these types of platforms for years.

A Proven Platform

One Big Broadcast has been at the technological forefront of Onsite Social Communities for years and has been redefining the customer experience and how businesses and their employees interact with both their existing and potential customers by taking customer care, service and benefits to a whole new level. Onsite Social Communities shifts customer support and service to being part of the brand marketing mix.

One Big Broadcast’s SEO automation and CMS technology combined with our inclusive suite of marketing products and fully integrated mobile capability provides a low cost way to create an ecosystem within itself that can power your online and mobile marketing initiatives to cost effectively cut through the noise to market smarter.

William Cosgrove

Your Most Precious Online Marketing Resource

(Posted on Nov 1, 2014 at 12:41PM )
Have you read “Social Media Marketing Is A Dying Business Model” by Nikki Majewski ? The post covers a discussion at the at the 2014 National Radio Conference by Jules Lund who explains why organic social media marketing is a dying business and what he thinks it will take to succeed.

We all know that Facebook has been at the forefront of instituting paid social media content by drastically reducing the reach of organic content but the writing is on the wall because most other social networks are also experimenting with paid content.

The potential reach of these networks makes them places where businesses should have a presence but the bottom line is that you should never be totally dependent on outside forces over which you have no control.  There are sound alternative ways to capitalize on this by using the assets within your control in conjunction with and as part of a diversified marketing plan.

With social media channels bringing in a new era of pay to play and taking more control over the social media playing field this is a subject that needs to be addressed to find other avenues that can foster autonomy and provide stability and permanence in this changing virtual landscape of online marketing.

Regardless of the direction that the social media marketing giants or the online industry as a whole may eventually take and change through new technology there is a way to insure consistency, autonomy, online presence,  and potential reach and that is by “Marketing From Ground Zero” which starts by having a  community member platform on your website  that you can utilize and adapt to all prevailing winds and turn an existing company resource- your existing customer base- into advocates and influencers as an anchor for your online marketing strategy.

An onsite community can be the jewel in the crown of your online marketing and act as “ground zero” to fuel your overall marketing initiatives. Unlike paid advertising that is fleeting and exits only as long as you are paying, an onsite community is an asset that endures and can provide a solid foundation to continually produce benefits to both you, your existing and potential customers.

No matter what industry you are in an onsite community can create a customer centric culture and provide consistency that will resonate across all your paid, social and owned media channels. And no matter what direction social media marketing takes these communities will act as conduits to reach and attract an audience that can know and understand you and will result in increased brand perception and engagement.

Communities also become data centers for learning the needs, concerns and actions of its customer base through diverse interaction creating a virtual ecosystem that feeds on itself.

There are many different forms that an onsite community can take and each one can be customized to fit each businesses particular needs. In lieu of or in addition to paying professional market influencers you can create ways to make your own customers advocates and influencers by rewarding them with special discounts, offers, drawings and contests for community members along with content and a forum for communication that will keep members (customers) engaged and informed that will pay big dividends in retaining existing customers and attracting new ones for your business.

With social organic reach fast becoming a distant memory as social networks and online advertisers seek to profit from their platforms not to mention the countless vendors vying for your limited resources with the next panacea that will take you to the top “ It is time to Look Within”  to seek alternative ways in which to effectively reach and draw audiences to build a permanent foundation that can provide extremely cost- effective ways to control your own destiny and solidify your place for the long term in the online marketing industry.

By William Cosgrove

Panda 4.1 expected to benefit SMBs creating quality content

(Posted on Sep 28, 2014 at 01:10PM )
By Brafton Editorial
Picture Google confirmed yet another Panda update. This one’s being called 4.1, although technically it’s the 26th Panda update since the algorithm was released – and it’s expected to help small- to medium-sized businesses rank better in search results.

About 3 to 5 percent of queries are supposed to be impacted, so companies publishing useful and creative content for their target audiences might already be feeling the positive impacts of this update with more organic search traffic.

News of the update and its effects comes straight from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Pierre Far, who posted about the update on Google+ September 25, saying:

“Earlier this week, we started a slow rollout of an improved Panda algorithm … we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher.”

Far explained that since the Panda 4 update in May, Google has discovered new signals that make it easier to identify low-quality content. Thus, smaller sites putting out good web content have a better chance of ranking well for related searches.

“This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher.” – Google’s Pierre Far

While SMBs are poised to benefit from this update if they’re using transparent white hat optimization practices, many businesses are feeling the sting of a penalty.

Earlier this week, Brafton covered an update that punished sites using private blog networks to generate links and artificially build ranking signals. This shouldn’t necessarily come as a shock –Matt Cutts said guest blogging for links was so done you could stick a fork in it.

Reposted from Brafton

Welcome to the New Sales Process: How to Let Content Do the Selling

(Posted on Sep 21, 2014 at 11:56AM )
By Matt Kamp

Picture "Pushy" isn’t the first word you want prospects to associate with your profession, but it’s a term that’s plagued the sales industry for years -- and for good reason.

With the old-school sales approach, you searched for prospects with the biggest budgets and incessantly pitched your products or services until they surrendered. The ABCs (always be closing) were your guiding principles. If there wasn’t a need, you created one. If there wasn’t an interest, you plugged anyway. If you heard “No,” it just meant you turned the screws a little tighter.

Thankfully, those days are over and consumers are taking charge of the sales process. They don’t need -- or want -- someone talking at them or selling them on a product’s value proposition. In fact, consumers go through 70% - 90% of the buyer journey before contacting a vendor.

And for both B2B and B2C industries, content is holding their hands through the process.

Let Content Build Relationships for You

When consumers identify a need, they don’t have to go directly to the seller for more information. With a few key phrases and a Google search bar, they can become instant experts on a product or service without spending a dime. Content weighs in on most questions consumers have in the purchase-decision stage.  

The sales game isn’t about pushing out your product anymore; it’s about building meaningful relationships with prospects so they come to you when they’re ready to buy. Here are five ways content marketing embodies the spirit of relationship-based sales:

1) It primes consumers on your product.

Education is at the core of relationship-based sales, and the same holds true with content. Relate to prospects on a personal level, and then educate them on the whats, hows, and whys of your product or service. For growing companies, content is a vehicle for scaling your expertise and reaching more prospects with fewer resources.

2) It fulfills needs instead of creating them.

Most products and services satisfy a consumer need or problem. Your content works in a similar fashion but fulfills the need for additional information. Provide content that meets consumer needs rather than fabricating them.

3) It establishes trust.

When content shares lessons, tips, and others secrets of the trade, it can add value to the purchase cycle. And with each consecutive piece, you’re positioned as a more credible expert in the eyes of the consumer, which helps instill trust -- a foundational principle of all long-lasting and meaningful relationships.

4) It humanizes your brand.

Consumers want to buy from people, not companies. Content puts a face to a brand and helps the reader relate to you as a person before engaging in a conversation in person.

5) It facilitates meaningful conversations.

Content naturally opens up a dialogue with readers, which can expedite the sales process and build trust. Your content qualifies leads and preps them before a sales call, so you can get straight to the tailored, hard-hitting questions that will close the sale.

Content that establishes you as a thought leader can guide readers through the sales funnel with ease. It informs them of industry trends, starts a conversation, and prepares prospects to buy from a trusted source -- you, of course.

Scale Your Sales Efforts Through Content

Forming meaningful relationships with a wide audience is a difficult feat for startups or growing companies. Content scales this process, lends credibility to your expertise, and makes sales a more collaborative effort.

Consider the following strategies for boosting your sales efforts through content:

1) Allow consumers to self-identify their needs.

Old-school sales put company goals first, but relationship-based sales center on consumer needs. Research what consumers actually want, and develop content around that. Create your inbound funnel, and write guest posts that address concerns for each type of lead. Let readers define their needs and further educate themselves on your company blog or by downloading your whitepaper. Run drip campaigns to nurture leads and develop those relationships.

2) Use content to add value.

Relationship-based sales always add value. If you’ve identified the needs of your prospects, you know how to improve their situations. Send published articles to prospects before sales calls to raise the quality of the conversation or let them know whether they’re a good fit for your product or service.

3) Forge real connections.

Old-school sales started by telling consumers their best options and then engaging in a point-counterpoint dance to hammer out any objections. Relationship-based sales start by listening to your prospects, then educating them on their best options. Share content with leads after a sales call to establish yourself as the consultant they need. Continue the conversation through education, and demonstrate your expertise.

Sharing high-quality content helps you achieve many of the same goals as traditional sales -- no aggressive sales pitch required. Consumers want applicable knowledge that will lead them through the purchase process to a decision they’re confident in. Take the first step toward building a relationship through content, and the rest will fall perfectly into place.

Reposted From Hubspot

SEO Still Matters - How To Get Results

(Posted on Sep 13, 2014 at 11:39AM )
For high-quality, highly effective SEO, best practices are essential. You need to follow the latest, most relevant search engine optimization tips to develop and maintain a leading online presence in your sector.

SEO matters
Arguably the single most important factor for a successful SEO effort is buy-in. Everyone in the organization who can have an impact on SEO needs to fully support these initiatives and do their part to improve the company’s digital presence.

This is more of a challenge than it may seem at first glance. Due to its sudden rise in popularity, many believe that SEO was nothing more than a fad, one which can now be safely ignored, or at least downplayed. In particular, they point to the ongoing changes to Google’s search algorithm and page ranking policies as evidence that SEO strategies are doomed to come up short. As Forbes contributor John Rampton recently asserted, though, this is far from the truth. He explained that it is very possible for firms to keep pace with these developments and to react in an effective, timely way. But again, this is only possible if employees at every level are able and willing to put forth the necessary effort.

Additionally, Rampton pointed out that despite these changes, many of the basic principles underlying SEO strategies remain sound, no matter what. A good, solid approach to SEO will yield benefits even as Google tweaks its algorithms.

Lastly, the author noted that SEO is not nearly as complicated as many decision-makers believe it to be. While it is true that there are a number of technical aspects involving website design and the like, SEO ultimately boils down to some fairly straightforward factors: identifying useful keywords, using those keywords in original content and analyzing site traffic over time. This means that you don’t necessarily need to have a person on staff who has a lot of SEO experience – it’s more a question of time and dedication than expertise.

Keeping up to date
That being said, it is important for business leaders and anyone responsible for SEO within an organization to keep informed of how this field changes over time. General trends can determine the best strategy for your firm’s online content.

For example, Search Engine Land contributor Jim Yu noted that SEO best practices formerly centered exclusively on keyword usage. Later, though, the quality of the content started to matter more and more, while keyword use remained an important component.

Now, Yu explained, one of the most important recent developments in this field is the rise of mobile. He pointed out that Matt Cutts of Google recently suggested that there is a very good chance that mobile queries will surpass desktop queries in 2014. As more people turn to their smartphones for search, companies need to react by making sure their websites are optimized for a mobile experience.

To accomplish this goal, it is critical for businesses to choose the right mobile configuration solution. As Yu noted, different tools can have different effects, with some requiring more technical proficiency than others. Picking the best tool for your company will have a major impact on the success of your SEO in the mobile sphere. Responsive design

For many companies, responsive design is the way to go when it comes to mobile websites. Writing for Business 2 Community, Jason Bowden argued that responsive design should be seen as a matter of both web development and SEO. Responsive design is a relatively easy way to make sure that your website is appealing, attractive and highly functional for mobile visitors.

For one thing, Bowden pointed out, responsive design can help a company’s link-building efforts. A major challenge that firms face when building links is the possibility of link dilution. Link dilution occurs when a particular page has too many outgoing links – each one of those links loses a lot of its power and effectiveness. The more links you add, the more extreme this effect. According to Bowden, though, responsive design can help to ensure that links flow efficiently back to the home site while simultaneously keeping all social links in a single, visible location. All of this goes to improve SEO efforts.

Additionally, the writer argued that responsive web design can improve a number of key aspects of the mobile experience which improve visitor satisfaction. For example, responsive design solutions can ensure that the text size and color of the website are adjusted to accommodate a mobile device’s smaller screen. Furthermore, implemented elements can download more quickly, thanks to the more efficient display of images and content.

Picture Email issues
One last factor to consider when pursuing SEO is email. This may seem counterintuitive – it’s not often that SEO and email are mentioned in the same sentence. But as Daniel Faggella argued in a separate Search Engine Land report, email can actually have a major impact on SEO results.

For one thing, emails can encourage consumers to visit and engage with your company’s online offerings.

“Email might not help you rank in and of itself, but an email incentivizing comments and sharing can help ‘move the needle’ on the factors that Google wants to see in the first place,” Faggella wrote.

He further explained that emails can give extra life to a blog or social media post. While these offerings should receive a fair amount of organic engagement, by emailing your subscribers when new pieces become available, you greatly expand your potential visitor total, which helps your search engine rankings.

Faggella also explained that emails can contribute to SEO if you repurpose their content. He noted that email newsletters take a while to write, and there’s no reason not to get maximum value out of it. Posting portions of your email messages on your website can improve SEO and improve content creation efficiency.

What SEO strategies have helped your company increase traffic?

Reposted from

6 Costly Landing Page Mistakes That Are Easy To Fixed

(Posted on Sep 10, 2014 at 02:10PM )
Imagine travelling all the way to the INBOUND 2014 conference and forgetting to exchange business cards with all the people you met. You’d be kicking yourself, right? You would’ve had jovial conversations with a bunch of interesting people and probably talked some serious shop. However, if you couldn't reconnect with any of them once you head home, you would've left real money on the table. 

Of course, this specific situation is all hypothetical ... but it's not so different than what's happening on many people's websites every day. We leave valuable business opportunities on the table because we fail to exchange details with people who interact with us on our website. I was certainly guilty of this.

Confession: My Landing Pages Sucked

The truth be told, I didn’t even have a form on my landing page for the first 12 months. I felt really uncomfortable asking people to tell me their name and email address because I lacked confidence.

I was the nervous kid at the school dance. When I finally mustered the courage to ask people for their name and email address in exchange for a valuable piece of content, people accepted in droves. My email list started growing to the tune of hundreds of new email subscribers a month. More importantly, every single client who has engaged my firm since then has downloaded content from our landing pages and been nurtured by the subsequent Bluewire News emails.

You can read about the ingredients of a successful landing page or landing page copy tips, and even how to avoid completely screwing it up but let’s dive into the most costly mistakes I made (in the order I made them) -- hopefully you can avoid making them, too.

Mistake #1: Having a Navigation Menu

I had my main navigation bar on my landing pages, which gave visitors a dozen different options above the fold alone, and I wondered why more people weren’t taking the specific action I wanted. I removed the main menu navigation bar and bam: No distractions and total clarity for the user.  

These ‘menu’ leaks are only leaks off your page, not leaks off your website, but it is still critical to fix since your window of opportunity to convert a visitor is limited. People's attention is very fickle, especially when they have multiple tabs open, emails, and offline distractions. Don’t lose leads by making it too confusing.
I hear some people saying, “But what if users want to browse around the site and not be forced into a landing page form?” This is a great question and I am all about what is best for the user.

So remember that your visitor has arrived at your specific landing page at their own will (and probably to try to solve a problem). They’ve clicked a Google search result, a social media mention, backlink, email, or menu item. Either way they are expecting to see what has been promised to them, not a myriad of things they haven’t asked for. Their priority is to complete that task.  

I believe that making this process as easy as possible is our obligation as marketers. Then after they’ve downloaded what they are there to access, by all means reintroduce the main navigation on the thank-you page so they can continue to browse around your website.

Mistake #2: Having More Than One Option

This is a huge no-no in my book. I used to give visitors the choice to download the PDF, fill in a contact us form, or call us. Not surprisingly, visitors had to think too hard, got confused and vanished. Three options meant few conversions.

As soon as I removed our phone number and contact us form and focused solely on delivering the promised PDF, conversions shot up over the 25% mark. These new contacts then entered our lead nurturing process of receiving our Bluewire News emails and our free templates.

Mistake #3: Not Having a Preview of the Goods

This is one technique that I don’t see too many people doing: Giving a preview of the offer on the landing page. Some marketers tell me that if someone can read the part of the PDF on the screen or sneak over to SlideShare to download it without popping in their email address, then you’re missing out on a lead. Hear me out though.

If someone wants to harvest your content and bail, they’re going to do it anyway, so at least be a sport and show them your hand. If your content is good, they’ll probably change their mind and opt-in to get your content after all.

Most of my landing pages convert at over 25%, and we manage a 7% website conversion rate. I personally feel this technique of including a SlideShare preview has been the most effective in conversions.
Mistake #4: Not Optimizing Landing Pages for Search

If you’re only linking to your landing pages at the end of blog posts and on the sidebar, think again. Blog readers can be in a passive frame of mind, and it takes a lot of effort to switch people from consumption to action.  

On the other hand, people searching on Google are there to solve a problem.  As you know, people will see organic results on the left side and the sponsored link results on the right.  The organic results are where over 90% of us click, so that is where the action is and where I suggest focusing.

A well optimized landing page will stand tall and proud on the first page of Google and it will effortlessly drive action-orientated visitors to you. In my personal experience, people in this “active” frame of mind are 20-30X more likely to take action and convert.

Let me show you.  A reader who reaches the template via call to action at the end of a blog post, like this, at the end of blog post converts at <1% for me.
Whereas someone searching who reaches this template via their Google search will convert at 29%. People searching for something have an active intent compared to someone who is passively reading a blog post or cruising social media.
Mistake #5: Not Having a Second Offer or CTA on the Thank-You Page.

It’s a smart move to keep your primary offer nice and clean on your landing page and not confuse people with multiple CTAs. However, once you’ve given the promised content to the lead, you are wise to garner their support by asking them to do something whilst they are "hot."

I always suggest to make sure you utilize the thank-you page to place another CTA or offer. I choose to ask people to share the content via a Click to Tweet link.
Mistake #6: Not Always Testing

There is no magic formula, and as a marketers, you should always be testing new things. The biggest testing win for me has been the discovery that “templates” are incredibly popular and they convert like crazy!

The actual word “template” is included in 8 of our 10 highest performing keyword phrases and they convert at an average of over 20%. 
Of course Google has started encrypting much of this data in recent months, but I’m confident the lion’s share of the "unknown keywords" would include the word "template" and be reflective of the rest of the stats.

Templates are also the most popular content on our email newsletters (they attract a 33% - 66% click through rate) and the most retweeted items too. Our best converting pages have all included the word “template” and it makes sense because people are looking for something they can pick up and use right away.

This desire for utility far outweighs downloading another ebook that gets stacked on the pile of guilt that you must eventually read (one day!).

If you kick the six costly mistakes I’ve made, you’ll attract more leads, customers and revenue -- and you can make it easier by downloading this free, easy-to-follow landing page design template.

Reposted from Hubspot

Do You Want a Company of Heroes or Zeros?

(Posted on Sep 6, 2014 at 01:53PM )

Being a business owner, manager and employee in different industries over the years I have learned many things. I think the most important thing I have learned is that it all starts and is all dependent on the quality of people that you work with.

First you want people who are going to tell you “What You Need to Hear” not people who are going to tell you “What You Want to Hear?”

If you want your employees to take good care of your customers and to be creative and responsible then start by taking good care of your employees. Reward them and treat them with respect and get personally involved in tackling their issues and needs. Ensure you have outlets in place for employees to openly express their concerns without fear of retribution. Communicate what is expected of them what you are doing and how long it will take, and directly involve them in the solution.

Bottom line growth is not sustainable only top line growth is and only top line growth will get you the results that will take you where you want to go with the rewards and success that come with it.

So how can some think or where did they get the idea that they can get the best marketing, sales; service or support minds on the cheap? These people who are on the front lines day after day - Are you Business- and the ones who are going to make the difference in its success.

Saving money is something we are always looking to do but making money means that you are doing the right things to be successful and to be successful you need to have the kind of people who can get results and this means you need to “Pay for Performance.” If you want to save money save it on office supplies, Press your vendors for discounts, change your electric company but don’t think that a gift certificate for dinner or a pat on the back alone is going to recruit or retain the talent you need to drive and sustain your goals.

Were you born a business owner or senior level executive or did you have to pay your dues and earn what you have today? Did you seek out the companies that thought people with your experience and talent were a dime a dozen and didn’t want to pay what you were worth? I think not.

I stayed at the last business I worked at because they knew the value of people from management to salespeople to every worker there. I and my talented co-workers made more money than we could elsewhere and the business made even more and were consistently at the top of their region and district. Here is a business that to this day continues to prove this all out. How can this be? It is a direct result of sharing with and respecting the people who make it happen for you. It means making an investment that unlike the stock market is guaranteed to pay off. There is no complex formula here to figure out.

Do you want to attract Independent thinking people who can create value for your business? Or do you want parasitic people who are going to attach themselves to you on the cheap because they have few or no other options?

We all lose sight of things that were in front of us all the time. Open your eyes and you will find the key that will open the door to reveal who will take you to those next levels of success and beyond- Your Employees.

William Cosgrove