31 Mar

Your Voice Is Your Ticket

Posted in Uncategorized on 31.03.11 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we visited the topic of your voice as your primary selling tool. When you work primarily on the phone, you are often at a disadvantage. All you have is your voice. So the tone and inflections that come across that phone line can either make or break you. Here, at Synergy Marketing Consultants, we know this very well. But this has always motivated our staff as opposed to gotten them down.

Although we offer our products for order online, we do a lot of business over the phone. This is why we employ some of the most exuberant and exciting individuals in the world to make up our staff! These are people who simply enjoy being on the phone because they know that their voices are their chief selling points.

Have you ever had a friend call you up and by the sound of his or her voice, you were immediately compelled to ask him or her what was wrong? You know that the sound of someone’s voice can tell a story without even listening to the words. Perhaps, this is why music is sometimes referred to as the “universal language”.

Regardless of what actual language a song is sung in, the emotions felt in the music can be experienced by just about anyone anywhere. And that’s the point, isn’t it? Eliciting an emotion out of the person you’re speaking to is the key to the success of anyone who works on the phone.

If you are selling a product and trying to attain new clients, you will want to ensure that you garner a sense of trust on the other line. Your voice should be a soothing as it is exhilarating. It’s important to be excited about your business without making the potential client feel annoyed or put off by your enthusiasm.

“Level with your clients,” insists one of our energetic staff members, “You can show a client how excited you are about a product without screaming at them. I use a calm, yet enthusiastic tone to communicate that I really believe in the product, but that I should also be taken seriously as a salesperson.”

“I agree,” added another rep, “Going overboard doesn’t usually work. Gaining trust is the name of the game before you even discuss what it is you’re selling. I like to ask my clients questions so that they are aware that I do care about their opinions. Having a conversation about what matters to them will help you find ways to make sure your products meet their needs.”

Comments Off on Your Voice Is Your Ticket

30 Mar

All You Have Is Your Voice

Posted in Uncategorized on 30.03.11 by John Meloche

Sometimes, all you have is your voice. At least, this is the truth for people who spend most of their work days on the phone. At Synergy Marketing Consultants, we have an amazing staff of energetic and enthusiastic reps who love chatting it up with business owners all across the country. And we’d like to think that they enjoy talking to us too!

Now, the fact that we do a lot of business over the phone can be off-putting to some of our potential clients. We understand that some businesses are used to having face-to-face personal connections with their clients. As a result, when someone is only able to do business over the phone, feelings of unfamiliarity and discomfort can come about.

Do you own the type of business that attracts clients over the phone? Every business has a phone number. So chances are that, at some point, you will need to interact with someone using nothing more than your charming personality, conveyed solely through your voice. Our reps, here at Synergy, know this all too well.

And as such, we would like to share with you some of our own personal tips to dealing with clients over the phone. Remember firstly, that the main concern that some clients have is simply that they may not know who you are. So your first priority should be to get them to feel comfortable with you.

“I like to tell jokes personally,” offered one of our awesome reps, “When you get people laughing, they tend to loosen up. Remind them that you’re also a human being and you don’t have to be so stiff and robotic. You can still be professional and have a humorous personality.”

“Be honest,” suggested another staff member, “You may only be on the phone but a person can still tell if you’re being genuine or not. If you believe in your product, then you can believe in yourself. Tell your clients how the products make you feel. Even better, share a personal story with them. Nothing too big, but something that shows you can be trusted. It will help them to open up too.”

Remember that you are basically selling yourself. And no, not in the illegal way! The tone of your voice and your overall demeanor need to be warm and inviting if want to be in business with whoever you’re speaking to. These are only a few suggestions that were provided by members of our sales team. We will continue to look at a few more tips in tomorrow’s blog.

Comments Off on All You Have Is Your Voice

29 Mar

Three Key Skills To Build Your Biz

Posted in Uncategorized on 29.03.11 by John Meloche

As a business, Synergy Marketing Consultants finds it incredibly necessary to develop strong relationships with everyone who comes in contact with our company. Keep in mind what you have just read. We don’t mean that it’s important to be nice only to your customers. But we work to make sure that everyone who even hears of us gets a good impression.

After all, this is what any business would want, right? Imagine the amount of people who have heard of your business, but have never worked with you. These individuals are not your enemies, but instead are potential promoters of your brand. What if the products and and services you offer are not essential to these individuals, but their positive impressions of your company lead to recommendations?

Well, this is why no matter how much effort you put into promoting your business, you want to make sure that, at the end of the day, you are viewed favorably. In order to achieve this, it is important to master at least three basic principles of running a successful company. As least, this is what Pavel Gurnik of EzineArticles.com believes.

On the always informative website, Gurnik writes that it is “extremely crucial to have great communication, understanding, and behavior” in any business. Communication, he describes, can be either written or verbal, but must always be as clear and to the point as possible.

He writes that when ideas are not communicated clearly, major misunderstandings and errors can occur. This is why it is important to consider the ideas and opinions of those you work with. Keeping open communication as a key trait in your company’s everyday operations will foster productive and accurate results.

Naturally, understanding is integral to business success. Says Gurnik, understanding everyone who works in your company will answer many questions as to how to create a cohesive forward-moving unit. Learn what motivates your staff and how you can help to increase their trust levels in top management.

Finally, behavior, writes Gurnik, “can be approached from a personal perspective or a norm that is kept in the company…In a business environment behavior is commonly observed by fellow employees and your boss. Take into consideration that you need to think before you act because there are many people, let alone customers that can observe your overall personality and or behavior.”

Comments Off on Three Key Skills To Build Your Biz

28 Mar

Episodes Of The Simpsons Pulled

Posted in News on 28.03.11 by John Meloche

The marketing and promotion tactics of a business is integral to its success. On the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog, we often offer up advice on techniques and ideas entrepreneurs can use to help grow the reach of their businesses. However,  ensuring that you don’t deliver a negative or offensive message should be of paramount concern.

The recent earthquake in Japan has caused immeasurable damage and has taken thousands of lives. With a story this tragic, it is imperative to remain sensitive towards those who are suffering. As Sarah Millar of The Toronto Star, points out today, this involves all types of businesses, no matter how big or small.

OMNI Television, a Toronto-based TV station known for its multicultural content, has decided to spare any negative reaction to its content by pulling some episodes of the ever-popular series, The Simpsons. Fans of the show are well aware that the family’s patriarch, Homer Simpson, works at a nuclear power plant.

So as to not have any jokes air about nuclear power plants – considering the devastation currently being caused by a damaged nuclear power plant in Japan – OMNI, as well as number of television stations in Europe are removing any episodes of The Simpsons that may feature such humour.

It goes without saying that while the antics of Homer Simpson and the damage caused by his nuclear power plant (the three-eyed fish is a recurring image in the show) are hilarious, the reality of the destruction that can be caused by an explosion at a real power plant is beyond tragic.

Millar notes that “Austria’s ORF network has already pulled two episodes from its rotation: ‘Marge Gets A Job,’ which features scientists Marie and Pierre Curie turning into zombies after being exposed to radiation; and ‘On A Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister,’ in which jokes are made about a nuclear meltdown.”

Considering that The Simpsons boasts a 23-plus year run, it doesn’t disappoint executive producer, Al Jean, that due to sensitive issues, some of the episodes poking fun at nuclear power plants are being pulled at the moment. Said Jean: “We have 480 episodes, and if there are a few that they don’t want to air for awhile in light of the terrible thing going on, I completely understand that.”

Comments Off on Episodes Of The Simpsons Pulled

25 Mar

Never Sleep On Promoting Your Business

Posted in Uncategorized on 25.03.11 by John Meloche

Promoting your business is probably the most important thing you can do to keep it successful. Now, if that isn’t stating the obvious, we don’t know what is. But strangely, we often come across business owners who make the claim that they don’t “need” to promote their companies.

Could that ever possibly be true? Sure, many companies have loyal customer bases who keep coming back no matter what. And that is great, of course. But wouldn’t it be ideal to ensure that those customers not only keep coming back but recommend your business to others?

It is important to never rest on your laurels. “Don’t sleep” as they say. Because the next thing you know, your competitors will have passed you by. Naturally, you will always want to stay ahead of your competition, showing your customers that your establishment is the one of choice for all of their needs.

If you suit those needs, it is important to not take for granted that your customers will always need what they receive from you. Are there any added bonuses that come with supporting your company? Of course, this is where we would generally jump in and mention promotional gifts.

As per usual, we will always champion the practice of giving your customers a gift that they will remember, cherish and use as a reason to continually support your business and recommend it to others. But what else can you do to ensure that you not only maintain the customer base that you have now, but foster its growth?

Exceptional customer service always goes a long way. Just ask some of our reps here at Synergy Marketing Consultants and they’ll tell you that customer service can make or break a company. Earlier today, some members of our team shared stories about customer service experiences that they have had in the past.

“I won’t even go back into a store to browse if the customer service is bad,” said one rep, “I just find it disrespectful that they don’t even think it’s important enough to please me when I’m in their store. What makes them think they deserve my money?” At the end of the day, this is the important thing.

What makes is worthwhile for customers to spend money in your establishment? What can you provide for them that will encourage them to keep coming back? What is it that will make them insist to others that they come to your store as well? Answer these questions…and you will have discovered how to promote your business so that it remains successful for a long time.

Comments Off on Never Sleep On Promoting Your Business

24 Mar

Facebook: Social Networking Or Master Marketing?

Posted in News on 24.03.11 by John Meloche

We have done quite a bit of blogging about social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and how much they have helped businesses promote themselves. These sites, however, were seemingly created for the purpose of allowing the average citizen to simply better communicate with family and friends.

Have you ever wondered how these sites eventually became billion dollar businesses? The hundreds of millions of users of each site were able to join for free without having the worry about the nuisance of pop up ads. How is it, exactly, that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has become on the world’s richest people then?

Today, The Canadian Press attempts to answer this question by explaining that Facebook makes an average of 50 million connections per day between users and businesses. These connections alone, it seems, are enough to warrant the massive amounts of spending these companies must do for the privilege.

The question arises, however, about whether or not users of Facebook mind all of the advertising on the site. According to Jordan Banks, the head of Facebook Canada (did you know there was a “Facebook Canada”?), there is no problem at all. The corporate messages and news feeds haven’t presented much of a concern. Plus, it is working out splendidly for businesses who advertise.

Said Banks: “Two years ago, you’d hear brands talking about testing Facebook, seeing how it works; they’d dip their toe in the water. And last year was all about hearing, ‘We don’t need to test anymore, we know it works, now we need to figure out how to make it a meaningful piece of everything we do.”

Tim Hortons, for example, has become a big supporter of Facebook. Having created its profile a couple of years ago, the famous coffee and donut shop has been steadily growing its online presence ever since. Buying ads on Facebook has assisted Tim Hortons in ways traditional advertising cannot.

Said David Morelli, the director of public affairs for Timmies: “One of the things we found was, unlike traditional ways we’ve reached out to our customers, we’re not talking at them, we’re talking with them on Facebook. So it really gives us a way to engage with our friends and customers in a different way.”

Comments Off on Facebook: Social Networking Or Master Marketing?

23 Mar

Spring Brings More Snow

Posted in News on 23.03.11 by John Meloche

Guilty. This would have to be our plea if ever put on the spot (or witness stand) to ask whether or not we have bashed, slandered and defamed the name of winter. Being headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Synergy Marketing Consultants office is no stranger to snow in the winter time.

We guess that when compared with the rest of Canada, we should consider ourselves pretty lucky. But then again, it doesn’t make it any better for us that the snow is coming down heavily today…just a couple days into the spring season. As many of our reps exclaimed today, Canada tends to have four seasons…within the span of a week!

Many members of our team agree that spring won’t truly be here until the snow is completely gone. Didn’t the groundhog predict an early spring? Instead of spring weather, Southern Ontario was blanketed by the white stuff today. The drive in to work today was easily the longest one of the year.

As The Toronto Star’s website reported today, about 8 centimetres of snow had hit the ground by midday. As of this writing, we imagine that number may have very well doubled. It literally didn’t stop snowing all day! As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was plenty of wind to blow the snow all over the place.

The drive home today, says The Star, is expected to be treacherous! The paper’s website reveals that Toronto experienced its fair share of fender benders this morning and cautions all drivers to be especially careful today when leaving work. By the end of the work day, the city will have experienced approximately 12 hours of non-stop snowing.

Who made up the dates the seasons change anyways? It’s more wintery today than most days of the winter season have been! The Star does, at least, see one positive in all of this. With daylight savings giving us an extra hour of sunlight, the hope is that driving home today will be a safer journey than on the standard winter day.

As usual, perhaps we, here in Toronto, are complaining just a big too much. The Star writes that “some of the worst of the winter weather is in Halton and Peel regions, where Environment Canada predicts up to 10 cm of snow will fall Wednesday. Between 15 and 20 cm is expected in the Niagara region, where a snowfall warning is in effect.”

Comments Off on Spring Brings More Snow

22 Mar

Usher Billboard Causing A Stir In Toronto

Posted in News on 22.03.11 by John Meloche

We love a good promotional story. As is made evident in the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog quite often, we believe strongly in advertising your business in such a way that your company stands out from its competition. We encourage entrepreneurs to think outside the box, be different, unique and innovative when thinking of ways to promote themselves.

A Toronto radio station, namely Virgin Radio 99.9, seems to have done just that with a billboard located in the city’s downtown area. However, this billboard has reportedly been causing quite the uproar throughout the city. Being different is one thing, but being offensive is another.

At least this is what Sharon Lem of The Toronto Sun reported yesterday about a controversial ad featuring music superstar, Usher promoting the radio station. As Lem describes, the billboard features an image of the R&B singer along with the acronym OMFG. Specifically, the ad reads: ““Shirt On: OMG, Shirt Off: OMFG.”

Just in case you were living under a rock, “OMG” refers to a title of one of Usher’s recent hits. It stands for “Oh My God”. We’ll allow you to guess for yourselves what the “F” stands for in the “OMFG” acronym. Due to the ad’s risque use of language, or at least allusion to bad language, many people have understandably started complaining.

Lem quotes a 40-year old Toronto resident who was described as being “appalled” by the billboard: “We’re not Bible thumpers,” explained the anonymous gentleman, “Not to be a prude as I’m 40, (and an) averagely modern and a progressive Toronto man, but I was surprised to find the acronym, OMFG, on the billboards.”

Perhaps even more shocking than the message being sent by the billboard is the location of the billboard itself. As Lem reveals, the positioning of the ad at the Dundas Street West and Bloor Street West intersection of Toronto is just down the street from a Catholic school. Maria Pereira is the principal of Bishop Marrocco-Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School.

Said Pereira, who can see the billboard from her office window: “It’s especially offensive to us being a Catholic school if that acronym means what I think it means. The F-word itself is bad enough, but to pair it with God, who is sacred, is very offensive.” Lem notes that Emmanuelle Petrakis, the National Marketing Manger for Astral Media Radio, is currently looking into the complaints.

Comments Off on Usher Billboard Causing A Stir In Toronto

21 Mar

Twitter Turns Five Today

Posted in News on 21.03.11 by John Meloche

On March 21, 2006, a new micro-blogging website known as “Twitter” hit the internet and literally changed the way that people communicate with each other. Originated by software engineers Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams at a fledgling podcast company in San Fransisco, Twitter was first conceived as a text messaging service that would allow people to contact small groups to let them know what they were doing.

As QMI Agency explains, this simple idea fostered, growing from “twittr” to “Twitter” to the massive status site with hundreds of millions of users worldwide that it is today. For the most part, it’s difficult to find anyone without a Twitter account today. Especially since the site is widely used by celebrities, athletes and even the President of the United States, Barack Obama who used Twitter thank his voters after winning the 2008 election.

Actor Charlie Sheen, who has been making headlines in recent weeks for his “destructive behaviour” ended up setting a new record for gaining one million new Twitter followers in just over a 24 hour period earlier this month. As QMI writes, “pop stars like Lady Gaga use the micro-blogging website to keep their millions of Twitter followers informed about their comings and goings.”

Twitter has also become a primary source of information. Recent natural disasters like the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan are top trending topics on the site. In addition, people use Twitter to communicate with those in places far way when other sources of communication such as the phone or e-mail fail. For many, Twitter is now a daily necessity to both get and give news.

Also, as we have mentioned in numerous blogs of past, Twitter has become an important advertising venue for businesses of all types. The invention of “Promoted Tweets”, for example, shows the site’s innovative ways that have turned it into a multi-billion dollar business. Major companies are now paying big bucks to advertise on Twitter knowing that their messages will reach a massive audience.

It is interesting to note that many Twitter users did not know what to quite make of the website when it first started. After all, it only allows users to write messages of no more than 140 characters. It didn’t take long though, for users to come up with ways to use Twitter to send out information including links to other websites or videos making it a multi-purpose information tool.

Even if you use Twitter for mundane status updates, it still has its uses. At least, this is what the ever-growing number of people using the site think. Even Synergy Marketing Consultants has jumped on board by creating its own Twitter profile. Happy fifth birthday Twitter! We can only imagine how huge you will become over the next five years!

Comments Off on Twitter Turns Five Today

18 Mar

Mascots Make For Big Business

Posted in Uncategorized on 18.03.11 by John Meloche

All week long, the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog has been outlining the numerous ways in which business owners can promote their companies at the retail level. Yesterday, we blogged about some “cool” ways that companies can garner more interest in their brands. One of those methods was to develop a superhero or mascot character of some sort.

Wes Simons of EzineArticles.com writes that a mascot will not only help an entrepreneur promote his or her business but it can also help to create new business. He suggests that when selecting your mascot, you should consider the qualities that you want people to associate with your business.

For example, if you want to showcase leadership skills and dominance, perhaps a logo or mascot such as a lion would be fitting. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., better known as MGM, has adopted this concept, as can be seen at the beginning of movies that the company has produced.

There are a number of benefits that a mascot can provide a company. Simons lists “recognition” as the first. A mascot’s job is to create a positive association with your company. Seeing the mascot should help a customer feel positively about the product or service. You will want your mascot to communicate that you have a strong, competent and reliable brand.

“Merchandising” is another important aspect of creating a company mascot. Athletic teams are the most obvious benefactors of having mascots. Generally, the logo of a sports team is represented by a mascot who appears live at games. And articles of clothing brandishing those logos are often hot sellers. Creating hats or shirts with your mascot or logo is one way to help grow your customer base and then turn them into “fans” of your company.

If you end up turning your mascot into a live character, you may even be able to generate revenue by having it make special appearances at various events. As Simons writes, “Many companies, similarly to sponsoring, will pay to have a well known mascot make an appearance at their events, increasing the fame of your custom mascot and the company sponsoring the event.”

At the end of day, your mascot should be a direct representation of your company. It should connote the type of attributes you want associated with your brand. The benefits of having a mascot are plentiful, but only if you choose the right one. Do your best to be original so that your mascot will be able to help your company stand out from your competition.

Comments Off on Mascots Make For Big Business