Monthly Archives: August 2013

How to attract clients to your Call Center — Linked In

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I get dumb sounding emails daily from web design companies, web developers, call centers, BPO outfits, data entry companies, and especially from SEO companies. But, these dumb emails lack any type of knowledge of my name, needs, wants, or anything about me. Dumb emails don’t get people business with any good ratio. But, smart emails could. I would be so impressed if someone sent a smart email and actually knew something about me. Emailing is one way to attract potential clients, but what about social media?

Linked In was recommended to me by a call center professional in Calcutta. He says that he has 8000 contacts on his profile and has an easy time reaching decision makers. Please keep in mind, that being on the right medium is only part of the battle. You have to present yourself well. But, at least this is an efficient way to find companies. Can you imagine using the phone and calling people’s secretaries all day long getting nowhere? Using linked in you could probably find dozens of decision makers per day.

But, there is more. When you communicate with professional business people, they will not appreciate it if you come across as someone with the sensibilities of a teenager.

(1) Don’t use text language: i.e. “How r u”.
(2) Don’t ask what they are “into”. We are not in the 8th grade anymore. India seems to be permanently in the 8th grade in their usage of the word into not to mention certain irresponsible business practices.
(3) Don’t try to convince someone that your name is Sam Jones when you are Ramesh Ramachandra. Try to pick a nickname that sounds like your real name.
(4) Keep your conversations real and professional.
(5) Don’t make offers that are too good to be true, too cheap, or crazy sounding.

The key on Linked In as with any other medium is to get to know people before you ask for anything. To bombard a stranger with requests for contracts is sort of spamming them. Learn the art of chit-chat. Get to know people, make small talk, ask them what they do, and what their needs and aspirations are long before you try to sell them. There is no formula for how long you gossip before you introduce your services. But, I would suggest selling them on your knowledge before you sell them on your services. These days people want to buy from someone that they can trust for reliable sounding information and solutions. If you don’t know how to be like that, then learn. There is a lot of money to be made if you can be an information guru!

Remember — the difference between a 5 million dollar a year salesperson and the 5 rupee per hour salesperson is that the high priced one is cool, sociable, and is an infinite source of knowledge and confidence. His inexpensive counterpart is just an annoying jerk. Be knowledgeable, helpful and find your call center clients on Linked In.

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How to attract clients to your call center — contracts!

Understanding crowdsourcing segments for Twitter

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Twitter is a lot of fun, but having a niche market can get “too niche” after a while. If you want to get a large audience, tweeting only about your specialty of interest might not yield you too many followers. So, what is the secret or the “tweetret”? Keep your tweets industry specific for the most part, but keep them general as well. You need to appeal to a crossover audience and be niche enough for the niche people, and general enough for the laypeople.

A term of office for a notary public can range from 3 years to life depending on what state you are commissioned in (niche)
If you were a good babysitter, you will make a great notary signing agent (crossover)

The first tweet has some good factual information which might get you a retweet or two. But, the second one is first of all funny, but is understandable to the layperson without sacrificing relevancy!

You need to understand crowdsourcing to be good on Twitter. Your crowd is different from other crowds. They are human which unifies them with other humans around the planet. But, each crowd has certain types of subject matter and styles that appeal to them as a crowd. One crowd might like to hear about things that are illegal, while another crowd might enjoy a good scientific discovery. Remember, your tweets are not about what YOU like, but are for what your crowd likes and will retweet.

Also, remember that your crowd has followers who are not in your niche, so if you keep it general enough for a layperson to understand, you stand a chance to go viral which is the dream of any Twitterer!

Another way to handle the niche verses general market issue is to tweet 50% about niche topics, and 50% about general stuff. You might attract a well rounded crowd and be able to grow your account into the millions. Twitter is a relatively new phenomenon, and a little experimentation might be healthy. Good luck and may the tweets be with you!

The mindset of a millionaire

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We all want to be millionaires. It would be wonderful to have enough money, so that nothing was out of reach. But, most of us do not think like millionaires. My interest is to learn to think in new and useful ways and understand wealth consciousness. I learned that being around millionaires and their neighborhoods helps develop wealth consiousness and helps to understand how these interesting people live and think.

Here are some things that I learned about the differences between wealthy and poor people.

Driving habits of the rich
There are many things that I notice from visiting wealthy areas. The way people drive in certain areas is very indicative of their income. People who are wealthy and in the process of generating more wealth tend to drive faster than normal. In many wealthy parts of Los Angeles (near Beverly Hills, but not in beverly Hills) the drivers will tailgate you and I feel like they want to run me off the road. Please keep in mind that if you (the reader) is in India, it is common to tailgate in India and drive inches behind the car ahead of you. But, in America, we feel intimidated if someone is really close behind us if we are going above 35 miles per hour (50km/ hour). It is dangerous as well. I really feel that part of the reason they drive so fast is because they have a lot to do, and are impatient people. I feel that perhaps one of the components of their success is that they feel compelled to get things done really fast. Do these accelerated wealth builders tailgate because they want to overpower others? Are they merely in a huge hurry to get to their next item on their agenda? Or, do they just think fast and act fast — and is that quickness what accounts for their huge success?

On the other hand, in wealthy, but relaxed places like Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach, there are rich people who are more interested in relaxing and spending than in wealth generation. People drive slower in these places and are more polite as well! An interesting distinction!

Driving habits of the economically slow
I notice that in California as a whole, people drive at a moderate rate of speed, but are very selfish and don’t let others into their lane. I also notice that in other states with slower economies, people are really slow. It is common in New Mexico (an American State), that it can take drivers up to 4 seconds to put their foot on the pedal after an opportunity to proceed presents itself. I start honking my horn if they waste my time like this — I feel it is rude to be too slow. On the other hand, it is also rude to drive too close behind others who are obeying the speed limit. I notice that in some of America’s other states, people talk slower, and think slower. I guess that I am used to a particular SPEED of life, and that I have culture shock when I am around slow Europeans, sluggish Indians, or other lackidasical people!

Finding solutions verses feeling flustered
I find that poor people find themselves to be helpless in many situations. A poor person will buckle if the price goes up on something they want (at least my clients do when I raise their prices). The rich are often very confident and feel they can handle these types of situations gracefully– and win! The rich person will first try to negotiate the price, and then compare various options while the poor person will just panic and complain. A very different mindset!!!

A sense of power
There is a certain sense of power that the rich have. Even if they don’t use language that demonstrates their sense of power, their inner confidence is something that you should feel. I love being around millionaires because I can just feel their coolness without them uttering a single word! Wealthy people tend to feel that they are in control. If there is an obstacle to their power, they will calmly find a way to remove that obstacle. Buddhism claims that we are all enlightened, but merely haven’t developed the consciousness to appreciate that fact. Wealthy people similarly feel in control even when they are not — they simply feel that they ARE in control even though they haven’t YET determined how to remove the obstacles to their control — a temporary delay in their already existant power. What a way to think! I like it!

Business planning the poor way
A poor person will have unrealistic expectations in business, lofty goals, and a poor sense of execution or how to pick the right people. The poor person might be tempted to share their future success with friends and family who are poorly suited for the job. The poor person would have a tremendous boost to their ego for “helping out” and “doing a good deed” people who deserved their help. The poor person might criticize the wealthy man for being “mean” or “narrow minded” simply for being calculating and reasonable about who to hire and why. Unfortunately, the poor person is in for some difficult times when they find out what business is really like — and what to do if their friends are lazy or poorly suited to their new jobs — if they even accept those jobs. The poor person would be tempted to “help out” their unemployed friends who deserve help that nobody else would help. The poor person will soon find out that you are not doing anyone a favor by giving them a job. It is the person who is working for you who is doing YOU a favor — assuming they are any good at their work.

Business planning of the rich and famous
A wealthy person will have a more in tune sense of how the business could start, evolve, develop, what needs to be done, and what personality traits would be beneficial for particular types of jobs. A wealthy person will realize how flexible and adaptable they need to be, and not to get attached to any particular methodology or outcome. Additionally, a smart leader will pick good managers below them who can do most of the daily management of the business with little or no intervention. This will free up the owners time to grow the business rather than being bogged down by mundane hassles. A smart business owner will always be looking for ways to expand the business, rather than being complacent. Those who are complacent always remain on the lowest level — but, those who always strive in the upwards direction can attain infinitely!

Spending and dressing habits of the well to do
The irony here is that rich people in America dress like bums. I was intimidated about hanging around in American’s richest neighborhood at first. Then, I went there, and realized that every single person dressed like a bum. T-shirts, ripped jeans, baseball hats. They dressed almost as badly as I do. There are rich people who dress well — many of these are the “New Rich”, or those who aspire to be rich or fashionable. Some people like making a show of themselves and spend a lot on it. But, the people who have the real big bucks often drive very ordinary cars, and wear very ordinary clothes — at least in America. India is a bit like this too, where you will see lower-middle class girls wearing very expensive silk saris and rich girls in Bangalore wearing ripped old jeans. Some people think that the secret to wealth is being used to spending lots of money, or being used to being around expensive things. Drug dealers in the ghetto have this mentality — but, they still live in America’s worst areas and have what I call the “poverty consciousness”. Spending a lot and dressing well might help you develop the wealth consciousness to a certain extent. It is not the most important component of wealth consciousness. But, on the other hand — if you are going to develop wealth consciousness — shouldn’t you be accustomed to handling large amounts of money?

Taking charge and not allowing obstacles
The successful businessman takes charge. They don’t let personal considerations get in the way of business. The poor businessman lets their feelings get in the way, and lets people get in their way. A smart businessman simply makes decisions and sets policies based on sound thinking — he will handle objections confidently. The poor businessman will refuse to make any decision that might rouse any feelings of objection from anyone — and hence cripples themselves.

Looking ahead for evolution and adaptation
The millionaire businessman realizes that he lives in a changing world, and that his business planning will have to change. He therefor is always looking for how to refine his business techniques, and adapt to the current conditions. Whether he is adapting to more modern times, or adapting to the particularities of a current economic condition — he is adapting. The minute you don’t adapt and cling to what you or others are used to out of fear or narrowmindedness, you cheat yourself from the potential benefits of adaptations. Remember, if you are in the computer business, if you are even a few months behind your competitor, you could be out of business and your newly developed product will not sell!

You might also like:

How to sell like a pro — what exactly do they do?

Why a great CEO is worth 6000 times more than the average worker

The Google algorithm has some serous issues

Categories: Analytics, Of Interest | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I am a long term admirer of Google and most of my traffic comes from them. My observations are only meant to help and inspire, but not to demean or criticize.

When looking for IT companies online, I find that I only come up with blogs and a ton of job offerings. Yes, job offerings are important. However, Google is supposed to be a smart search engine and focus on what the browser wants to find. If I am looking for COMPANIES, that is a very different nature of search than looking for JOB OFFERS. The reason for this is because Google rewards pages that are new, or recently updated, and job offers fit that description, while hard-coded pages of actual companies are more static and get updated every several years at best.

Google has a very sophisticated algorithm that identifies relevancy based on sentence structure, incoming links, outgoing links, and how many what I call “associated” keywords you use. If you are writing about Acupuncture and use words like “neck pain”, or “back pain”, then Google knows that you are writing something that really is related to Acupuncture and you are not just faking it.

But, there needs to be some mechanism in the search process to identify what type of search results to give. Perhaps a filter where you can pick what type of search you want.

PHP Programming Company — search term
Then, Google could offer you a choice.

“Gee, it looks like you are looking for Programming Houses, would you like to see: (1) Jobs offered in PHP (2) Blogs related to PHP Programming (3) Programming Companies or (4) Other information relating to PHP programming.”

This way I could easily target my search in one easy click and actually be able to find results — what a novel concept!

The next hurdle is identifying which software companies are any good. This job I leave to myself, so that I can publish useful search results on!

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Social media: the analytics are deceiving

Active vs. dormant followers on Twitter

A free economic zone in America?

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A “meritocrac​y” with a level playing field at least!

I fantasize about this idea. What would America be like if there was a free economic zone somewhere on the coast in Washington or California, or North Carolina. The zone could have its own airport. The zone would be cut off from the rest of the country, but would have certain freedoms unheard of in the rest of the United States. People from anywhere in the world could come to that zone with NO visa and NO permission. They could work for whomever would hire them at ANY WAGE that they agreed to. There would be no minimum wage, no unemployment tax, no state tax and no complicated paperwork. It would be so easy to run a business there that businesses would flock there.

China has implemented the “Free economic zone” idea for decades and prospered. Their ingenuity and flexibility made their country prosperous while America in its rigidity is broke. China has also created a few IT zones which are also growing nicely. The Chinese government has programs to assist businesses in their growth. America has restrictions, paperwork, legal liabilities and taxes to stifle the growth of companies. No wonder companies are FORCED to outsource overseas.

I run an outsourcing directory and am neither for or against outsourcing. However, I would note that life is easier when you can get your functions done in your country. People these days are outsourcing NOT because they choose to, but because they are FORCED TO if they wish to get anything done — at all. A free outsourcing zone or zones in the continental United States would be such a boon to domestic business that miracles would happen. It would finally create a truly free marketplace that is functioning on a LEVEL playing field! This would be what India calls a Meritocracy!

The effects of hanging around the wealthy

Categories: Success, Vaastu Feng Shui | Tagged | Leave a comment

What I learned is that hanging around great programmers will help me to think about technical issues more clearly, even if the programmer doesn’t utter a word. Being around his consciousness does wonders. Being around great musicians as a child helped me appreciate great music and understand it. But, as a businessman, I realize that I need to be around what I call “high-speed wealth accumulators” to soak in their magical energies.

I learned that hanging around the neighborhoods where these moguls live is an amazing experience. Imagine the feeling I had of looking over some rolling hills with mansions. I felt like I was in another world, far away from home, but I was only a few miles from my home in Los Angeles! The wealth that these people have is unbelievable, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

There are areas with 2 million dollar homes. The inhabitants of these homes probably have equities of around 2 million per person. But, what about those who are in 8 million dollar homes? I believe that they have more like 40 million in equity on average, and move billions around at the tips of their fingertips. I came up with the poetic realization that this neighborhood was like a control panel for the world’s economy. Perhaps 5% of the wealthiest people on the planet lived within yelling distance of where I was driving. This was Wall Street’s bedroom in a sense. Of course, Wall Street is 3000 miles away in New York, but a lot of the people who control it, as well as those who control the movie industry and God knows how many other industries probably live in the Hills North of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

Part of the allure of this area is the fact that being around this type of wealth really stimulates my business. We make more sales when I spend time in fantastically wealthy areas. But, also to tune into the consiousness of the wealthy. These are those who dress like the wealthy, and those who really are wealthy — or better yet — who are high speed wealth accumulators. We need to understand the categories of humans who are found in wealthy areas. There are the workers, the shoppers, those passing through, those who want to dress like the wealthy even though they are not wealthy, those who are wealthy who are in low gear — not doing much with their life, and last — those who are reeling it in — those who are making things happen and making money hand over fist.

I saw many casual people having dinner with their families who dressed like very ordinary people — but, they were millionaires. I saw others who were very impatient drivers. There were many I met hiking who were just very casual relaxed people. I went to one of the most expensive hotels in the state, and saw businessmen of the highest caliber. Their demeanor was much different from the impatient drivers or the casual diners. These businessmen were wearing very elegant suits suited for a very high class banker or attorney. There was a sense of calmness. It is like seeing an animal in their natural habitat — they just fit in perfectly! There was no sense of entitlement, no pompousness, no greed, and no hurry. It was just these upper class men in fancy suits just having a Scotch on the rocks!

For me, I’m trying to learn the secret behind these gentlemen in the banker suits, and I’m not finding it. That is because these seasoned opulent types were born into money, and just find it to be very natural. It is natural to spend $500 a night on a hotel — that is what their family has always done. It is normal to spend $35 on a glass of Scotch, why wouldn’t you? They are not trying to be more than what they are — they just are. The secret to understanding the old-rich is that they just are — and that they just have been, and presumably will continue to be! They are important because they are they. Everyone knows they are important, so they don’t have to advertise how important they are. Their behavior is completely different from the new rich who are always trying to be something and be someone! These very wealthy types seem to not show any outward signs of having any skills in business.

The irony is that our suited friends are probably are on the boards of America’s Fortune 500 companies, and control the entire nation! Yet, when they talk to each other, it is about their last golf game, the weather, and other inconsequential topics. Although subtlety is not a business secret — they exude tremendous subtlety. The people who have all the answers appear to have no secrets at all — I guess that is the secret!

How to gain clients for your Call Center: Pay-Per-Click!

Categories: Call Center, Popular Posts | Tagged , | 1 Comment

You down with PPC? Yeah you know me.
Remember this song from the 90’s? I do. Or was it the 80’s. It is all a distant memory. Actually, it was OPP, not PPC, but close enough, right? People ask me all day long how to get clients for their call center. The truth is that there are hundreds of ways, and PPC is one.

Google and other mediums offer pay-per-click programs.
You can pay for clicks on particular keywords. You bid how much you are willing to pay on particular keywords, and you can set a daily maximum budget for ad-groups which are groups of keywords which supposedly are in the same category (for best results). Easy, right? Actually, this PPC system requires a lot of time and expertise. I recommend that you learn something about it so that you are in control.

Yes, you can hire an online marketing specialist to help you out.
Whether they are any good or not is something you will not know if you are keyword illiterate. You might get screwed, or just receive mediocre work at great expense. Or, you can master the ancient Chinese art of keyword identification, selection and ROI analysis. If my memory serves me correct, Sun-Tze made references to this art in his literature… Actually, scratch that — I’m confusing Sun-Tze’s psychological warfare techniques with my keyword warfare techniques and my memory is playing tricks on me.

The basics you need to know are:

(1) What your keywords are.
This includes keyword variations, and combinations of geographical terms and keyword variations. If you promote Twitter campaigns in Noida, then you might like terms such as:
Twitter Noida, Twitter Promotion Noida, Social Media Noida, Noida Social Media, Noida Twitter, Online Marketing Noida, eMarketing Noida, Internet Marketing Noida, Internet Marketing India, Internet Marketing Delhi

Pair geographic words & industry terms
These are just the tip of the iceberg (or the heap of discarded coconut husks in the case of Noida). Each geographical term needs to be paired with industry terms — forward and backwards — with the geographical term before and after the word. Include nearby cities, metro names, country names, and more. Include related industry terms like Call Center, Social media, Online Marketing, and more. Additionally, Google has a bunch of suggested terms, and estimates for how many clicks you will get bidding on their recommended terms. Get an account and the possibilities are as endless as you can pay for.

(2) ROI…
You need to know if certain words are getting you customers. This is not so easy to predict. But, you hire a professional to configure the ROI system on Google, and then you can see how many searches for particular terms make it to your contact us page. If they fill out an inquiry form, then that qualifies as a LEAD, and leads are worth money, and are a metric. You need to figure out how many contacts equals a new client, and what a new client is worth. Also please keep in mind that if your company learns to better at retaining clients through better customer services, you might keep your new clients longer and get more referrals — hence making them 10x as valuable. Smart… very smart…

(3) Adjusting your bids
Once you can guess the ROI on your terms which can take a few months in some cases, you need to adjust your bids. Beware, google adwords has some bizarre twists. I find that if I bid a particular amount on a term, I can slowly lower my bid, yet get the same traffic. Why is this? That is because Google slowly acquires analytics on my ads performance and CPM revenues that they are getting. If I get steady clicks, then they lower my price to be in the same approximate level in the paid search results. Additionally, if my ad is out there longer, then people recognize my company name and click on my ad more which increases my CPM click rate — and google LOWERS my per click price at a particular level the more clicks per 1000 impressions I get — a very interesting fact which you need to write down your notebook.

(4) Add more ad groups
As your campaign grows and prospers, you can add more ad groups, more terms, and refine your campaign. You can even be more aggressive and try new offensives.

(5) Geo-targeting 101.
Learn this. If you are an Indian Call Center, and want clients in America, Google allows you to target certain geographical regions of the world. Target towns, cities, zip codes, countries, or even continents. You will pay more for clicks from America, but that is where the high paying clients are. Keep in mind that Americans are also more demanding, and often more berating or hard to deal with than your friendly and agreeable compatriots in mother India. If you are going to pay big bucks to Google (which has made me very successful by the way), make sure your website is attractive enough to get conversions (sales) from the traffic that Google gets you. Presentation comes before promotion — got it? Also, make sure your staff who answers the phone can deal with American clients gracefully. You might consider an American phone #, and answering the phone 24 hours a day.

(6) Lessons to be learned.
I used Google PPC to find companies as well as to advertise my own company. I learned that many overseas companies, particularly a company in China NEVER answer their phone. That means that all of the thousands that they waste in PPC costs go down the drain. I wonder what Sun-Tze would have to say about that?

Pretend to be weak when you are ready to attack — Sun-Tze (rephrased by me)
Throw your money down the drain when you desperately need it to hire staff members who speak passable English — The opposite of what Sun-Tze would say.

Remember…. business is war. If you fail, you go broke and suffer being socially ostracized, poverty, disease and other horrible fates. Use Google Adwords the right way and you could become a millionaire. Use it wrong and you can lose it all.

You might also like:

How to attract clients to your call center — Linked In

How good is your salesperson? How much difference does it make?

How to attract clients to your call center: don’t deal with people who use personal email accounts.

How to get clients for call centers — contracts!