Archive for November, 2013

28 Page Custom 12 Month Calendar

November 27th, 2013

CalendarWhat’s one surefire way to get your customers to keep your promo products? Why, give them something useful, of course! This customizable calendar is the perfect solution, especially with the New Year is coming up! Your customers will be more than happy to make a place on the walls of their homes, in their offices, or various other locations for this beautiful calendar that features 28 pages. More details: 100# Gloss Book Stock with Aqueous Coating, Saddle stitched, Standard 1/8” hole punch…

28 Page Custom 12 Month Calendar

Specifications: 100# Gloss Book Stock with Aqueous Coating, Saddle stitched, Standard 1/8” hole punchSize: 12” x 12”

Imprint Area: 12” x 12”

Imprint Color: Full Color

Layout & Design: Estimated at 8-10 hours billed at our standard hourly rate of $100/hour, client to provide images

Shipping Weight: 100 lbs / 300 Calendars

Price Includes:

Full Color Printing

Bleeds

Digital Proof

Delivery to Your Location Additional

Calendar

(Price Per Piece)

1000 2500 5000 10000
$4.93 $2.69 $1.95 $1.54
Terms: 100% Prepay. Most printed items are printed per “Standard Trade Practice”, meaning 10% over/under and billed accordingly.
*This quote is an estimate only. Design time may be slightly more or less than estimated and will be billed accordingly.
NOTE: Prices are subject to change.

Thanks & Giving . . .That’s How You Embrace Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2013

My driveway seemed quite a bit bigger that morning back in 1995. I remember stopping dead in my tracks when it hit me that both my cars had been repossessed. My world fell apart that day and left me without my cars, my business, $60,000 in debt and without any degree of self esteem.
With one […]


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).

5 Major Signs You Need Help With Social Media

November 25th, 2013

5 Major Signs You Need Help With Social MediaSocial media, an inherently ever-changing service, can be quite confusing regardless of the era in which you grew up. From sudden new features to sly privacy policy changes, these types of websites keep their users on their toes.

Despite the confusion, social media is a powerful marketing tool that cannot be overlooked. Everyone and their mother (literally) is logging in to keep up to date with their friends and media outlets. Here at inConcert Web Solutions, we offer social media monitoring and management services in a variety of web maintenance and marketing plans. We know all the ins and outs of the different networks as well as the most effective types of posts, when to publish content for maximum reach, and more.

If you hear or overhear the following phrases, or anything similar, it’s pretty likely that we’ll be able to help this person out. Do everyone a favor and send them our way!

“Are people still on MySpace these days?” Where have you been for the last ten years? MySpace has been out of favor for a very long time, beginning when Facebook and other newer social networks were exploding with popularity. The final nail in the coffin was the radically redesigned MySpace that had deleted all of the connections their users had made. Instead of starting over, many opted to leave MySpace in favor of greener pastures.

5 Major Signs You Need Help With Social MediaI think I need to do something with my company Facebook page, but I don’t know where to start.” We’ve been creating and scheduling content, monitoring the response, and managing pages in every industry for years. We’ve seen what works and we’ve seen what doesn’t work. Check out our blog archives about ideas for promoting yourself and your business on Facebook without annoying your friends as well as other social media tips and tricks.

“I know I should be blogging but I have no idea what to write.” Blogging is a flexible medium. You can write about your workers, your company history or many other topics that pretty much write themselves. Did you work on a project that taught you something new? Did you have a good or bad experience trying out certain techniques? Are there ways that your customers can help themselves? Presenting helpful information that your audience will enjoy reading is one good way to enhance your reputation as an industry expert in their minds, as well as educate them about how you can help without blasting advertisements in their faces.

Social Media Management in ,

I keep meaning to sign up for Facebook but I just never get around to it.” If you’re not even using Facebook for your own personal socialization, chances are good that you don’t appreciate the full value of social media in terms of what it can do for your company. Don’t let your personal preference for privacy shackle your company’s publicity down. Let professionals like the team here at inConcert Web Solutions help you use social media to its full potential to spread the word about your company and bring business to your doorstep.

“I don’t really understand LinkedIn.” LinkedIn is a social networking that is all business as opposed to the more… well, social social networks! Think of LinkedIn as an online resume that you can share with all your friends. Not only can you connect with your friends and colleagues in a streamlined, professional way, but you can figure out who they are connected to, and use that to your advantage. Joining groups on LinkedIn is one of the easiest and most valuable ways to participate in an ongoing discussion with professionals in your industry and from other industries, to figure out mysteries that come your way and to educate yourself about growing your services and business.

 

Sales Efforts During The Holiday Season

November 25th, 2013

Starting this week,  it’s going to start to get a bit more challenging here in the U.S.!
Prospects begin to mentally “check out” and unfortunately, so will many sales reps!
I thought the timing might be right to offer some ideas to help you navigate through the holidays!
Here’s What You’ll Gain By Listening Today . . . […]


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’m Not Going To Wait Until Tomorrow To Say This!

November 23rd, 2013

Sunday marks the 5 year anniversary for this blog and I want to thank you!
Thank you for reading it, commenting, sharing it with your friends but most of all;
Thank you for helping me embrace my purpose and as a bonus . . .
Leave a  job as a Vice President to get my paycheck here!
Many of […]


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).

Holiday Hours for Thanksgiving Weekend

November 22nd, 2013

MC900050998inConcert Web Solutions will be closed Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th. Our office will reopen on Monday, December 2nd. 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!

Starting Next Week Your Prospects Have A New Way To Stall You!

November 22nd, 2013

I used to hate this time of year!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, I just think people tend to leverage them as an excuse.
Business, for some, will come to a grinding halt while they mentally check out from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving until the following week. It will pick up again until they […]


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).

Are your employees using social media too much… or not enough?

November 21st, 2013

Are your employees spending enough time on social media... or not enough?Employees using social media on the clock is a very controversial topic. When used improperly, it can become a distraction that eats into production levels, or contribute towards a negative reputation for your company. However, there are many reasons to encourage your employees’ online activity, both on and off the clock.

Social media is both a recreational activity and an effective tool for online marketing. Keeping up with friends and family is the most common reason given for using Facebook and other networks. Accessing this channel of casual communication is free and easy for you and all your employees, and not to be cliché, but everybody’s doing it! Not everybody is open to direct advertisements anymore. Direct mailings can be tossed in the trash, television viewers can fast-forward through commercial breaks, and emails can be tagged as spam and filtered out of the inbox. However, genuine posts from your employees about their experiences with the company, products or services can garner a sincere following.

Are your employees spending enough time on social media... or not enough?Your employees can easily and significantly increase your company’s online presence just by sharing updates from your company to their personal profiles, adding their own thoughts and asking for feedback from their networks. These updates can include statuses, photos, videos, links to blog articles, or anything that is going to spark engagement. In general, it’s wise to stay politically correct, but if the controversy is relevant to your industry, you could theoretically create quite an involved discussion with your audience.

If your employees aren’t speaking highly of your company, then who will? The best referrals come from the people who know and trust you. Educating them about your services will equip them to identify more lead prospects for your company. Your employees should be motivated to grow your business to improve their own livelihoods, and social media is a very easy way for them to do so.

In addition, many social networks are publicly indexed, like Twitter or Pinterest, which means they’re the perfect tools to boost your SEO. The more links to your website posted from external sources, the higher your site’s ranking will be with search engines like Google or Bing.

I Don’t Know What I Was Thinking When I Did This!

November 21st, 2013

Sometimes my timing really sucks!
A few weeks ago I set a deadline for a cool $50 discount for our online sales program.
Being the rocket scientist that I am, I set the deadline for the Monday after Thanksgiving.
I know “Smooth move Castain” but . . .
What’s done is done and I have no intention of moving […]


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 Shocking Stunt Pulled By A Veteran Sales Rep!

November 21st, 2013

A few years ago, I had a special guest lined up to speak to a group of aspiring sales rock stars I was responsible for training.
He had an impressive record in the printing industry having consistently sold over 7-8 million dollars each year ( even during the recent recession and after losing a major account […]


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).

6 Ways To Get More Call Backs

November 20th, 2013

Let’s face it, our prospects aren’t the easiest people to reach!
I know there are many of you who won’t leave a voice mail which I feel only reduces your chances of contact even further.
So what’s an aspiring sales rock star to do?
Well for starters you can try these 5 ideas!
1) Utilize a “V.I.T.O. letter” with […]


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 Art Of The “Canned Sales Meeting”

November 18th, 2013

A friend and I finished our dinner and we headed out to the “Castainmobile”.  I asked him if we could make a quick stop at the grocery store and with a nod of his head, we were on our way.
Once we were properly armed with our shopping cart, I confessed that we weren’t there for […]


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).

Resistance is Futile

November 18th, 2013

Resistance is futileIf you’re under the impression that you and your company can avoid social media just by refusing to register any accounts, think again. Managing your company’s reputation can be trickier than you think. There are many sites out there that will create their own listing for your company, typically based on details that they find online in various places, and it’s highly unlikely that they will notify you at all. Much like the Borg, resistance against these sites is futile.

What’s more, it can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to remove your listing from these sites. You may be asking yourself “So what? Why should I care about free publicity?” You may change your mind once you learn that some of these sites allow users to post reviews, both positive and negative, about your products, services, or any other experiences they have had with you.

Resistance is Futile!

“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

In America, information like addresses, phone numbers, sports scores, poll results, and similar facts are exempt from copyright. That means once your company’s contact information is out there, it’s out there, and people are free to add you to their directories as they please. In fact, as an example, if your company is listed on Yelp, they do not even allow you to remove the listing — ever. Yelp offers the option for you to “claim” the listing, and have a basic verification process to make sure that you are actually affiliated with the company, but they will not let you remove the listing.

Even with sites that DO allow you to delete your company’s listing, it’s fairly common practice to restrict the deletion of the actual reviews, as an attempt to curb astroturfing. You can spend years developing the perfect Facebook page, perfecting your marketing and collecting fans, but when one unhappy consumer leaves an indelible, negative review, your options are to deal with it or delete your whole page.

You may be thinking, “well, that’s not going to happen to me.” Be careful! Despite your best efforts, there may be times in business where your customer goes away unsatisfied. This can happen even to the best of us. Perhaps the issue was out of your control; perhaps shipping of parts or products was delayed thanks to a big storm, or maybe you did everything right, but the customer messed up and can’t admit it to themselves, so they want to take it out on you.

You may even encounter the avid blackmailer, who threatens to write completely falsified negative accounts of their experience with you online, unless you placate them. These people can be rude and downright unreasonable, acting like total jerks unless you provide discounts, free services, or additional benefits. The ability to hide anonymously behind a computer screen gives many people the courage to make nasty comments, even if they would never dare to voice such opinions out loud in person.

So what are your options for protecting your company’s reputation? Do you even have any? The answer is yes. While websites such as Yelp and Facebook are trying to prevent companies from engaging in false advertising, they are also aware that reviewers can be disingenuous. For example, on Facebook, you can block and ban troublemakers, which will prevent them from interacting with your page in the future. However, on Yelp, your best recourse is to collect positive reviews to counteract the negative reviews.

For more information about how to market yourself effectively online AND offline, contact us today!

 

3 Deadly Traps To Avoid With Your Prospects

November 17th, 2013

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a firm believer in working a process during my face to face prospect meetings.
I do this for a variety of reasons:
1)    I don’t want to get into a price discussion prematurely. “Prematurely” in this context is before we’ve had an opportunity to create value.
2)    When we […]


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).

Think upgrades are optional?

November 14th, 2013

Upgrading software versionsNewer versions of web software are coming out all the time.  Often, these releases have newer features  some people don’t need or don’t want, as whatever version they are already using has been working for them just fine.  Mostly, though, these releases include bug fixes and/or security releases.  So there are times where we are contacted by people wondering why their website, which has been running without any changes for a couple years, has gotten hacked all of a sudden.

Well, the longer a software version is out, the more security holes can be found in the software’s code.  There are people out there who will publish these vulnerabilities so that the developers can then release a newer, more secure version of the software.

When WordPress 3.6 was released, the next version, 3.6.1, was released shortly thereafter, as some security vulnerabilities were found.  From what I saw, this vulnerability allowed hackers to change the administrator username and password and gain access to the system.  I found that the hackers would go in and change some theme files, advertising that the site had been hacked and by whom.  Now, having backups of a site is all well and good to get it back to the way it was, but that does not close the security vulnerability.  So upgrading to 3.6.1 was the answer to the solution.

Upgrading is NOT optionalUpgrading a site can be a little scary at times due to customizations that have been made to the different pieces of your website.  It’s always a good idea to make sure to have backups of your site to be able to put it back to what it was. But if you think that upgrading is optional, you would be wrong.  Would you rather worry about  hackers returning, or try to keep up-to-date on upgrades?

A lot of hosting providers will help you get your site from a backup if one is available, but the hosting plan itself does not include upgrades to sites.  That is due to these customizations.  Currently, here at inConcert Web Solutions, our premium hosting plan includes these upgrades with an hour of support.  The support can include ensuring that your site is still in working order at the end of the upgrade, as well as helping you make sure your email program is set up properly.

Contact us today if you are interested in our services or if you have additional questions after reading this article.