30 Nov

Keeping In Touch Will Build Up More Trust

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 30.11.12 by John Meloche

It has been all about trust in this week’s blogs. And trust us, we know that trust goes a long way. This is why it’s so important to us, here at Synergy Marketing, that we offer our clients the best possible promotional gifts to grow their businesses. Our sales reps know that all businesses are different. And therefore, not every promo gift works the same for every business.

Speaking candidly with your customers is one way to build trust. But as Charlie Cook has written on AddMe.com, there are several tactics that entrepreneurs can use to establish a strong sense of trust with their clients. In yesterday’s blog, we concluded by noting that it is important that you let your customers know that you can be contacted.

Make Contact Easy. Speaking of allowing your clients to contact you, making yourself easy to find is a huge way to gain a customer’s trust. There’s nothing worse for customer than having him or her call you only to find out that you are never available. That’s an easy way to lose trust. Be sure to put your phone number at the top of your marketing materials, says Cook.

Not to mention, these days many people are quicker to jump online to get in contact. So include your email address as part of your contact information. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to share your Twitter handle or Facebook profile either. If you haven’t established these social media profiles yet, you are already behind the times! Not only are they free, but they are today’s most popular ways for customers to keep in touch.

Stay In Touch. And while we are on the topic of keeping in touch, keep in mind that the more you speak to someone, the more that person will trust you. This is true when it comes to your closest friends and family members, isn’t it? Communication is critical, says Cook. So going that extra mile and reaching out to those who have supported your business can do wonders for your company.

Writes Cook: “If you sell services or high end products, a personal phone call is one of the best ways to answer prospects questions, and to establish trust. Contact your prospects and clients regularly and get feedback on what they are concerned about.” Clearly, converting prospects into clients and converting clients into repeat clients has a lot to do with establishing and maintaining trust in your relationships with them.

Don’t be afraid to make the first move, by the way. You don’t have to wait for customers to call you. Establish a mailing list by kindly asking customers for their email addresses. Be sure to use it, not only to advertise upcoming sales events and new products. But put in some time each day to send personal email thanking your customers for their patronage.

Not many business owners seem to do this. Sure, they could make the excuse that they are too busy. And if so, perhaps someone within the company should do the reaching out for them. The bottom line is that when effort is put into building relationships based on trust, those bonds will last life times. In turn, your business will succeed and only continue to grow.

Comments Off on Keeping In Touch Will Build Up More Trust

29 Nov

Trustworthiness Is Totally Tops

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 29.11.12 by John Meloche

What makes you trust the companies you do business with? This is a question that we have been posing all week long. More specifically, it’s a question that we have been working on answering all week long. Taking a look at a Charlie Cook article from AddMe.com, we have been going through a number of tips that can help business owners build trust among their customer bases.

And why is this so important? Well, think about it. Would you do business with a company you don’t trust? Would you revisit a store that fell through on a promise its owner made you? Cook writes of a number of ways that you can not only establish, but maintain trust for the long haul. This key element of the customer-client relationship can truly make or break your business. So what to do?

Give Examples. Not to be confused with giving “samples”, this tip is Cook’s way of encouraging business owners to prove what they can do. In other words, don’t tell stories about how great your products are. Show people instead. This may include in-store demonstrations or, at the very least, documenting comments made from customers who used your products and were pleased.

Cook advises that you “use case studies to tell what you did for whom and the difference it made in their life or their business.” Sure, this will take a little bit of extra work. But when it comes to building trust, you have to consider that some customers may be skeptical about how good your products and services really are. Here’s a way you can prove that your company is trustworthy.

Personalize Your Marketing. We mentioned that writing articles, or even blogs for that matter, help to provide your company with a “voice”. They are more personal ways of marketing yourself that do a lot more than simply advertise your business. Cook writes that it’s a misconception that having “dry and impersonal” commercials make you sound credible.

Instead, he suggests that you should “let your passion and personality come across in your marketing as well as your professionalism. Include a picture of yourself, with a smile, in a prominent place on the first page of your marketing materials.” While you’re at it, film a video of yourself and put it on YouTube. Don’t be afraid to let people get to know you. This goes a long way in building trust.

Reduce Perceived Risk. According to Cook, a “buyer’s biggest concern is how well your product or service will perform.” Sure, you can offer a guarantee. But what does that really mean in the long run? This is where being personable is key. It’s important to instill within your customer a confidence that you are committed to his or her happiness.

Stand behind your products and services. Allow your customer the freedom to contact you with any questions or concerns regarding the products and services he or she purchased from you. Do your best to get their names so that you can kindly address them. This will help them to trust, not only what you are selling, but the person that is doing the selling! In tomorrow’s blog, we will conclude our look at Cook’s list of trust-building tips.

Comments Off on Trustworthiness Is Totally Tops

28 Nov

Take The Time To Trust These Tips

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 28.11.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we revisited the topic of trust. Is there a more important element to any relationship? At Synergy Marketing, we doubt there is. And on AddMe.com, Charlie Cook shows that he agrees. He lists a number of suggestions that business owners should take to establish a great sense of trustworthiness among their client bases.

Give Something Away. A staple of the Synergy Marketing way to advertise a company, free promotional gifts have long encouraged brand loyalty. Why? It is a way of saying “thank you” to your current customers. When they leave your place of business feeling valued and appreciated, they are much more likely to come back.

Not to mention, they will be encouraged to refer you to others. This has been proven for decades. Cook agrees that “when you give something to people, regardless of the cost, they are more likely to trust you and return the favor by buying something from you.” In addition to promo gifts, Cook suggests providing “ebook, article, workshop or free demonstration to build trust.”

Get Referrals. Whoops! Perhaps, we spoke to soon. But you knew this was coming. Not much different than a testimonial, a referral is one of the best ways to get customers to trust you. Again, the happier you make your current customers, the more likely you will be able to welcome new ones into your store. Think about it, doctors, lawyers, plumbers and carpenters get referrals all the time.

As Cook points out, you generally find someone in each of these industries by asking a friend for a referral. The same thing goes for restaurants. What about when you’re looking for a job? People trust recommendations made by people they know. So as Cook advises, “don’t wait for the occasional referral to come in spontaneously; implement a proactive system to generate referrals.”

Exchange Endorsements. The bartering system has likely been in effect since day one. And why not? No one said you have to pay a bundle to promote your company. How about teaming up with a company that you trust that can help target your market. If they endorse your products and services, you can do the same for them.

Cook writes that getting an endorsement from another company is a “close second” to getting a referral from a customer. It doubles your marketing reach without costing you a thing. Keeping in mind the old adage of scratching someone’s back so they scratch yours in return is a great way to earn the trust of customers that you otherwise may never meet.

It should go without saying that trust goes a long way in helping a company succeed. Think about the brands that you prefer. What is it that you trust about them? Is it their quality? Is it the customer service of the store you bought the items from? Is it the accessibility of information from the merchant? Chances are it’s all of the above and more. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s blog for more tips!

Comments Off on Take The Time To Trust These Tips

27 Nov

Trust Is The Name Of The Game

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 27.11.12 by John Meloche

Trust is important in any type of relationship. It can be argued that without trust, there really is no basis for a relationship at all. And while this would be obvious when discussing relationships among friends, family members and spouses, the very same can be said about the relationship between business owner and customer.

When you walk into a store, you go in with the belief that what you purchase will be of good quality. You expect to essentially “get what you pay for”. Naturally, if the product is defective or doesn’t live up to the standards you expected, you will become upset. More importantly, if a business makes you a promise that it doesn’t live up to, chances are you will take your business elsewhere.

On AddMe.com, Charlie Cook writes that buyers need to trust the products and services of a company. Your marketing campaign should have the building of trust as its key objective. There are a number of tactics that you can employ to establish trust with your customers. This way, you will be able to grow your customer loyalty for the long haul.

Get Testimonials. When you have “wowed” your customers – and this is what you should be striving for time and time again – don’t be afraid to ask their permission to get comments from them that you can use on your website and other marketing materials. What impresses customers the most is what other customers have to say about you.

Getting testimonials will be your way of making the most of word-of-mouth promotion – often heralded as the best type of promotion there is. As Cook advises, ask your customers what they liked about your products and services. Find out how your business was able to help them. This will go a long way in helping to establish and build trust with new clients.

Use Articles Instead Of Ads. People have gotten used to skipping through commercials and bypassing ads online or in print media. The general public is inundated with so much advertising that it often goes unnoticed, unless it’s incredibly eye-catching and unique. Published articles, on the other hand, carry a whole different type of weight.

Writing an article will help to establish you as an expert in your field. It provides you with the opportunity to directly communicate with your would-be customers and establish a “voice” for your company. Be affable as well as educational. Give your customers the opportunity to like you before even taking a look at what your business has to offer.

In tomorrow’s blog, we will continue our look at Cook’s suggestions on how to establish and build trust with your customers. Trust, evidently, is the name of the game. And in order to win the game, it’s important that the relationships you build with your customers are long-lasting ones that help to foster new ones as long as you are in business.

Comments Off on Trust Is The Name Of The Game

26 Nov

Argos Win The Grey Cup!

Posted in News on 26.11.12 by John Meloche

It’s a day to rejoice in the city of Toronto. The Argonauts are Grey Cup Champions! For the 16th time in Canadian Football League history, the storied franchised has captured the illustrious title. Winning the Grey Cup on their home field is also a feat that has rarely been done, but this was the third time in history the Argos were able to pull that off. That last time took place in 1952.

Making last night’s game even more special was the fact that it was the 100th Grey Cup played in history. And in Toronto – a city that many Canadians feel doesn’t even appreciate the CFL – Grey Cup fever was hot all week long. With numerous festivities commemorating the event, thousands of fans from across the Greater Toronto Area packed the downtown streets to join in the fun.

After last night’s game, the party was naturally at its highest level of excitement. Blue-clad fans high-fived and cheered well into the night celebrating the first Grey Cup win for the Argos since 2004. The final score of 35-22 actually makes it seem like the game was closer than it was. A touchdown for the visiting Calgary Stampeders in the game’s dying seconds wasn’t enough to topple the team destined for victory.

“It was an awesome game,” proclaimed one of Synergy’s biggest football fans, “You just knew that the Argos had the game in the bag from the opening kickoff. With the game being played at home and all of those hometown fans in the stands, you just knew that fate was going to be on our side. I hope this is a trend that we can continue next year and the years after.”

The sold out crowd of 53,208 fans are likely to agree. Well maybe not all of them. Of course, there were many Stampeders fans who went home disappointed last night. Argos quarterback Ricky Ray and Chad Kacket had a little something to do with that. Ray threw for two touchdowns while Kackert ran for 195 yards during the 100th Grey Cup, which was broadcast throughout Canada on TSN.

“It feels great,” said Ray, “This is what you play for — to be able to be on a team that gets on a run and wins a championship. It just makes you feel so good. It makes you feel like all the hard work and the obstacles that you’ve overcome just pay off. Everybody on this team, you ask them, somewhere they had to overcome something to get to this point.”

This year’s Grey Cup win was Ray’s third, but his first with Toronto. Acquired in a big trade with the Edmonton Eskimos last December, Ray also finished the game going 18-for-30 for 231 yards. Kackert, by the way, was named the game’s MVP also picking up eight receptions. Head coach Scott Milanovich had nothing but praise for his star player after the game.

“He did a great job,” said Milanovich, “It’s tough making decisions like that but obviously everyone can see why we did. He has done a great job all year and did another great job again. We’re not on that stage with the Grey Cup without him.” An excited Toronto sports fan base can only hope that in 2013, the Argos win it all over again. And that the Blue Jays are next in line to do the same!

Comments Off on Argos Win The Grey Cup!

23 Nov

Putting The Final Touches On Your Team Of Champions

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 23.11.12 by John Meloche

What makes a championship team? As we mentioned earlier this week, the Toronto Blue Jays believe that it takes veteran leadership and all-star calibre performances on the field. As least, this is what it seems based on their recent trades and acquisitions. The Toronto Argonauts may believe in the same thing. This Sunday, they take the field at Rogers Centre to try to win their 16th Grey Cup in franchise history.

So, we at Synergy Marketing posed the question: what will you do to win? Building a winning team in the work place isn’t much different that creating a winning team on the field. At least, that’s what author and entrepreneur to J. Allan McCarthy thinks. On GetTheFive.com, he lists ways that business owners can develop a championship team at their companies.

Today, we will conclude our look at this list in the hopes that it helps business owners everywhere get a greater grasp on how to win in their respective industries. Hire only top-notch candidates, be clear about your aspirations and set definitive roles. Following these guidelines will definitely get you started in the right direction. But there’s more to putting together a team of champions.

The strongest teams are adept at resolving conflict. As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, McCarthy believes in hiring the “best and the brightest”. He does admit, however, that doing so can potentially bring egos into an arena where they begin to clash. It’s important to build a diverse and competent group, but it’s just as important to know how to resolve conflicts, should they arise.

And let’s be honest – they usually do. Know the warning signs, says McCarthy. They include “know-it-all attitudes, multi-tasking during team meetings, exhibiting dominant behavior, not responding in a timely fashion or engaging in avoidance.” If you are able to agree, as a team, on how to manage and minimize counterproductive behaviours as they surface, it will help to accomplish much better productivity.

Create individual and team agreements. Says McCarthy, this is the final stage of planning the specific roles of each team member. These roles must all work towards achieving the team objectives. He writes that business owners should ask their individual team members to openly commit to what they plan on doing. This will determine how the team will function.

It’s important for workers to take responsibility for their tasks and pride in their efforts. Stressing employee obligation highlights the fact that each person’s role is important. Having your employees know that what they contribute is essential to the overall good of the team will help to manage winning attitudes and positive outcomes.

Says McCarthy, “We live in a 21st-century economy where speed and efficiency is a top priority, and that often means a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality. But you get the team that you plan for, not necessarily what you pay for. If time is money, then I’d invest it in creating and building a championship team.”

Comments Off on Putting The Final Touches On Your Team Of Champions

22 Nov

Bright Ideas On How To Form A Winning Team

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 22.11.12 by John Meloche

In yesterday’s blog, we touched upon the topic of a developing a championship team in your office. Naturally, you want to succeed in your line of work. But according author and entrepreneur to J. Allan McCarthy , this can’t be achieved by simply filling your roster. In other words, to foster a winning attitude and achieve the best results, business owners should hire the best and the brightest employees they can find.

But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, that’s only where it begins. On GetTheFive.com, McCarthy provides a number of suggestions to entrepreneurs looking to win championships in their industries. Building a team is one thing. But coaching it to have individuals who are all fighting for the same goal is another. In today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at McCarthy’s ideas for winning ways.

Know your goals. What exactly are you trying to achieve? It’s important to keep your eyes on the prize – but what prize are you trying to win? McCarthy cites Bill Gates as saying “teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well-motivated individual.” Basically, every staff member needs to be on the same page.

One of our Synergy staff members knows exactly what he means. “I used to be part of a band,” he recalls, “And I realized how much it was like being a team. The only problem is that not every member of the team was fighting for the same goal. That’s why some guys showed up for rehearsal early while others showed up late. Obviously, it didn’t work out. And the band pretty much had to split up.”

According to McCarthy, having every team member focused on the same goal helps for success whether it’s on a football field, concert stage or the office work space. He writes that corporations need to encourage their staff to think out-of-the-box, BUT work within the same system in order to achieve a common objective.

Not everyone can be the coach – or the quarterback. It is important to define each person’s role on a team, says McCarthy. Many executives fall short of achieving the success they desire because they are unable to properly assign responsibilities to the right people. Not everyone can be a leader. Some are better at receiving guidance and following instructions.

Know your team players and properly delineate who is to do what. This will give everyone a defined role helping each person to achieve their respective duties. The intent is to foster the success of every member of your team without having anyone step on anyone else’s toes. Again, with each person playing his or her position, the success of the overall team will be realized.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? Some companies find that their staff members are often only concerned about their individual successes. When workers care about the achievements of the entire corporation, however, they often find that their own work is that much stronger. We’ll conclude our look at McCarthy’s suggestions for strong team building in tomorrow’s blog.

Comments Off on Bright Ideas On How To Form A Winning Team

21 Nov

Building Your Championship Team

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 21.11.12 by John Meloche

With all of the hype over a couple of the professional sports teams in Toronto this week, the Synergy Marketing staff has been upping their competitive nature. In-office competition can often be fun, as well as challenging. The point, of course, is too increase productivity while making the jobs of each staff member that much more enjoyable.

In-office competition can be achieved in many ways. Friendly bets between co-workers can get the ball rolling on greater productivity. But the creation of teams within your office can help for your entire organization to exude that winning attitude. You don’t just want players on your team. You want a team of champions that always has winning as its primary objective.

With the Toronto Argonauts one game away from claiming their 16th Grey Cup championship and the Toronto Blue Jays making off-season moves in an effort to win their 3rd World Series championship, the question must be asked. What moves are you making to make your company a champion? Author and entrepreneur J. Allan McCarthy has a few ideas.

On GetTheFive.com, he offers up his expertise on how companies can build successful and effective teams. He insists that business owners need to consider group dynamics, knowing how to blend the skills and talents of employees in ways that will foster the most productive outcomes. In other words, everyone must be able to play their positions.

Says McCarthy, “if you’re building a championship team, you’re gauging how the individual athletes fit together; how their personalities, talents, drive and abilities will mesh to meet the team’s goals. It’s exactly what you need to do to build a winning corporate team. As Michael Jordan, put it, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’”

But is putting together a championship-calibre team of athletes the same as assembling an effective team of employees? We sure think so. And McCarthy certainly seems to agree. Thankfully, he doesn’t keep his secrets to success to himself. On GetTheFive.com, he lists a number of suggestions that business owners should take to turn their staff into a winning team.

Lead with a team, not a group. According to McCarthy, a team of leaders and a group of leaders are two very different things. And he believes that a lot of companies are not aware of the difference. What separates the two groups are the setting of “clear goals, interdependencies and rules of engagement.” And this means shooting for the stars – so to speak.

In other words, you can’t just hire a staff the way some general managers sign players just to fill a roster. It’s important that you only hire the best and the brightest. This may take a long longer to do and may be a more pain-staking process. But without a strong team of all-star players, winning in your world of business simply won’t be possible.

We’ll continue to look at McCarthy’s list of championship tips in tomorrow’s blog.

Comments Off on Building Your Championship Team

20 Nov

Argos Looking To Capture Grey Cup This Sunday

Posted in News on 20.11.12 by John Meloche

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, there is a lot of excitement going on in Toronto’s sports world these days. And to be completely fair, it’s not all about the Toronto Blue Jays. Yesterday, one of our reps noted that the Jays are Toronto’s only team to have won a championship in “recent memory”. Meanwhile, the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League are preparing to win this coming Sunday’s 100th Grey Cup.

The last time the Argos won the Cup was in 2004, so it’s fair to say that that would be recent memory – especially since the last time the Jays won a World Series was in 1993. There are many young people walking around Toronto with no recollection of that! Meanwhile, the Argos’ chances of winning this year have only become sweeter by the fact that the game will be played at Rogers Centre in Toronto – their home field.

“It’s going to be awesome,” mentioned one of our Toronto-based clients who has season tickets to see the Argos, “I just had this feeling that they would make it (to the Grey Cup final) this year. And it’s fantastic that they get to play at home. Hopefully, the city of Toronto will enjoy a big celebration this coming weekend.”

Hopefully, history will be on the side of the Argos who take on the Calgary Stampeders for the championship this Sunday. Last year, the B.C. Lions captured the Grey Cup at their home field, B.C. Place in Vancouver. They also pulled off this same feat in 1994, which happens to be the last time before last year that any team was able to win a Grey Cup on their home field.

“The field that the Grey Cup is played on is determined well in advance, long before the season begins,” informed one of our sales reps, “So it’s pretty cool when the winning team actually represents the city where the game is being played. Next year’s game is in Regina. But hopefully, that won’t matter and the Argos will win back-to-back championships.”

Perhaps speaking too soon, our rep shows a passion for his team that is shared throughout the Synergy Marketing offices. Well, by almost everyone, that is. “It’s hard for me to get excited about a championship being won by a team from an eight-team league,” said a co-worker, pointing out the relatively small size of the CFL, “Winning the Grey Cup is nothing like winning the Stanley Cup.”

Our poor rep may have to wait another year before any Stanley Cup is awarded. The National Hockey League remains locked out leaving fans with no ability to watch their favourite hockey stars in action. As far as Toronto and Calgary are concerned, the Grey Cup will have to do. But don’t think the Grey Cup isn’t a big deal.

According to Wikipedia, the game “is Canada’s largest annual sports and television event, regularly drawing a Canadian viewing audience of about 4 million.” Being headquartered in Toronto, the Synergy staff is reasonably is biased towards its hometown team. With the Argos having won the most Grey Cups in history with 15, there is hope that this Sunday will be our “sweet 16th”!

Comments Off on Argos Looking To Capture Grey Cup This Sunday

19 Nov

Blue Jays Make Some Big Moves

Posted in News on 19.11.12 by John Meloche

By now, many people in the Toronto sports world – scratch that, the entire sports world – are well aware of the blockbuster trade made last week between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Miami Marlins. The Blue Jays secured shortstop Jose Reyes, left-handed pitcher Mark Buehrle and right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson in the deal. And today, MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig finally approved the deal!

All all-stars in their own right, the threesome was traded to Toronto, sending pitcher Henderson Alvarez and shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria down to Miami. It’s the first real piece of exciting news to hit Toronto in the world of sports for what feels like a very long time. It’s appears as if the Jays are making a serious move to becoming a contender for the first time in twenty years.

“I’m really excited about this deal,” exclaimed one of our team members, “We keep saying that Toronto deserves to make the playoffs – in all sports. But the Jays are the only team that has managed to do that in recent memory. Now it seems like they’re primed to do it again. Forget about waiting for next year, this year is our year!”

Our rep just may be right. Sports pundits are already proclaiming that the Jays may end up snatching a Wild Card spot – at worst – in the 2013 Major League Baseball season. With a new rule having just been implemented this past season, there will be Wild Card games between each league’s best second place teams to determine who makes the playoffs.

“The new rule gives us more of a chance to get in,” explained our rep, “It also makes for a much more exciting playoff run. The bottom line is that the Jays are serious about contending now. Just look at the (division rival) Baltimore Orioles, they were perennial last place losers. But they made the playoffs this year thanks to the Wild Card. The Jays are next in line.”

By the way, the six players mentioned were not the only ones to be traded, just the most significant. All in all, a total of twelve players were exchanged in last week’s trade. But that didn’t stop the Jays from wheeling and dealing. Days later, outfielder Melky Cabrera signed a two year deal with Toronto, stacking the line up just a little bit further.

As Toronto Star sports reporter, Brendan Kennedy reported last week, the former San Francisco Giant was hitting .346 last August. As great as that batting average was, it was tainted when Cabrera tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. His punishment was a 50 game suspension. So it’s hard to say just how good a move the Jays have made with this signing.

“Hey, with there still being no hockey, this is the best news Toronto sports fans could get, “reminded our rep, “That and the fact that the Toronto Argos are going to the Grey Cup, of course! But, to be honest, another World Series win would be so much bigger. I may be setting my sights high. But what’s the point of cheering your team to win if you don’t want them to go all the way, right?”

Comments Off on Blue Jays Make Some Big Moves