Archive for December, 2012

The Odds Are Against You This Year?

December 31st, 2012

Before we usher in a new year with feelings of “out with the old, in with the new,” I have some statistics for you … and they aren’t pretty!
According to the Social Security Administration:
Out of 100 people starting their careers today, after 40 years…
1 will be wealthy.
4 will be financially secure.
5 will continue working. Not […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

The Worst Thing You Can Do On New Year’s Eve

December 31st, 2012

The worse thing you can do on New Year’s Eve is lose hope!
Perhaps you’ve dreamed before and have been disappointed?
Maybe you’ve grown accustomed to “life not being fair”?
Maybe you’ve lost belief in yourself?
Or maybe you think resolutions and goals are just a bullsh*t exercise we’re obligated to do this time of year?
Hope is like a […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Website

December 31st, 2012

Happy New Year!Well it’s New Year’s Eve again and we’re willing to bet last year’s resolutions didn’t last long. Can you even remember them? Did you even make any? Okay, okay, neither did we. However, this year is going to be different. We just lived through the end of the world, so it’s pretty likely there are going to be some changes in 2013. Why not start with your website? Repeat after us…

1. I will update my blog at least once a month. Don’t ignore your blog. It only wants to help you. All it needs is some love once in a while and it will be able to convince potential customers that you’re the expert help they’re seeking. Post about what your company has been up to lately, about the projects you’ve been working on or the places you’ve been going. People like busy companies because busy companies are successful companies.

2. I will edit and rewrite my existing content at least four times this year to keep it fresh and up to date. It can be tempting to write the perfect web copy and then just leave it there to fend for itself. Don’t let yourself give into the temptation. Even your homepage can be rewritten without any damage. Sometimes it’s necessary to reword things or add new services and descriptions to existing pages. Google will pick up on your edits and your search engine rankings will thank you.

3. I will set goals for lead generation. Without goals, how do you know if you’re succeeding? Take one month to measure how many leads you get from your website. Next, take that number and double it the following month. Try something new on your homepage or add a new feature. Run a special and tell everyone about it in an email blast. Just make sure you keep an eye on the total number of leads your website is bringing you. You’ll be able to tell if you try something new and it’s working. Treat your website like a salesperson and demand more from it every month.

4. I will respond as quickly as I can to everyone who submits legitimate requests through my contact forms. What good is it for your customers to be able to easily send you messages if you never respond? Make it a priority to respond to the people who submit questions, concerns and requests online or they will find somewhere else to go.

5. I will consider working with expert web developers like inConcert Web Solutions if I can’t commit to regular web work. We would love to help you market your business online with any of our monthly plans. Just contact us and let us know if you need help keeping your Facebook page, Twitter account, blog or any other social media updated. We can also help you out with SEO and web copyediting if you want to focus on improving your actual website. Just let us know!

A Website Year in Review

December 28th, 2012

Let’s look at the past year as it pertains to your website. As you know, a website is never truly completed. You have to keep it maintained and add new content on a regular basis if you want to attract any traffic or improve your search engine rankings. What have you been doing to keep your website fresh?

It’s time to set those New Year’s goals and resolutions regarding your business and your website. This next year could be the best yet if you follow through and take care of your website properly.

Did you:

  • Post at least six new blog articles to your blog?
  • Edit at least four pages of content on your site to bring them up to date?
  • Test your contact and lead forms at least once per month?

It’s important to test all the functioning features on your website regularly to ensure that they are always working correctly. Keep in mind that not all of your visitors will be using the same program to access your website. Even the people who are using the same browser will probably have different versions of it, depending on how often they download updates for it. Sometimes pieces of code on your website load differently or won’t work on outdated browsers, so testing is a must.

This is a big reminder that if you didn’t do ALL of these things this year, you have some room to improve.  However, if you didn’t do ANY of these things, your site may not be performing as well as your competition’s website. Take a long hard look at their websites and compare them honestly against your own. What are they doing better than you? What are you doing better than them? Obviously, you want to do everything better than your competition, so once you identify problem areas you can begin to improve them immediately.

Why are there so many social networks?

December 27th, 2012

As a social media professional, I get asked a lot of questions about the different social networks. One common question that people ask is why there are so many different networks. “Wouldn’t it make more sense for everyone to be on one platform?” they ask. Well, considering not everyone is using their social media accounts for the same purposes, there are a few different details to consider when answering that question.

Many people have social media accounts just for fun. Since everyone has a different definition of fun, each social network appeals to different individuals – some enjoy the brevity of text Tweets while others prefer to Pin the most beautiful images they can find. A photographer may prefer a Facebook page for sharing images while a business professional may have more luck on LinkedIn. Think about mixing and matching these methods. Would you log into Twitter to check out the latest photos from your friends? You can, but it’s not the most efficient way to browse photos.

It’s not just about the different types of content. Sometimes, exclusivity is the name of the game. It’s not uncommon to find Tweets about how those “Facebook people need to stop invading Twitter” or Facebook posts about how “hashtags belong on Twitter, not here”.  Each different social networking site has a distinctly different style of user. Pinterest is statistically the easiest to pinhole, with the majority of users being women. It’s not hard to imagine each of these different networks as a different social club. Comparing social networks can occasionally seem like comparing a biker gang to a girl scout troop.

There are definitely ways to use each of the different social networks to your advantage from a business perspective. Explore the features and tools provided by each site and develop a strategy – it will be different for everyone. Essentially, a social network is not about the photos or the text but about the connection shared by people. If you can figure out a way to join the conversation, you’ll be likely to increase your brand exposure to a whole new crowd of people.  For assistance, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to talk to you about the right social network (or combination of social networks) for you and your business.

14 OZ. Bistro Mug BA300

December 26th, 2012

14 OZ. Bistro Mug BA300

Specifications: This item is a best seller! White 14 oz. ironstone mug with matching colored base and crown.

Size: 14 oz.: 4” x 3 ½”(diameter)

Imprint Area: 2” x 2 7/8”

Product Color: White mug with blue, red, black, or green matching base and crown.

Imprint Color: White, black, blue, pink, orange, purple, green, brown, red, (gold or platinum are additional) (don’t see your color listed? Give us a call, we just might have it available!)

Setup Charge: .00

Layout & Design: .00*

Shipping Weight: 31lbs/36

Price Includes:

1 Color Imprint**

1 Imprint Locations**

Digital Proof

Superbox Packaging

FOB Gardner

Shipping Additional

BistroMug

(Price Per Piece)

72 144 288 576
.51 .39 .28 .21
Terms:50% Deposit. Balance due upon delivery. Most printed items are printed per “Standard Trade Practice”, meaning 10% over/under and billed accordingly.
*This quote accounts for a half hour design/layout time. Additional design time will be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate of 0/hr.
**For additional imprint color(s) add $.25 per piece per color and an additional setup charge of .00 per color. Adding colors will add 5 days to production time. Please specify whether you want the imprint on one side, two-side or a wrap.
NOTE: Prices are subject to change.

Holiday Hours for Christmas Weekend

December 21st, 2012

inConcert Web Solutions will be closed Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th. Our office will reopen on Wednesday, December 26th. All website maintenance requests and website changes that are requested within this time period will be completed upon our reopening in the order that they were received.

Have a fun, safe holiday weekend and Happy New Year!

The Last Christmas Gift

December 21st, 2012

Tucked away in a safe place within the walls of my heart, is a vision of my Father, Christmas Eve some 25 years ago. I can vividly see the look upon his face because it was a look that transcended all expression. It was beyond gratitude or joy and it was as if he were […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

File This Under “What?”

December 20th, 2012

How many times have you met someone for the first time, who rattled through their name so fast, you had no idea of what they just said?
If you’re like most people, you may or may not ask them to repeat their name once, but would you do it twice, or three times until you got […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Magnetic Pencil

December 19th, 2012

Magnetic Pencil

Specifications: Top-quality pencil, round, black wood, matt black painted surface, refined by a silvery gleaming metal sleeve, magnetic at the end of the pencil, super adhesion by the combination of neodymium-iron-boron, the strongest existing magnet material, attracts all metallic objects, sticks to all metal surfaces, Self-adherent metal platelet for even more flexibility (optional), lead is HB, tested by technical inspection agency. Optional Metal Disk (.94” diameter, self-adhesive)Imprint Area: .7874” x 3.94”

Product Color: Black with silver end

Setup Charge: 0.00

Layout and Design: .00*

Shipping Weight:

Price Includes:

1 Color Imprint**

1 Imprint Locations**

Digital Proof

Delivery to Your Location Additional

MagneticPencil

(Price Per Piece)

576 864 1008
.61 .57 .32

(Optional Metal Disk – Price Per Piece)

576 864 1008
$.31 $.31 $.27
Terms: 100% Prepay. Most printed items are printed per “Standard Trade Practice”, meaning 10% over/under and billed accordingly.
*This quote accounts for a half hour design time. Additional design time will be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate of 0/hr.
**For additional imprint location(s) and/or color(s) call for a quote.
NOTE: Prices are subject to change.

Stop Taking Failure Inventories

December 18th, 2012

I often reflect on John Lennon’s words “So this is Christmas and what have you done” and feel a tremendous sense of “Not a damned thing John” but he keeps singing and the world keeps spinning and . . .
I begin an inventory of things that I haven’t done, don’t have and sprinkle in a […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

You Might Be Missing The Whole Value Thing

December 16th, 2012

Companies spend a tremendous amount of time and energy crafting value propositions.
Too many times their sales meetings and conventions turn into a brainwashing session in how to deliver the value proposition.
Meanwhile . . .the customers and prospects could care less.
Why?
Because it was based on perception and not in reality
It was something that sounded really cool […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

I Made A Note To Self Today

December 16th, 2012

The other day I was making my way towards a busy line at the bank when a woman started to cut me off. In that instant I remembered that it’s the holiday season and stepped aside and said “After you Ma’am.”
I made a note to self.
Over the weekend, I found myself racing and trying to […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

A Portal For Aspiring Sales Rock Stars

December 14th, 2012

A few months back I had a major “Aha” moment.
I realized that as much as we’d love to be able to continually learn, we all have challenges.
For some, its a time thing.
For others its a straight up cash thing.
And there are quite a few people who are not digging the whole formality of a classroom […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

You Are Valuable Even When You Fail

December 13th, 2012

There’s something you need to know about me and you don’t have to like it . . .
My heart has ultimate editorial power on my blog so if something moves me, and strikes me emotionally I’m going to write about it.
Failure is an unfortunate part of life (it’s actually a really cool part of life […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).