Monthly Archives: September 2010

Does it make you paranoid if your calls are being monitored?

Categories: Call Center | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Some BPO call center workers feel paranoid when their calls are being monitored. It is a fact of life in the call center industry that your higher ups will listen in on a regular basis. Some do this in order to find fault with you while others use it to coach you into being a better worker. It is a proven fact that a call center agent will act differently if they think they are being listened to.

It is also a proven fact that bad call centers typically have no system for monitoring calls. Good call centers monitor lots of calls and give feedback right away. If you are doing something wrong, it is better to find out fast so you can correct the behavior right away! Additionally, your performance can be easily measured on a regular basis if management is listening in.

It is normal to be paranoid, but don’t. Being listened to is important for the quality of your work. Someone is always listening to you in any case when you are on the phone. And even if you are alone, God is listening to you, or at least might be if he is not having his lunch break in heaven!

Remember the golden rule of Twitter!

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Social Media

The golden rule(s) of Twitter are:

(1) The top line — your total number of followers is a completely insignificant number for SEO and will not boost your site traffic at all for any social media network, including Twitter.
(2) The mid line — your total number of interactions, retweets, favorites, and mentions are what get you ahead on twitter.
(3) The bottom line is how much your twitter campaign helped you get extra clients and extra traffic that turned into increased cash flow to your business. Even if it takes several years to go from initializing your campaigns to the bottom line, that is normal in business (and worth the wait.)

BUT, there is an exception to rule #1

(4) The top line has a value in its potential even though its value is useless if untapped. If you interact with all relevant followers, you can get them to respond to you, which raises your SEO value very quickly. If you have only ten followers, you can’t interact with inside followers and can only do that on twitter keyword search results. However, if you have ten thousand dormant followers, by interacting with relevant ones, you might be able to enliven your campaign which might do miracles for your site traffic.

(5) Once you find out which followers respond to your interactions, you can contact them once a month and make lively discussions with them! That will really get your SEO going.

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Is Twitter for people with attention deficit disorder?

Solutions to India’s transportation problem

What does it mean to be an American?

Categories: America | Tagged | Leave a comment

What we call current American culture is not really American at all, but a derivative of the fusion of Western European cultures transplanted in North America with some African and Native American influences — and more recently some Latino and Asian influences as well. The early Americans were mainly British, Dutch, Welsh, Scottish, with a population of African slaves who numbered only about 5% of the total population around the time of the Declaration of Independence. Germans and Irish came in large numbers in the early and mid 1800’s, and then many other groups followed. The language we speak is NOT American — but, English which is a language that originated and evolved in England and has its roots in France, Netherlands, Germany, with many borrowed words from Latin and Greek. Real American languages might include Native American languages such as Hopi, Cherokee, Iroquois, etc. In Native times, there were hundreds of tribes with very different languages and cultures populating America. Today in America, there are also dozens of highly populated cultural groups. In one sense things have changed, but in another sense, we are still a quiltwork of diversity.

So, what is American culture, and how does diversity fit into the scheme of things? It is hard to say what is American culture. Is it the culture associated with the current government? Or, is it the culture associated with the majority of the people who live here now? In fifty years, the majority will be Hispanic, so will it be “un-American” to not eat tacos? Or, is the real American culture the culture of the people who lived here the longest. Sure, there were dozens of tribes, but they did have common roots in Siberia and Shamanistic culture. Am I being less American by taking an interest in Asian culture? Or is Asian culture no less American than the mainstream Anglo culture?

Here are some ways that you could be a “real american”

Connection to the land

Not all in our great land share the same culture. I am always criticized by my patriotic “paisanos” (Italian word for countrymen), but being too international, and not American enough. But, I have a tremendous connection to the land. Additionally, I have done past life revisions, and roughly 25% of my past incarnations were on American soil — mostly as a Native American, but three lives in white American society on the land as well. I feel that the Anglo-Americans who consider themselves to be “real” Americans probably have much fewer past lives on the land than I do (not that I am competing). There is something very special about America, and its natural places: The National Parks, the trees, the coast — everything!

Connection to the mainstream culture

Some people don’t like having other language groups in America and believe that everyone should speak English. However, English is very un-American in my opinion. After all, it originated in Europe which is a place that is not even remotely related to the Americans until 1492 if you discount earlier Viking and prehistoric expeditions from Western Europe to North America. Historically, there were several different language families of Native American languages, each with many languages and dialects. Although Native Americans derive from Siberia perhaps 3000 to 25000 years ago, their language familes are very distinct from each other — much less related to each other than the European languages are related to each other. I can not say more since I have not studied any native languages.

Modern American cuisine is mainly Western European with some Mexican dishes that have become staples (Nachos and Taquitos) and a few Chinese restaurants popping up in even the most remote American towns. Real American food is hard to define, but foods like Squash (etymological roots in America by the way), Squirrels (also an American word), Corn, Beans, Chili, and Chocolate (from the Mayan Xaco-Atl meaning foaming water since cocoa cooked in water foamed a lot). From what it looks like, the Mexican culture seems to be a lot closer to real American culture since they eat foods that are indiginous to our land as staples.

Association with the government

Although the Native Americans have been associated with the land currently governed by the USA for a long time, they have not been associated without government for that long unless they were from the East Coast. Native Americans have their own land — leftover land that our government didn’t want because it wasn’t very good. An unfair deal for the native people. But, none-the-less, the Native Americans have a great degree of self-autonomy and are their own nations in a sense. Regular Americans may not live on any reservation without permission from the tribes. So, in terms of association with our government, the descendants of the early English settlers do have claim as being the most American people in the country, as do descendents of the slaves, many of whom were here since the sixteen and seventeen hundreds.

Being born and raised

The difference between America and other lands, is that you can have your roots in a different culture, and still be accepted. You should speak English as your native language and not discriminate against the mainstream as well as prerequisites for acceptance. If you meet the above stated four conditions, you would most likely be at least 70% accepted in this fair land! In places like India, the Parsis have been there for around 1000 years and are still a separate community — maybe in another 1000 years they will be more accepted and absorbed into the mainstream.

Just being here

What I noticed from traveling, is that you become connected with a country just by being there. You look at the map all the time, and become connected with the consciousness of the people very quickly. I believe that people who are in America are connected to American consciousness in many ways even if they are completely disconnected from the culture or heritage of the land.

But, what about new immigrants who don’t want to learn English, and don’t want to learn to blend in with the others who live in this land? Often times, the children of these immigrants also don’t want anything to do with you if you are not from their particular minority group. This brings tremendous divisiveness. Is a divided America healthy? After all, we have enough divisions already. We have divisions between Native Americans and descendants of immigrants. There is a division between North and South which sort of faded away in the 80’s, but is still there. There are Republicans and Democrats with very different ideas. There are those who speak English at home and others who speak Spanish, Korean, Filipino, Chinese and many other tongues. Diversity brings tremendous strength to America making us more agile about doing more types of tasks that any single ethnic group would not be able to do a satisfactory job of. But, what about the division — will it come back to haunt us like it did during the Civil War?


After long thought, I have decided that there is no definative line to draw for who is an American. Some people are American in some ways and not in others. Some people are MORE American than others. But, the most American people in my opinion would be people with some Native American blood which gives them longevity on the land — and then also have ancestry going back to the early European settlers in the U.S. which would give them a multi-generational connection to the current administration. How many people besides our local coffee barrista in my neighborhood meet that description?

India & China Compete for Outsourcing Revenues

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China and India compete for outsourcing work.
Amoung the top several outsourcing nations, India ranks #1 with China and the Philippines next in line.  India’s outsourcing revenue from April 2010 to March 31st 2011 is expected to be US$60-62 billion and was roughly 50 billion the previous year. China’s outsourcing revenue was roughly 36 Billion last year, but is expanding faster than India’s outsourcing revenue.  The future is showing that in addition to China, many other nations are going to be catching up to India in the outsourcing industry.
Indian Outsourcing
Although India is currently the world leader in outsourcing revenue, there are many factors that are governing its growth rate.  Factors leading to a slowdown in the expansion of Indian outsourcing lie in high attrition rates, poor infrastructure, lack of cultural affinity wiht the West, and rising wages.  However, factors in India’s favor include: a reputation of being great at outsourcing, an emphasis on enforcing patent laws, and a diversity of outsourcing services that goes well beyond call centers and IT.  Indian companies provide dozens of outsourced services including data entry outsourcing, legal process outsourcing, market research, payment processing, accounting, web design, SEO,  and pharmaceutical research which is one of India’s newest outsourcing growth industries.
Pharmaceutical analytical services performed in India are less expensive, better quality, have shorter delivery times, and less downtime than if done in other countries. Additionally, intellectual property protection is excellent in India while China has a questionable reputation in this regard.  Pharmaceutical outsourcing is one of India’s new growth industries which is expected to become a multi-billion dollar industry in India in only a few years.
Although the Chinese can compete with India for IT services, and Filipino call centers are gaining market share from India, India has a safe position in the outsorucing industry because they offer dozens of other outsourcing services which are not threatened by foreign competition.
Chinese Outsourcing
China has paved the road for a bright future in quickly growing its outsourcing industry. China has incentives for industries providing outsourcing services which helps to stimulates growth in this sector.  Incentives include removing taxes on outsourcing businesses.
China can easily compete with India for IT work, however China lacks workers with good English language skills which is a huge deficit for many types of outsourcing work. 
One of the main reasons China has such a promising future in outsourcing is that China is investing in new infrastructure in ecomonic zones faster than any other country.  New roads, dams, buildings, and other infrastructure are being built really quickly in China.  China’s capacity for getting projects completed quickly is one factor that works to their advantage.  China has also worked on building good internet connections and developing workers technical skills.
Putting skills, prices, and infrastructure behind, China’s outsourcing industry is growing at 30% while India’s is growing at 14%.  China’s overall economic growth has been a few percent faster than India’s over the last few years, and their growth in outsourcing is also surpassing India’s.
Filipino Outsourcing
The Philippines is a distant third in the global outsourcing market.  Their services are mostly confined to call center and medical transcription work due to their good command of English.  The Filipino call center industry is neck and neck with India, both commanding slightly less than 6 billion per year, but the Philippines looks like it will be taking the lead, once again to their excellent language skills and cultural closeness to the United States.
Its hard to see where the outsourcing industry will be in 2020, but my guess is that China will dominate with India in second place.  Filipino, Indonesian and African companies will also probably gain a higher overall percentage of market share leaving India with a relatively stagnant revenue in the long run.  The overall outsourcing industry will most likely grow tremendously in the next ten years, but Indias percentage of the total looks like it will be shrinking slowly over the next decade.

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A hiring technique similar to 2nd interviews: The emailed question technique

Categories: Hiring & Firing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I invented yet another technique for screening companies that is similar in philosophy to the 2nd interview. I call it the multiple email question technique. During an interview, it is good to ask probing questions that reveal the person’s thinking style (if they have one), their personality, and ethics. You can also ask funny sounding questions that reveal a person’s willingness to answer questions as well as their personal style. Unfortunately, we learned through trial and error that Americans are not good at finishing jobs on time, while Indians are not good at answering questions that involve creative and innovative thinking. I blame it on the school system! Americans tend to be good at interviewing, but the results can be deceiving.

During the initial interview, you can ask a handful of questions and just talk. But, save a few of your canned questions for email conversations. During the interview, people are trying to impress you. If you catch them when they are NOT trying to impress you, then you know how they will act in the long run which is what you really need to know!

After the initial interview, you can send three emails at 48 hour intervals to your prospective outsourcing company or prospective employee. Do not ask funny sounding questions like how to fit a giraffe in a refrigerator (I am famous for asking this one). Ask serious technical questions in the email and give enough background information so the person can give an intelligent answer without asking you for clarification or more information. There are four typical types of results of this email test.

(1) Failure to return the email. See if your prospect will even return the email. Many won’t. You can not hire someone who doesn’t get back to you or you are asking for trouble.
(2) Unnecessary requests for clarification. There are those who email you back to tell you that the question is “complicated” and they need more information from you to answer the question. If you included sufficient background information to give a basic opinion, their requirements for additional information are only an excuse to avoid thinking and acting.
(3) Thoughtless answers. If you have a job that involves thinking, stay away from brain dead people.
(4) Quality answers. Finally, you might get a few answers that are thoughtful and indicate that the prospect is really trying. What I learned is that even the best prospects do not give 100% quality answers to complicated questions. They might have an innovative way of solving part of the problem, but few will be able to have a multi-dimensional strike that will solve the problem from multiple viewpoints. You need to compare answers from different prospects to judge who is the smartest. And remember that brain power is no good without timely delivery of finished work!

Please keep in mind that the outsourcing company or prospect might answer the first question, but get tired of your nonsense and fail to answer subsequent questions. If you are hiring someone on a serious project, quitting halfway down the road doesn’t work.

Another technique you can use is to ask questions that might make the prospect feel weird. Obviously don’t ask anything inappropriate, but we found that people backed out of deals if we asked for astrological information. For Americans it was “too weird”. We saved ourselves from being in a few bad work relationships by asking too much in the beginning. Remember, if you are going to be in a serious work relationship, it is like a marriage. You will go through a lot and you will be asking a lot of the other person or company. If a simple question is too much for them, dump them and you will be glad you did, otherwise you will have serious trouble down the line.

Beware of American Programming Companies that sell availability

Categories: Software Development | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My experience hiring programmers in America is that they claim to have time to help you when they don’t. I had five instances in a row where I was offered 20 hours a week, and in all five cases 20 became zero. They didn’t even return phone calls in several cases. Baffling. Then, there were more conservative people who were more noncommittal. They also offered me time that they didn’t have. So, how do you know if your American programming company will give you what they promise when they generally don’t keep promises?

My answer is to hire more than one company at the same time. If one doesn’t have time, perhaps the other one does have time. Or, hire one American company and hire someone in a foreign country. Communication is the biggest problem with Eastern Europeans and Indians. But, they generally have time to get the work done. That doesn’t guarantee that they will be honest or accurate, but at least they are doing something!

In my experience, probably only about 10% of software companies are what I would call honest. Maybe my figure is off. Perhaps I am too optimistic. If they don’t lie about one thing, they are probably deceiving you about something else. Perhaps only 5% are honest. But, if you find someone who is “not that bad”, and gets the job done without screwing you too painfully, you are winning the game!

I had a dream where one Russian company said,
“We are not going to screw you more than a little bit today. You look like you have been screwed enough in the last few months”

On the other hand, if someone is handling your domain registration or hosting, any problem there can put you out of business. You need to trust your programming company / software company with your life. When hiring companies, ask yourself:

“Would I trust this company with my life?”
“Would I take a 3 day car ride with these people?”
“Would I let these people marry my daughter if I had one?”

If the answer is “Oh, hell no” to any of these three questions, keep shopping. Finding a good software company is like finding a needle in a haystack. You are more in danger of catching hay fever than pricking yourself. Let’s be realistic.

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BPO Definition and Information

Categories: Outsourcing Articles | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

BPO Definition and Information
BPO means business process outsourcing.  It also means broker price option, but in the context of outsourcing, the first definition is the one we will concern ourselves with. There are various types of BPO outsourcing as well as specialties and it is important to understand the distinctions between them.
Some BPO companies stick to a particular type of specialty such as Data Entry and it’s associated specialties such as Data Mining, Data Conversion, Data Processing, etc.  Some stick to Call Center (call centre) work and it’s various specialties such as technical support, customer care, customer retention, telemarketing, etc. It is common in India for BPO companies to engage in a wide variety of functions.  I have seen many companies that will do Data Entry, Call Center, Medical Billing, SEO, Software Development, and Web Design, if not even more diverse specialties. BPO companies mostly stick to repetative back office functions like payment processing, information transcription, answering calls, etc.  However, there are other types of outsourcing operations that have very highly trained and highly educated employees.
There are various other types of outsourcing that include: KPO, LPO, RPO, and ITO.  There might be more acronyms or terms out there, but these ones are very common. 
KPO = Knowledge Process Outsourcing
LPO = Legal Process Outsourcing
RPO = Recruitment Process Outsourcing (HR work)
ITO = Information Technology Outsourcing (Software Development)
LPO, RPO, and ITO are easy to understand.  However, the term KPO, which is normally associated with research and analysis,  is often inclusive of legal and software work as well when used in a general way. Most KPO companies engage primarily in various types of research including market research, medical research, pharmaceutical research (a new trend in India), and other types of research.  Business analysis, data analysis, and various types of sophisticated number crunching fit neatly into the category of KPO.
The interesting point that one should understand is that it is common for BPO companies to engage in activities which blur the distinctions between BPO and KPO.  It is common for call centers to do surveys and data tabulation.  Taking and inputting the information (which involves call center and data entry work) fall into the general category of BPO. However, many call centers will also analyze the data for you to tell you which market segments you need to spend more time targetting.  Data entry firms will often do data analysis as part of their work.  The grunt work of entering data from forms, online, or databases into another form is low paying work.  However, the analytical work done once the data is in an appropriate format is much more intricate work.
Please keep in mind, that if you are browsing BPO websites on the internet, they might refer to themselves as a BPO when they are doing work that falls partly in the BPO category, and partly in KPO or even LPO categories.  You really need to read the “services” page of any website to get a clear idea of what they do.  The next question is what do they do best? Are they wonderful at legal research, but sloppy about data entry?  That question is not so easy to answer.  Good luck!

Please visit our KPO definition blog entry as well

The Magic of Collaboration

Categories: Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The miracle of collaboration

Larger companies get it. They know that collaboration is the secret of success. But, smaller companies do not often know how to put successful teams and networks together.

Blogging collaboration
In blog writing, we learned that hiring an outside blog writer is too expensive and not cost effective at our stage in business. They want $40-$150 per entry. But, how much extra traffic do their blog entries get? Enough for us to absorb this exorbitant fee? Not this year. So, what is the solution? I learned that I am a very fast writer, and have some creative ideas, but need someone to proofread my work for spelling errors. I don’t always get my work spellchecked since it is time consuming to do that. But, for more critical articles I do have them proofread.

I can write up to six interesting blog articles in an hour.
For the more thought provoking or longer articles I might spend 30 minutes to an hour, or in a few rare cases more than that. The professional bloggers want to charge me for more than an hour of labor for their perfected articles. What I learned, is that despite their better quality work, the cost:benefit ratio doesn’t work out in my favor. If my time is worth $100 and I can average four blog articles per hour, that is $25 per article of my time — not to mention that I LIKE writing blogs which makes the time spent more agreeable. When a professional writes the blog entry it might get 50% more traffic than my average blog, but is that worth paying $150? Or, when a less professional blog writer who charges $40 writes an entry for me, it might get 15% more traffic. Is it worth the extra cost, plus management time to get slightly better results?

The solution!
My solution is for me to write most of my blogs, but have a professional come up with ideas to ADD to my blog after it is complete. That is a very quick and efficient way of utilizing their expensive time. Also, I could have someone proof my work after it is done. This way I can have a professional “touch” on probably about seven blog entries for the same cost it would be to have them write a single blog exclusively themselves. This collaboration plan involves three people, but raises the quality of output significantly with very modest costs per blog entry.

IT collaboration
Many smaller software companies have good team members, but the members don’t come together to function as a team. They are not trained to work as a seamless team, and don’t have the personal habits to do so either. I have learned that certain people can crank out code, but cannot interact with others. Some people can strategize about perfect code architecture, but don’t get back to people on time (and don’t answer their phones). While many people have excellent communication and “get back to you” skills who can manage projects and timetables who can’t write code or create architecture. Additionally, there are those who are talented at sales and hiring who are also essential at a software company. If you put a handful of junior developers together with on mid-level developer, and a project manager plus an architect, you have a team that will deliver cost effective, fast, and quality results. The lower level people do the grunt work, but higher level people do the strategy, organizing and double checking everything.

IT collaboration failures
The problem I often see in custom software development companies is that they might have people of all levels and capabilities, but they work as individuals. Or, if they work as a team, they don’t communicate back and forth effectively, or don’t have time to check the work of the less experienced programmers. Failed collaboration results in F quality work. So, the secret here is non-stop coaching to get your whole team to work as a well greased machine. Yes, that is difficult, but it is the difference between business growth, and business failure! Just figure out how to collaborate — and do it masterfully!

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US is training IT workers in Sri Lanka

Categories: America | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I’m reading an article in informationweek that is stating that the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka.  Java, Java EE, general BPO and Call Center skills will be taught to the workers there.   English improvement classes will also be part of the program. 
President Obama made a promise to retain more hi-tech jobs in America, but now there is a $36,000,000 program to train thousands of workers overseas. 
Many feel that the cost of employing workers in the United States is staggering.  Wages are high, and then accounting fees for payroll are not cheap either.  Social security tax and unemployment tax do further damage. Medical plans are yet another nightmare to deal with. Our U.S. government is stifling our own economy with all of these taxes and policies. There must be an easier way.  If we learned to think like the Chinese do, we would set up our own special economic zones that have different taxation rules. Workers could pay their own social security, and not have unemployment insurance.  If you are serious about work, you can live without the frills.  We could set up one zone in Oklahoma where land and labor are cheap, and businesses would flock there to outsource within our borders instead of to Sri Lanka.  Workers would also flock to this new economic miracle in Oklahoma to live in compounds and work long hours.  People could work for a few years and then go back to their home towns, or areas of choice.  I don’t forsee America gaining consciousness and doing anything like this for at least a few decades, and only if we get into devestating economic shape.
On a brighter note, the recipients of the training program in Sri Lanka are mostly underemployed, or unemployed individuals. They will benefit greatly, and their families will enjoy a much better level of prosperity (getting out of poverty).

Subtle Persuasion as a marketing technique

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The same thing happened to me more than once at more than one sushi joint. The sushi chef put a little wooden platter in front of me with ginger and wasabi. When you eat sushi, you have to have soy sauce, ginger and wasabi. But, I hadn’t ordered any sushi. Since the ginger and wasabi was already in front of me, I felt like I was already in the process of ordering sushi. I had no intention of ordering sushi when I walked in that restaurant. I wanted teriyaki. But, because of the ginger and wasabi, I ordered teriyaki, and sushi. Then, I went to another branch of the same restaurant in a different nearby town, and the same thing happened. Bizarre.

My question is, how can you apply the art of subtle persuasion in your business?
The sushi restaurant got me to buy something by giving me what they wanted me to buy — or at least a part of it. Psychologically, they got me in a buying mood just by letting me see something in front of me. If you are in the call center business and you want your clients to purchase data analysis from you as well, how would you do this?

Don’t give them the chance to say, “No!”
One way is to have packages where if you purchase a certain number of hours of call center services, you get one hour of data analysis per month at no extra cost. As clients get used to getting the data analysis reports, they might develop an interest. They might start asking questions. They might realize the value of the data analysis and then want more hours of data analysis. The key here is that you gave them the report without them asking for it, and without them consenting to get it. The minute you ask permission, most people will say no. People are in the habit of saying no to things that they don’t absolutely need, or that they are not in the habit of getting. The minute you get them into the habit without them saying yes, they will be a lot more likely to purchase from you.

Warm Marketing
If you studied sales, you will know the difference between a cold sale and a warm sale. Cold selling means selling to absolute strangers with whom you have no credibility. Cold selling is much harder, and generally doesn’t work as well as warm selling. A smart marketing understands the value of getting to know your prospects and clients one by one. You get to know their likes, dislikes and needs. But, most of all, they get to know you and get comfortable with you. If you give them great answers to questions and are nice to them, they will be much more likely to buy from you in the long run than from a stranger. Investing time getting to know people is a great sales technique — it just involves making casual small talk! If you are bad at small talk, it is time to practice getting good at it! But, the concept of getting existing clients to purchase new services by putting the service in front of them at no cost is another manifestation of warm sales technique!

Free samples
Just giving someone a sample without them asking for it is often a great way to get clients. But, sometimes, labor resources come at a hefty price, and you can’t just give them away to anyone. You need to select. It is a great idea to give free samples of your work to prospective clients. Or, give free samples of additional services to existing clients. The quantity of what you give for free should be small enough that it doesn’t put you out of business, but large enough that it gives the client an idea of what the service is like and how well you perform it. I created an entire business giving away free samples of advertising. My business now makes around half a million dollars a year and I still give free samples to about three thousand prospects per year to keep the ball rolling!

Think about the long run
Many businesses don’t like the idea of giving anything away for free. After all, they are there to make money, not to lose money. But, when you give something for free to an appreciative client, they will remember you long after the fact. Don’t waste free services on those who don’t appreciate it otherwise the work goes down the drain, but consider this — if you give $200 of services away, and you are rewarded by $200,000 worth of business from that client in the long run, not to mention potential referrals, was it worth it? What if you had to give samples to ten people to get that big client? Is that worth it?

Discounted samples
One way to make sure your prospect appreciates what you are giving them is to make them pay for their sample, but at a discounted price. You can give them the first 20 hours at a reduced price for example. If they don’t like the quality of the work, they haven’t lost much. But, if they do like it, they can stay with your company forever.

Tips for the road
If you are always giving your clients valuable tips, they is another technique that persuades them to trust you as a source of information as well as services. By giving tips, you mold their mind into associating you with the solutions to their problems. In two minutes of strategic talking, you have channeled their thinking into buying without even trying to sell them anything. Credibility, helpfulness, and knowing you makes people want to buy from you. So, don’t focus on hard selling, focus on getting people comfortable with you which means trusting you.

Think about using subtle persuasion in your business. Each of us is in a different business. But, if you spend a few minutes philosophizing about this last article, you might come up with some great ideas to make your business double its sales! Change the way you think about business and prosper!

Doing the unknown in business

Categories: Of Interest | Tagged | Leave a comment

Business is sometimes scary. People want to make millions overnight and sometimes ignore the fact that they have no idea what they are doing and have no experience. On the other hand, conservative types want to avoid doing the unknown at all costs. In business, a certain amount of risk taking and doing the unknown is necessary. Large companies often buy 100 smaller companies per year, not knowing which one will do well. Often it is only one or two that become stars, but the revenue from those is fantastic. I am not an investor, except for very stable stock. However, I realize that there are many new types of things you have to do in business. There are new people you have to hire, new tasks you have to undertake, and new things that you have to do where the outcome is unpredictable.

My suggestion is not to avoid the unknown. It is to try the unknown in small doses in a way where a bad outcome won’t ruin you. You can do test experiments on dummy assignments (which are not real, or that don’t matter much) and see how you do with a new employee or new way of doing the task. Try the unknown — just try it in a safe way. Once you get to know what you are doing, and have refined your methodology, then you have a new way to make money or save money, and it could be huge!

I play with the unknown in social media. I try new types of blog entries. I have no idea how they will do. I try new social media platforms. Right now I am doing a lot with Google+. I have no idea what the long term of this will be. I can only guess. It will be fun to find out, and in a year, I might be one of the really big players on Google+. It’s all a big experiment to me. But, if I win, I will learn something. I just go about my business growing my mediums. I try to measure my success at different stages along the road. To know what will happen if I invest a lot of time in social media, I need to invest a little time and see if anything happens.

Have fun experimenting, and realize that success in the outsourcing business requires being good at experimenting. So master this art!

The art of the blog

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Blogging is a new form of communication.  One that has not been mastered yet.  Most blogs are amateurish, and pathetically boring.  I am not a good writer by any standard, but try to be interesting and unique in each post.  But, not everyone can be a blog writer.  Being a blog writer involves a particular type of lifestyle and temperment.

Most writers get an assignment, they do some research, or write based on their knowledge. They do not have to figure out what to write about.  If you run a blog, you need a minimum of 12 posts per month, or you will lose your regular readers. But, how do you come up with 12 ideas per month of issues to write about?

You more or less have to live your work.  If you write about sailing, you need to be sailing all the time and talking to other sailors. Then and only then will you be confronted by the hundreds of issues effecting sailors.  If you simply sit at home and think about what to write — nothing will come to you other than some boring and technical aspects of sailing and good places to go for a sail.


I had a happy experience watching cable television yesterday night. I saw a Canadian guy move to Taiwan (I have lived there before and speak the language).  This gentleman struggled with the language differences, and had a lot of trouble finding a place to live that could accomodate his surfboard which was 10 feet long and wouldn’t fit into most elevators.  He had moved to Taiwan to write blogs about surfing and he lived his job.  He is thinking like I am.  By living next to the beach in Southern Taiwan he will have the opportunity to experience a particular environment surfing, and swap stories with other surfers.  I could imagine that after one good (long) day surfing and socializing with many others, he might have ammunition enough to write ten fascinating articles.

Well, I am planning a trip to Dubai, Manila and India where I hope to meet with many different call center managers so I will have lots of things to write about in my blog entries about call centers!  Wish me luck — and don’t hang up on me please!