3 kinds of questions to ask to have more meaningful conversations

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In this exclusive excerpt from her new book, Listen Like You Mean It, Ximena Vengoechea explains how listening and asking the right questions can lead to stronger relationships at work and beyond. Have you ever sensed that someone has more to say but isn’t able to say it? Perhaps your direct report insists that everything is “great!” despite her impossibly heavy workload, or you notice the same few colleagues stay silent during the weekly Zoom check-in. Or you know a project needs work, but struggle to empower your colleagues to give you some much-needed feedback to improve it. Failing to understand our conversation partners is a struggle for many of us, especially in virtual settings brought on by the pandemic, but it can lead to subpar work, support, and collaboration, and weaken relationships over all. When we are unable to cut through the superficial and get to the deep stuff, we may quickly find ourselves operating on faulty or incomplete information, stuck in place, uncertain of how to proceed and make progress. Read Full Story

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20 Questions for Faster and Better Lead Qualification

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You can attribute a lot of great relationships to perfect timing. This is especially true for sales. That’s why you need a clearly defined process for generating more leads, of higher quality, that feed into a lead qualification system you’ve designed. By taking these steps, you can reach your leads at just the right time in their purchase journey, increasing your chances of closing deals. Generate More Leads Most companies have a set of best practices for generating more leads , and don’t change their process for years at a time. Shaking things up a little can help you may help you find more success with lead qualification. Asking yourself a few questions may help you step up your game. 1. Where Are Your Leads Coming From? Sales leads should be coming to you from a variety of places. In fact, buyers typically consult almost five different information sources when …

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How Technology Affects Communication

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For better or worse, technology affects communication because it is a part of our everyday lives. It impacts the way we work, entertain ourselves, and stay in touch. You might see the average elementary-aged child with their head buried in a smartphone and tempted to take a gloomy outlook on what technology has done to us. But is it all bad? From a business perspective, you could argue that technology communication is beneficial. With this in mind, here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about how technology affects communication with customers, plus how to use these developments to your advantage. How Has Technology Affected Communication? Technology communication affects us continuously. As we make technological advances, new trends in communications emerge and often become the norm. Machine learning and artificial intelligence will have a significant impact on how we communicate. Chatbots currently field over 25,000 conversations per month. Furthermore, …

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Why You Should Depersonalize Your Marketing in 2021

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Marketers have been thinking about, arguing over, and implementing personalization tactics for the last few years. So why in the world would I promote depersonalized marketing? If you’re like most eager marketers, you’re are trying to keep up with personalization. You may have tried retargeting, creating highly-targeted landing pages, and using dynamic ads. You are digesting as much content as you can. You’re testing all of the newest tips, tricks, and strategies you can find. But there’s a problem. While some of those tips are good, others do little to increase your overall ROI . Which is exactly the point of personalization strategies. So what’s the issue? The problem isn’t personalization itself. The problem is with how we think about personalization. In fact, personalization works. Sometimes. Why Personalization Works…Sometimes For the most part, marketing personalization works. All of the recent data shows it, and marketers everywhere swear by it. But …

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How to craft a winning SEO proposal and avoid getting a silent ‘No’

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Let’s take a typical story of how the pitching process works. Sarah, the CEO of a successful SEO agency, gets introduced to the CEO of another successful e-commerce company through a common friend. She rallies her team and meets the client over Zoom. They have a wonderful conversation, and both of them are excited to start a great partnership. Filled with optimism, Sarah assigns her best colleagues to craft an insightful SEO proposal. They analyze the competitors, do the keyword research, take the organic opportunity into account, and form a unique strategy on how they can reach impressive results. The day of the presentation comes, and the e-commerce team gathers around, continuously nodding along with each slide. By the end of it, everyone feels excellent. Sarah is thrilled. Checking emails stopped being a chore for Sarah. She quickly scans all of them, looking for confirmation on starting the project. She …

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How to craft a winning SEO proposal and avoid getting a silent ‘No’

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Let’s take a typical story of how the pitching process works. Sarah, the CEO of a successful SEO agency, gets introduced to the CEO of another successful e-commerce company through a common friend. She rallies her team and meets the client over Zoom. They have a wonderful conversation, and both of them are excited to start a great partnership. Filled with optimism, Sarah assigns her best colleagues to craft an insightful SEO proposal. They analyze the competitors, do the keyword research, take the organic opportunity into account, and form a unique strategy on how they can reach impressive results. The day of the presentation comes, and the e-commerce team gathers around, continuously nodding along with each slide. By the end of it, everyone feels excellent. Sarah is thrilled. Checking emails stopped being a chore for Sarah. She quickly scans all of them, looking for confirmation on starting the project. She …

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How to Leverage Storytelling to Increase Your Conversions

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In the not so distant past, I embarked on a journey to grow NeilPatel.com to 100,000 blog readers . At the end of every month, I shared my traffic stats and the changes I’d made. That storytelling strategy went on to help my blog reach over 100,000 views a month — in only about eight months. As marketers, we use storytelling to help make our ideas stick. We create stories to help prospects understand our products, use company stories to build trust and transparency with consumers, and include stories in sales pitches to help persuade. Why does it work? Competition in native advertising and social media marketing is fierce. And, the rate at which great content is being produced and published on the web and across the media channels is expanding. Our readership is drowning. Most people scan web content, looking for something that stands out. If they don’t find …

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How you’re unconsciously undermining relationships while working remotely

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When working virtually, it can be easy to make assumptions or jump to conclusions that damage relationships with your colleagues or supervisors. One of the drawbacks for teams working remotely is the lack of context around communication. Virtual communication often lacks those nonverbal clues we pick up when we have face-to-face conversations with others. As a result, it can be easy to make assumptions or jump to conclusions that are damaging to working relationships. Read Full Story

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Need Leads ASAP? Quora Marketing is the Best Lead Gen Hack

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Businesses live and die based on leads. Without leads, no one converts. Without conversions , no one pays. Without payments, your business dies. But generating leads is easier said than done. After all, it takes a long time for SEO to impact your business. PPC sports varied results . Social media requires a lot of attention, and banner ads don’t really work very well these days. So what’s the answer? For some of you, Quora might be your next best lead-generation hack. As of March 2016, the platform was up to 300 million monthly unique users. But, I don’t want to assume that you’re familiar with the platform. Maybe you’re new to Quora or have never even heard of it. So let’s take a moment to talk about exactly what Quora is. What is Quora? Quora is kind of a social media platform, but it’s far different from most. Quora …

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How to Choose The Right PPC Agency

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In 2017, PPC advertisers invested over $10 billion dollars . If you stacked that many $100 dollar bills on top of each other, you’d have a nearly seven-mile tall tower of money. So, that’s a TON of money. But year after year, global ad spend across every major PPC channel is growing even higher. Source: Statistica And this explosive growth isn’t happening for no reason. It’s happening because PPC works. It’s the classic “spend money to make money” model. From social media to paid search, PPC is a smart way to see quick results. But that’s only true if you know what you’re doing. Which… is where an experienced PPC agency comes in. They spend countless hours experimenting and learning everything there is to know so you don’t have to. So if you’re looking to hire an agency to create and manage your PPC campaigns but aren’t sure where to …

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How to Do Niche Marketing For Tiny Audiences

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Are you in a crowded industry and can’t seem to stand out? Does your brand operate in a niche with a small audience? If you answered yes to one of those questions, then you know reaching your target audience is no walk in the park. That’s exactly why you must leverage niche marketing. What Is Niche Marketing? Niche marketing refers to any marketing tactic aiming to attract and convert a specific market segment with unique preferences and demands. The main difference between niche marketing and other types of marketing is it uses hyper-personalized messaging and is picky about platforms. To truly understand what niche marketing is, we must first understand what a niche market is. Simply put, a niche market is a small, defined segment of a larger market. What makes a niche market more defined than a broad market is the niche has its own needs, preferences, and identity. …

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