16 Nov

Avoid Holiday Season Scams

Posted in Uncategorized on 16.11.10 by John Meloche

Earlier this week, we encouraged business owners to get into the spirit of giving as the holiday season is practically upon us. Certainly, the holiday shopping season is here so doling out your promotional gifts to your customers and colleagues is something that should certainly be on your holiday to-do list.

That being said, all consumers should have “to-don’t” lists as well. And if you’ve never heard of a “to-don’t” list, it’s about time you make one up. As The Associated Press reported earlier today, the holiday season is a joyous time for scam artists. Unfortunately, shoppers looking for big discounts all too often get swindled by advantageous crooks.

It’s important to be on the lookout for scams. The Associated Press article lists a few places in particular where customers will want to be careful. Firstly, fake shopping websites are apparently a big problem. If you’ve located a website for a company that you’ve never heard before, be sure to do some research before entering your credit card information for a purchase.

The Better Business Bureau often receives complaints about online deals that turn out to be fraudulent. Be wary of online sellers on such sites as Craigslist too. Be sure to arrange your transaction in person and be given the opportunity to review your merchandise in front of the seller before making payment.

As well, if the site you’re on offers user ratings, be sure to check them out. Watch out for bogus charity pleas, as well, advises today’s article. Some scam artists generate donations for their own profit as opposed to a legitimate charity. Donate only to organizations that you are familiar with and don’t be afraid to ask about how the funds will be distributed.

Stay away from “phishing e-mails”. Says The Associated Press article: “These are emails sent by hackers seeking personal information, such as bank account passwords, usually under the guise of a legitimate organization. Some common phishing ploys to watch for around for this time of year include holiday e-cards and messages pretending to be from companies such as FedEx with links to package tracking information.”

Finally, identity theft is a problem that exists all year round. You certainly don’t want to have your holidays ruined due to this growing crime. It’s important to be constantly aware of your surroundings while you are shopping. Hold on to your shopping bags and most certainly your wallets and purses. Keep your money in a safe and secure place before you head out.

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15 Nov

Facebook Boasts Another New Feature

Posted in News on 15.11.10 by John Meloche

Facebook has done it again. As if the social networking juggernaut wasn’t hugely popular enough as it is, today the site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the unveiling of yet another new feature. We suppose that no one can ever make the claim that Facebook rests on their laurels.

In today’s edition of The Toronto Star, staff reporter Lesley Ciarula Taylor writes that Facebook will now have its own messaging service. Facebook users may be scratching their heads on this one. Can’t you already send messages on Facebook? It only happens to be one of the most popular ways to communicate with friends these days!

Taylor explains that the 500 million Facebook users across the world will soon have an “@facebook.com” e-mail address. Expected to be phased in over the coming months, the new e-mail feature intends to allow users greater access to chatting as opposed to offering a simple, standard e-mail account.

Instead, the Facebook’s new feature will allow for a “more of a continuous conversation with people we care about”, according to Zuckerberg. Word has it that the Facebook’s new e-mail project will become a “Gmail killer” that could potentially “change the nature of e-mail”.

According to Jesus Diaz of TechCrunch.com, Facebook e-mail “would be able to perfectly separate what is important from what is not. Their data tracking and analysis could allow them to do many other things. They can automatically classify mail from the person who just became your fiancé or lower the priority of that ex who keeps mailing you.”

Diaz mentions that one of Facebook’s biggest selling features is that it allows users to prioritize their communication. Meanwhile, Taylor reports that although Hotmail still dominates worldwide e-mail with 364 million users, Facebook has the potential to become the internet’s new e-mail champion.

Google, however, may pose the biggest opposition to Facebook’s new e-mail feature. Taylor notes that “Google and Facebook already have a rocky relationship. The search-engine giant last week prevented Facebook users from importing their Google contacts into the social-network site.”

Meanwhile, “Yahoo has retooled its email service recently so users can integrate their Twitter and Facebook accounts to let friends know their status.” Unfortunately for Canadian Facebook users, the site’s new feature won’t be rolled out as soon as it will be for other users across the world. We suppose we’ll have to find other ways to stay in touch for now…somehow.

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12 Nov

The Season Of Giving Starts Now

Posted in News on 12.11.10 by John Meloche

It’s that time of year again. You can just feel it in the air. It may be hard to believe, but the holiday season is practically upon us. For many people, this is the most joyous time of the year. And that’s proven by how festive everyone seems to get during this time…not to mention generous. As a business owner, this is definitely not the time of year to be a Scrooge!

To celebrate the season, Synergy Marketing Consultants PROUDLY unveils its brand new promotional video. In case you jumped right to our blog section today (thanks, by the way), please check out our home page for the brand new holiday video. Of course, the video presents what we are truly proud of, here at Synergy.

Naturally, that would be our unbelievable holiday items. As the festive new video (don’t you just love the song?) showcases, Synergy offers up some very classy Christmas tree ornaments, special holiday wine charm sets as well as our Christmas Cards and CDs. As the video mentions, promotional products are truly the type of gifts that keep on giving all year round.

This year, why not give your colleagues and clients the unforgettable wine charm set as a gift? The elegant wine glass charms all come in holiday shapes including an elf, a wreath, a stocking, a snowman, a Christmas tree and a gift box. The charms are all packaged in an beautiful gift box that allows for the imprint of your company’s logo. Click HERE to order your holiday wine charm set!

Our Christmas Card and CD is a classic. How do you go wrong with a Christmas card to begin with? But one that includes a CD of holiday music? It’s a deal that can’t be beat! Not to mention, it makes for an excellent holiday treat that can be used each and every year as the cards are not dated and of course, the music never goes out of style!

Undoubtedly, this wonderful holiday CD is a perfect giveaway during the holiday season. The CD itself comes with your company name and contact information printed on it, and contains12 memorable holiday instrumentals. There are also two different types of greeting card designs to choose from. Click HERE to order your holiday cards and CDs!

If our festive new video on the homepage of our website doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, we are sure that one call to one of our amazing reps at 1-877-748-9884 will get you in a holly jolly mood. We know that providing these special holiday gifts to your employees and customers this holiday season will give your company the type of business that rewards you all year round. Happy Holidays!

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11 Nov

Companies Gain From Employee Growth

Posted in Uncategorized on 11.11.10 by John Meloche

In our blogs this week, we have been taking a look at the various ways that employees can achieve greater happiness in the workplace. Having fun at work is an important factor in the quality of production a business owner can expect from his or her employees. However, making employees feel truly valued and appreciated can take your company to greater heights.

Yesterday, we focused on Christine Casey Cooper’s EzineArticles.com article that discussed the different stages of employee development. She describes the first three stages as “exploration”, “establishment” and “mid career”. Be sure to check out yesterday’s blog if you haven’t done so already.

Picking up where we left off, Cooper explains that the final stage is “disengagement”. This is when the career involves important decision making. Management positions that inevitably lead to retirement are essentially where most workers would like to end up. This allows for the providing of new roles and the further development of the careers of others.

The role of “supervisor” is an important one, says Cooper. Employees need coaches to provide positive comments and corrective feedback. It is a supervisor’s job to give advice and instruction and a sense of motivation that can drive his or her team. This person should be a good planner and manager of time.

In addition, writes Cooper: “The supervisor allows for the employee learning curve. Time and practice is required to learn and apply new skills. This is not an overnight process. He engages the employee in friendly conversation, drawing him out and providing feedback. Career coaching is another facet of employee supervision.”

Obviously, the employee also fulfills an integral role within any business. It is an employee’s job to be willing to tackle tough problems and find resolutions that will benefit the company. He or she should be interested in being presented with challenges that will provide new learning experiences.

An employee who wishes to learn and grow with the company will be a great help to the development of the company. Of course, such initiative and determination will help forward one’s own career. The willingness to grow within a company not only provides more financial incentives but the opportunity to teach others new skills.

As well, says Cooper, an employee “should be called upon to conduct meetings and make special presentations of his findings. On occasion he will be called upon to participate on a large scale committee including networking with others who are working to meet company goals.”

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10 Nov

Developing Stronger Employee Value

Posted in Uncategorized on 10.11.10 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we visited a few suggestions that employees can take into the workplace with them every day to have better days at work. Ideally, when one is having fun at his or her job, the output is of greater quality and the work is generally done quicker as well.

Who doesn’t want to enjoy what they do? We believe strongly that if you are passionate about your work, the results of your hard labour will be so much more gratifying. This is why treating your employees with the appreciation and respect that they deserve is such an important thing to do.

It is essential for employees to feel valued and appreciated for what they do. One of the biggest benefits that come with our sensational promotional items is that they all make great gifts for colleagues at work as well as clients. Employees who go home with a free gift not only feel like an important part of the team but they are also more willing to continue providing your company with strong efforts day in and day out.

You want your staff to consist of proud members of a team. On EzineArticles.com, Christine Casey Cooper writes about how business owners can work to boost the morale of their employees and enhance their value to the company by encouraging their development. “Employee development is an essential element of company growth,” she writes, “If a company wants to attract and retain the best people, it needs to invest in employee growth and development.”

She goes on to discuss how star performers deserve a “pat on the back”. When the efforts of productive employees go unrecognized, it can be very demoralizing. This can then affect the performance of the employee negatively. Cooper suggests ideas such as cash rewards. She notes that “cynics claim that the employees are being paid to perform without special recognition or rewards. Experience has proven them wrong.”

To assist business owners with ways that they may better recognize their employees, she discusses how workers who are attempting to fulfill career positions should be allowed access to the various “stages of employee development”. The first stage is “exploration”. This stage is defined by routine and guided work. During this stage, the employee may show initiative but is still developing an image within the workplace to determine what he or she can excel at doing.

The second stage is “establishment”. This is when the employee has mastered specific tasks that make them significantly more productive in certain areas. The responsibilities are greater here. The “mid career” stage is when the employee is able guide others. This mentoring helps for the employees to feel that they are large contributors to the company.

We will continue to explore this topic in tomorrow’s blog.

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09 Nov

Finding Fun In The Workplace

Posted in Uncategorized on 09.11.10 by John Meloche

It’s no secret that we like to have fun here at Synergy Marketing Consultants. In past blogs, we have proudly mentioned that our office is usually buzzing with excitement throughout each work day. Most offices, however, work within the conventional confines of being all business-like, all the time.

What’s the fun in that? We strongly encourage our hard-working associates to have fun with what they do. There’s no better worker than one who enjoys his or her work. If you leave work every day complaining about how boring or stressful your day was, perhaps it’s time to think of ways to liven up how you spend time at work.

Charles Brown of EzineArticles.com agrees with us. On the always-informative website, Brown lists a number of ways that employees can have fun at the workplace. The first on his list is one that we live by. “Play music,” encourages Brown. Each and every day the radio is on at Synergy headquarters.

We believe that music inspires a sense of energy and enthusiasm, much like what is heard in the music itself. In addition, Brown mentions that “music has the ability to draw our minds away from the more disheartening aspects of any job.” Be sure to tune in to stations that may appeal to a wide range of listeners, and be careful not to keep it on the same station every day!

“Make your work a competition,” suggests Brown. This tip should be especially helpful for sports fans who like to make a game out of pretty much anything. For certain assignments, you may want to “race” against a fellow employee to see who can get the most done the soonest.

You may also want to create a sense of competition with yourself. “Keep score,” writes Brown, “If your job is to make cold calls all day, keep records of how many calls you make. Break down how many you make before noon, how many you make each hour and how many you make for the entire day. Then on subsequent days, see if you can beat your previous day’s numbers.”

Sometimes, you just need to “dive in” to your work, says Brown. Procrastination is often the result of receiving a lot of work to do. The longer it takes for you to get started, the more overwhelming it feels. Just jumping into your tasks can sometimes take the edge off of how much you need to do. Besides, there really is no other way to clear away all of your assignments.

Perhaps, the most important of Brown’s tips is to do quality work. Being committed to doing the best you can is the best way of achieving a sense of gratification from your job. Learn to appreciate your own workmanship. Being proud of a job well done is an excellent companion to the pay cheque you will receive for doing it.

Here’s hoping you enjoyed your day at work today, and that tomorrow’s work day will be even better.

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08 Nov

How To Get A Leg Up

Posted in Uncategorized on 08.11.10 by John Meloche

If it’s one thing that all business owners have in common, it’s that they all want to make money. Who doesn’t? Strange thing is, not all business owners have plans set in place to make more money than they have been making over the past several years. It’s never a bad time to step it up a notch, so why not start thinking of ideas now?

Some business owners fear the worst, especially after they have just jump started their companies. When the bills start coming in, there is concern that there may not be any legitimate options left to outdo their competition. Sometimes getting the proper funding is the hard part.

The ever-informative website, eHow.com provides some insight on how business owners can get “a leg up on the competition”. Always excited to give advice to entrepreneurs who seeking greater success, we figured that we would share some of these ideas with you in today’s blog.

The first suggestion listed on one of the website’s articles is to “join your local Chamber of Commerce”. They note that this is often a step that business owners choose to avoid. Nevertheless, eHow.com insists that doing so is actually the best way that a business owner can gain proper exposure for his or her company.

Taking this step will lead an entrepreneur towards meeting new potential clients, attaining referrals from other business owners and getting better acquainted with important local power brokers. Not to mention, joining your local Chamber of Commerce is a cost effective solution to building a better brand name for your business.

“Go to networking meetings,” insists eHow.com. As you may have noticed from blogs of past, this is a recommendation that is echoed by business websites from all over the internet. Naturally, we here at Synergy, agree that entrepreneurs should take advantage of networking opportunities to meet with colleagues in their industries.

Of course, such meetings provide the perfect venues to pass along small promotional gifts to everyone you meet. This ensures that you are making good impressions that will last longer than those who simply hand out boring old business cards. Attending networking meetings, by the way, is also a “low-cost advertising strategy”.

Finally, eHow.com suggests that you “use the internet to boost your community image. Most chambers of commerce have great internet sites and the companies that use them, often find they are getting more business. There are great low cost ads. Sometimes the chamber does a ‘spotlight’ on a business and if you are active and involved, you have a much better chance of being chosen!”

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05 Nov

Working For That Wow Factor

Posted in Uncategorized on 05.11.10 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed the necessity of “wowing” your customers in order to build and maintain a strong and loyal customer base for years to come. Taking a look at a Maria Palma article from CustomersAreAlways.com, we began reviewing a list of ways that business owners may do so. Let’s pick up where we left off.

“Anticipate your customers’ needs and fill them,” writes Palma, “ Imagine that you are a customer wishing that a company would carry a certain item, then later on walking into that business and seeing that item on the shelf. You would feel as if that business owner was reading your mind, eh? Wouldn’t that be a pleasant surprise?”

Another great idea is to request feedback from your customers. That way, you can make the necessary changes to cater your business closer towards the needs of your client base. Customers will most certainly feel appreciated when their concerns are met and their suggestions are taken seriously.

Wowing customers very often comes through the quick resolution of problems. There are countless consumers out there who have recommended their favourite places to shop AFTER bad experiences with those stores. This is because the respectful and efficient ways that the stores handled the situations were much appreciated.

During a recent lunch conversation, one of our reps mentioned a time that his father ordered a new dishwasher from a department store. The appliance that arrived was both the wrong make and colour. After complaining of this mistake, the store resent a new dishwasher that was the right make, but still the wrong colour.

After what seemed like an endless string of problems, the rep’s father visited the store insistent that he would no longer do business with it. The store manager, himself, offered his angered customer a top-of-the-line dishwasher for the same price that he was going to pay for his original order.

Needless to say, the rep’s father ended up getting a sweet deal for his troubles. However, the store managed to wow a customer who inevitably remained loyal to the store and has told this story numerous times. It helps to be enthusiastic when you help your customer, says Palma. The department store manager, in this case, certainly showed enthusiasm and an earnest concern for his customer and it clearly went a long way.

“Call your customer out of the blue just to say ‘Hi’,” writes Palma, “and see how their service or product is working for them. How often do you get a call from a company to see how you are doing? Very, very rare, right? Why not be the business that stands out from the crowd? People will remember you for this.”

Finally, send your customer a thank you card. As Palma says, if this is the only thing you do for your customers from this entire list of tips, it will certainly elicit a “wow” response.

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04 Nov

Ways To Wow Your Customer

Posted in Uncategorized on 04.11.10 by John Meloche

Are you in the “wow” business? We, here at Synergy Marketing Consultants, definitely feel comfortable saying that we are firmly in the business of “wow”. Providing good customer service and excellent products should be at the top of any business owner’s priority list. But truly “wowing” your customers should be the ultimate goal.

A business owner’s main priority should always be to leave his or her customers with long-lasting positive impressions. We’ve talked a lot about developing loyalty amongst your client base in the past. Going over and beyond the call of duty is what is sometimes required to make sure your customers keep coming back.

Going that extra mile for your customers is not something they often soon forget. Maria Palma of CustomersAreAlways.com shares this belief. On the customer service-based website, Palma lists “10 Ways To Wow Your Customers”. We would like to take a look at this list in our continued commitment to wowing our readers.

Palma’s first tip is to “greet each and every customer with an enthusiastic smile and an attitude of helpfulness.” Of course, it’s all about first impressions, right? Imagine walking into a store and receiving a frown as a greeting. Making your customers feel both pleasant and welcomed is essential to giving your company that “feel good” flare.

Taking it one step further, Palma suggests that you “treat your customers as if they are your grandmother or best friend.” Now that would provide quite the “wow”, as your customer would have no choice but to feel good about coming into your establishment. We do draw the line at Palma’s suggestion to “give them a hug if you are inclined to do so.”

You don’t want to come off creepy! Be sure to reserve hugs for those customers that you have already developed an established friendship with. You’re not looking to receive the wrong type of “wow” here. That being said, it’s a great idea to get to know your customers personally.

Palma recommends that you take the time to introduce yourself to your customers and to get their names. You may not be able to remember each and every one of them, but adding that personal touch to your customer’s visit will encourage greater loyalty to your company.

From time to time, wowing your customers entails that you surprise them with extra perks or free items. Don’t say we didn’t already tell you so! Naturally, this is where Synergy Marketing Consultants comes in super handy. Our promotional items have been proven to wow customers.

Often regarded as little “thank yous” to your customers for doing business with you, promo gifts inspire your client base to call upon you whenever your product of service is needed. In addition, these gifts very often lead to recommendations. Never forget that word-of-mouth promotion is the most powerful kind of advertising out there.

We will continue to take a look at ways to “wow” your customers in tomorrow’s blog.

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03 Nov

Twitter Rolls Out New Feature

Posted in News on 03.11.10 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we revealed some recent findings that gave Canada the title of most Facebook-friendly country in the world. As we mentioned, Canadians are using Facebook more than anyone else on the planet. The popularity of this social networking site, evidently continues to grow.

Not to be outdone, Twitter was back in the news today. Is it ever out of the news? Celebrity tweets have already made their way into newspapers as actual news pieces. Apparently, there are a lot of people out there who care about the last thing that was on the mind of their favourite actor or musician.

Business owners, on the other hand, are more concerned with the advertising power that both Facebook and Twitter provide. Today, Jenni Dunning of The Toronto Star, wrote of Twitter’s latest attempt to generate ad revenue for itself the way that Facebook already has. In previous blogs, we foretold the advent of “Promoted Tweets”. Dunning reveals that the rollout of this new feature is here.

In addition to our Facebook page, Synergy Marketing Consultants has also started a Twitter account. It appears, however, that “Promoted Tweets” will be targeted to multi-million dollar corporations such as Starbucks. The major coffee shop chain is among the latest to sign up for Twitter’s new advertising feature.

Rolled out as of the first of this month, “Promoted Tweets” allows for companies to tweet on their own accounts and then pay Twitter to promote that tweet. As Dunning explains, “users will be able to view these tweets, which say ‘Promoted by’ on them, at the top of each search results page.”

So if you were to search “coffee” on Twitter, it is likely you may see a promoted tweet at the top of your page advertising a new drink flavour at Starbucks. Apparently, “the more clicks it gets, the longer it stays promoted.” According to Dunning, “Twitter is unveiling promoted tweets in three phases: in searches on Twitter.com, in search through its partners, and eventually in the user timeline.”

She also reveals that Twitter is apparently already receiving some backlash over their new feature. Some bloggers have expressed their disinterest in having advertising on the site.Nevertheless, Twitter spokesperson, Matt Graves told The Star that the main purpose of the new “Promoted Tweets” feature is “to give advertisers a way to promote their normal tweets to a wider audience of users.”

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