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SugarTone: Sweet Business Blogging Contest


Click here between Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Wednesday March 17th Friday March 19th (extended!) 4pm GMT / 9am EST to submit your articles on Bloggertone.


Click here between Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Friday March 19th Tuesday March 23rd (extended!) 4pm GMT / 9am EST to go to BizSugar to vote on your articles.

Are you a busy professional who wants to create a strong online presence?
Do you write articles to share your expertise, establish credibility and gain online visibility?
Do you blog for your business? Do you read business articles online?

How would you like to win a few cool prizes for business professionals online?

Bloggertone is teaming up with BizSugar to bring you the Sugartone Sweet Business Blogging Contest. This contest helps give your articles extra online visibility and rewards your social networking. The Sugartone Sweet Business Blogging Contest is an opportunity for you to win prizes to help you promote your business.

  • It’s free to enter
  • Anyone can join the competition including current Bloggertoners and BizSugar members!
  • You’ll have lots of chances to win
  • Prizes total $6921

Yes, that’s right: $6921 In Prizes

How You Can Win These Prizes

There’s more good news: there are 2 ways to win prizes.

#1 Do you write business articles?

All you have to do is submit a business article to Bloggertone Between Monday March 15th and Wednesday March 17th Extended to Friday March 19th– but there are a few guidelines you need to follow, so carefully read the Sugartone Guidelines below.

All votes and comments for the articles will take place on BizSugar, the social bookmarking site for businesses.

#2 Do you like to read business articles?

You too can also win prizes simply by voting and commenting on the Sugartone articles posted on BizSugar.

Top 10 Titles & Top 10 Commenters

There are prizes for two different categories of winners:

  • Top 10 Titles – for the articles with the best titles
  • Top 10 Commenters – for the people who vote the most and provide the most insightful comments

Have a look at the great prizes we’ve got lined up for busy professionals just like you.

$6921 In Prizes

There are prizes for both the Top 10 Titles and the Top 10 Commenters

1st Prize Winner – TOP 10 TITLES

Lead Page Machine

Lead Page Machine software runs on Windows XP, Vista and version 7.Lead page machine

(valued at 3500€ – this is about $5200).

Lead Page Machine is designed for the everyday non-technical small business to be able to create, launch and manage their own lead pages (aka ‘name-squeeze pages’) to help you build a massive list of email subscribers.

Within 15 minutes or less you can create and launch multiple separate lead pages for each category of customer or client you want to attract.
Advanced ‘Clone’ facility lets you create duplicates of your most successful lead pages and launch an unlimited number of variations for different traffic sources (e.g. different lead pages for Google Adwords, print advertisements, article marketing, forums, etc.)

Lead Page Machine is the brainchild of Ed Rivis, author of The Ultimate Web Marketing Strategy and E-Mail Marketing Dynamite.

Click Millionaires

6 month membership (valued at $174)

This friendly social network is dedicated to helping solopreneurs and small business owners upgrade their online marketing efforts to make more money online.

  • “Ask Scott Fox”: Private online access to best-selling author Scott Fox
  • Click Millionaire Resource Bank with money-making strategy documents, skill-building articles, research reports, and publications.
  • 24/7 Success Coaching Forum personally moderated by Scott Fox
  • The e-Riches 2.0 MP3 Interview Library:
  • Click Millionaire resources to help online entrepreneurs worldwide to attract more customers.

Click Millionaires is Scott Fox’s private online marketing success coaching community.

5 Critical Tactics for Business Blog Success

1-Hour CD plus 33 page Report Reveals Exact Tactics You Can Easily Implement to Make Your Blog a Winner! (valued at $97)
When you study this program you will discover:

  • Why you need a blog for your business
  • 4 keys to creating compelling content
  • How to manage your blogging time
  • 3 sites to syndicate your blog content to drive more traffic
  • An essential tactic for attracting business with your blog

Denise Wakeman is an Online Marketing Advisor and Founder of The Blog Squad. She helps service professionals and small business owners leverage blogs for their business, as well as strategically use social media tools to boost online visibility to get more traffic, leads, customers and opportunities.

1st Prize Winner – TOP 10 COMMENTERS


1 Year Subscription (valued at $249) is a web application that creates MTV-style videos with the click of a button.

Users simply choose a song and images. Animoto then automatically generates a unique video for them. No two videos are ever the same.

Many of the post-production techniques that the founders used while working as producers for MTV, Comedy Central & ABC are used in Animoto’s patent-pending Cinematic Artificial Intelligence developed to think like an actual editor and director. The resulting video is produced in a widescreen format, containing the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer.

Animoto Productions is based in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

Traction Call With Gary Barnes

45 minute call with Traction Coach Gary Barnes (valued at $175)

Gary helps you to quickly get some “sand under your wheels” so you can move forward toward the life you want to live.

  • Stop running your business with “one foot on the gas and the other foot on the brake”
  • Live a life of vision and purpose, instead of exhausting yourself on the same old treadmill
  • Create more financial success and abundance (without working yourself into the ground)
  • Learn to market your business with integrity and authenticity
  • Have a lot more fun in your business and your life!

Gary Barnes is called The Traction Coach and his mission in life to help people find more creativity, passion, fulfillment, and, yes, wealth in their businesses.

Click Millionaires

6 month membership (valued at $174)

This friendly social network is dedicated to helping solopreneurs and small business owners upgrade their online marketing efforts to make more money online.

  • “Ask Scott Fox”: Private online access to best-selling author Scott Fox
  • Click Millionaire Resource Bank with money-making strategy documents, skill-building articles, research reports, and publications.
  • 24/7 Success Coaching Forum personally moderated by Scott Fox
  • The e-Riches 2.0 MP3 Interview Library:
  • Click Millionaire resources to help online entrepreneurs worldwide to attract more customers.

Click Millionaires is Scott Fox’s private online marketing success coaching community.

2nd – 5th Place Prizes for both TOP 10 TITLES & TOP 10 COMMENTERS



All you need to start, run, and grow your business included in one software package (valued at $49.95)

Over 45 essential business tools and services for 3 different phases of your business.

Start Your Business: From designing your logo to getting set up online, all the information you need to get up and running is just one click away.

Run Your Business: Improve your productivity and run your business more efficiently. Proven resources and tools help you stay on track and on budget.

Grow Your Business: Good marketing is essential to the health of your business. Bring in more customers, and more profits, to continually grow your business.

Start-Run-Grow runs on the Adobe Air platform so it’s both PC and Mac compatible and can be seamlessly updated as more tools are added.

These prices were kindly donated by



All Top 10 Titles and Top 10 Commenters also get a mini library of 3 books/ebooks which will be chosen at random from this selection

Wordtracker Masterclass: Blogging For Business – 50 Steps to Building Traffic and Sales by Chris Garrett (5 books valued at $39)
Sociable by Shane Gibson & Stephan Jagger  (5 books valued at $25)
New Community Rules by Tamar Weinberg (5 books valued at $16.49)
Guest Posting by Chris Garrett (5 ebooks valued at $10)


There’ll also be some nifty badges for all of the winners to display on their blogs or websites.

Here’s How It Works

Everything starts on Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST.  This is when you can:

  • Submit your articles on Bloggertone
  • Vote for them on BizSugar.

Article Submission Deadlines: Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST through Wednesday March 17th Friday March 19th (extended!)4pm GMT / 9am EST

And to give some extra time to vote on all of the articles, the voting will continue on for 2 more days after the article submission deadline.

Article Voting Deadlines: Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST through Friday March 19th Tuesday March 23rd (extended!) at 4pm GMT / 9am EST

Sugartone Guidelines

Here are the steps to follow:

#1: You submit your article to Bloggertone, the business bloggers community.

  • Your submission must follow Bloggertone’s standard guidelines outlined here.
  • If you are already a Blogger at Bloggertone, simply submit your article as usual remembering to categorize it as “Sugartone”. If you are new to Bloggertone simply attach your article and we’ll post it for you. You’ll also get a login and password after the event to make regular contributions.
  • Articles must be original content. Articles that have been previously published elsewhere are not eligible to be submitted for this Sugartone contest.
  • By submitting your article you grant Bloggertone exclusive rights to your article for 2 weeks after the publication date on Bloggertone.  What this means is that you have to wait a full 2 weeks after publishing your article on Bloggertone before you can publish it anywhere else.
  • Be sure to craft a great headline for your article this is what we’ll be voting on to win the contest
  • Submissions open Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST
  • Submissions close Wednesday March 17th Friday March 19th 4pm GMT / 9am EST

#2: Bloggertone submits all of the articles you enter to BizSugar, the social bookmarking site for business articles.

  • You don’t do this step. Just sit back and wait until your article is up on BizSugar.
  • This may take a few hours, especially when it’s night time in the UK. But we’ll get it done for you as quickly as possible.

#3: You and your friends vote & comment on the Sugartone articles on BizSugar

  • Vote for your favorite article titles.
  • Comment on the Sugartone articles. Winners will also be selected on the value of the comments they leave.
  • You can vote and comment on more than one article.
  • Voting begins Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST
  • Voting ends Friday March 19th Tuesday March 23rd at 4pm GMT / 9am EST

#4: Prizes announced Friday March 19th Wednesday March 24th at 7pm GMT / 1pm EST

  • The winners of the Top 10 Titles will be decided on by the Sugartone team and will take into account the total number of votes and comments.
  • The winners of the Top 10 Commenters will be decided on by the Sugartone team and will take into account the total number of votes and comments as well as an appreciation of the value the commenters bring to the community.
  • Video webcast to be announced later.

Participate In The Sugartone Sweet Business Blogging Contest

Don’t miss your chance to win these great prizes.  Anyone can enter the Sugartone Sweet Business Blogging Contest.  All current Bloggertoners and BizSugar members are invited to join in too!

Start writing your business articles now and be sure to craft an attention grabbing title. Then come back starting Monday March 15th.


Click here between Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Wednesday March 17th Friday March 19th (extended!) 4pm GMT / 9am EST to submit your articles on Bloggertone.


Click here between Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Friday March 19th Tuesday March 23rd (extended!) 4pm GMT / 9am EST to go to BizSugar to vote on your articles.


Click here between Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Wednesday March 17th Friday March 19th (extended!) 4pm GMT / 9am EST to submit your articles on Bloggertone.


Click here between Monday March 15th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Friday March 19th Tuesday March 23rd (extended!) 4pm GMT / 9am EST to go to BizSugar to vote on your articles.

Cindy King is a cross-cultural marketer helping businesses develop globally with international social media. Follow Cindy on Twitter @CindyKing

Similar Articles
  • Anonymous

    Follwing up on what Kelvin said, if you can emotionalise your goals you’re far more likely to see them fullfilled. Ask yourself, how will I feel what I reach goal X? Really examine your thoughts on this, imagine you’ve achieved your goal, feel the happiness, rush of excitement, feelings of acomplishment…etc

    btw, best book I ever came across for this type of stuff is, ‘What Self-Made Millionaires Really Think, Know and Do’. Author is Richard Dobbins and Barrie O. Pettman – highly recommended!

    While we’re on the subject I’m looking at putting together a mastermind alliance, a group of 4-5 people, meeting maybe every month to assist/critique each other in the pursuit of their goals.
    Anyone interested let me know.

  • Greg, I just wanted to compliment you on your blogging style. It’s very interesting to see the many way in which you convey your message. I’m learning quite a bit from you so Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Niall. Coming from someone I have a lot of respect for, your comment meas a lot.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments Peter. The book recommendation is a great one.

    I like your idea of putting together a group of 4-5 people to help each other with business and I am in the process of forming a similar group. Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any thoughts or advice on this. (contact details are in the article)

    Have a great week.


  • My creative powers are just simply not up to yours but gave the Limerick a go!

    I like to bring simplicity,
    To make project management for you and me,
    It’s too over-complicated,
    Its use in most businesses negated,
    When we need it to operate efficiently!

  • Anonymous

    Fair play Barney – Helping prove Ireland is a place of Poets & Scholars 🙂

    Have a good weekend


  • Excellent!

  • Hi Cindy, Thanks to you and Anita @bizsugar for all your hard work and efforts in putting this super competition together. Really looking forward to seeing some great posts. Cheers, Niall.

  • Sounds great guys, pity I will be away.
    Think I need to delegate someone to take my place for those few days!
    Best of luck to everyone!

  • Cindy, This is going to be awesome!

  • Anonymous

    Great initiative. Should send us even higher into the blogosphere.

  • Anonymous

    Better get back on the beta blockers over the weekend to keep the performance anxiety at bay…. What to write about? That is the question. Any winning ideas?

  • Brilliant concept – hope it’s a rip roaring success!

  • Somehow, I think you will do just fine 🙂

  • Love your enthusiasm , It’s infectious 🙂

  • I thought I was out because I knew the date had passed to enter, I was coming back to see the currently entries…now to write and submit quickly!

  • Hi Coleen, lol, delighted you are entering #SugarTone. I will look forward to reading and commenting on your post. Thanks, Niall

  • Anonymous

    FYI Submit URL doesn’t work under Cindy’s top photo but can under the Vote Articles section where it takes you the page where you can vote or submit.

    Super contest idea. I hope you all will run it again. Will participate if I can after finishing a bunch of work, the week flew by.

  • Hi Liz, thx for the heads up, fixed now.

  • Una, this is a really interesting piece & wow the results are pretty significant so far. Frank is to be complimented for his foresight in relation to blogging. “There aren’t many doing it yet so it’s not possible to draw many conclusions” I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed that this is still the case, recession aside, we continue to play catch up.

  • Great post, very interesting read.
    Some of it went over my head, but then again I am not active internationally, but appreciate when someone researches and highlights these points.
    Thanks for sharing, Frank is lucky to be based in such an inspiring part of the country 🙂

  • DermotQ

    Great post with some interesting insights into the power of online as an international force multiplier for SMEs.

    On the other hand, it also illustrates the limitations: the ceramicx blog is still in English only and the content addresses a global rather than a local market. The ‘latest news’ section also remains in English on the localised pages of the ceramicx website.

    The big constraint here is the cost of producing locally relevant content in the local language on a regular (weekly or monthly) basis – which is the stuff which is probably of most interest to customers. For the moment, there is no solution to cost effective, high quality translation and localisation services for SMEs that are affordable without a massive business case for market entry. That needs to change.

  • Thanks Dermot. Your own insights on your recent post lend themselves well to this discussion. There are no quick fixes or cheap solutions. Howver, Ceramicx have had fantastic success with its global audience so far as demonstrated in the results – in the blog. Do you know any SME who has achieved international success with blogging?

  • Thanks Elaine. There are indeed alot more challenges for the SME going international. Thanks for taking the time in any event to read and RT the post, particularly when it’s outside your own scope.

  • Thanks Niall. I suppose for most organisations it’s a question of resources and alot of SMEs have cut back on their marketing during the recession, the downsides of which I mentioned in an earlier blog. Dermot made some great comments a couple of weeks ago on his post and the challenges facing SMEs in internationalising.

  • DermotQ

    I think the jury is still out on international business blogging which is still largely a US cultural phenomena. For example, blogging is still restricted to a relatively small number of languages – in 2008, 37% of blogs were in Japanese, 36% were in English and the majority of the remainder in Simplified Chinese and Farsi (Technorati, 2008).

    The reasons why people write and read blogs are also culturally specific – there are only 110 million Japanese speakers compared to 1.1 billion English speakers so the fact that Japanese beats English as a blogging language is quite remarkable. The content of Japanese blogs however is very different in content and tone to English blogs – Japanese blogs are deeply personal and are used to engender good relationships with others rather than for the kind of abrasive activism or as a platform for expertise that we see in the Anglo Saxon world.

    The Technorati figures are also notable because of the low uptake of any kind of blogging – not just business blogging – in the Spanish speaking world (30+ countries) and in the Francophonie.

    Unfortunately, the world isn’t flat – it’s still very lumpy in places! The Ceramicx case study is interesting as a litmus test – they will really be out on the curring edge if they do localise the interactive parts of their website like the blog. Look forward to hearing more! As always, Una a stimulating and forward looking post.

  • Hi Una,

    I spoke to you briefly at the recent WordCamp in Kilkenny and at last I’ve had the chance to check out your posts here!

    The company above is a very good example of a site well-optimised for organic search, their online marketing company obviously know what they’re doing. A useful little tool to check out how well a site is doing for organic search visibility on the web is You just enter a URL and the website is graded according to a variety of criteria and it’s free to use. The tool gives Ceramicx a score of 96% – top marks!

    As you’ve said, the business blog and the fresh, relevant content contribute hugely to this. The other cornerstone of organic SEO ranking is in-bound links. Ceramicx have only around 28 links from root domains, but one of these is Wikipedia and links from here are great ‘Google juice’!

    As Ceramicx have experienced, the time and effort put in to organic SEO yields longer-term rewards, and so is a much better long-term strategy than Google AdWords.

  • Hi Jennie, lovely to hear from you. I will pass your comments onto Ceramicx – great nuggets for them and to add to the discussion. I am going to use websitegrader on a few other sites now to see what turns up. Just looked at your blog – SEO, SMO, organic ranking for international search and international business continues to evolve and it is a challenge for SMEs. Jennie, I’m a member of the Irish Internet Association International Strategy Working Group and we are hosting a breakout session during its upcoming conference, May 20 – “Helping Irish Companies Prepare their Website for Overseas Expansion. We will cover # Potential pitfalls when building an overseas website
    # International SEO/SEM (Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing)
    # International Social Media and Online PR
    It’s a subject you’d be interested in. I’ll post some pieces here after the event.
    Great to get your input and please do drop back again in the future. It’s an area that I’m very interested in myself as I support companies with marketing to generate international business

  • Thanks Dermot. What’s great about bloggertone is that it gives us all, not just a forum to build community, raise awareness for our own brands but, outside the blog posts themselves, it’s a great way to pick up hints and tips from other experts.
    You too will probably be interested in the IIA conference – see my comment above to Jennie.

  • I agree Dermot.

    You are correct and your comments are very timely in relation to non localisation of the Ceramicx Blog.

    While the constraints you mention to producing local content are real, Ceramicx are currently creating synergies with local experts to allow delivery of relevant and interesting content in the relevant markets.
    Ceramicx are very close to the launch of a number of additional blogs both on .com and TLD’s which will accelerate the growth of their German market.
    Significant work has also been done for Russian, Farsi and Arabic with Chinese, French Portuguese and Spanish a little further behind.

    Ceramicx have learned that it is easy to find translation providers in local markets but to only focus on this element is a mistake. What people discuss and search for in 1 language rarely translates literally to another with examples of this wide and varying.

    What Ceramicx have done differently here is firstly to understand what people search for and discuss in their local languages and then planning for each specific market.
    Once you understand what your customers need in a new market – only then can you connect and offer a professional solution to meet those needs.

    A question of my own – Has anyone proof of successful methods in generating comment/feedback on localised blogs(German especially as it will be first localised blog to launch)?
    Ceramicx still struggle here with their english blog but possibly the topics are not provocative enough. Frank is beginning to beat the controversy churn so hopefully this is about to change…

    BTW, Una well done on a good post.


  • DermotQ

    Thanks Una, the IIA meeting clashes with the Localization Unconference 2010 also being held on May 20th in Dublin (see which I hope to attend, however greatly appreciate your feedback to Bloggertone on the breakout sessions at the IIA meet. I’m happy to provide some notes from that. D

  • Una, thanks again for another thorough and insightful post on the nuances of internationally blogging. I’ve really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the international angle. In a sense, anyone who blogs is writing for an international audience whether they know it or not. The web allows for quite a wide and diverse audience. It’s also true that your target audience may find you rather than the other way around. You never know who you might appeal to. If you’re blogging for business, you have to be ready to embrace that new audience, who may be totally different from what you imagined at the outset.

    So the considerations that you, Dermot, and others have brought up in this blog post and the comments are very important. Thanks again.

  • Thanks Eddie for taking the time to read and comment. If you come across anyone States side that you think is doing a good job for an international audience, please do let us know.

  • Julita Szumska

    I’ve enjoyed reading your post! I found really interesting the part about multi-lingual markets!nI see Social Media and blogging as a great tool for international companies. It allowed to be ‘closer’ to the client and respond to their needs.nFew weeks ago on my blog I wrote about blogging in law firms and internalization of small business (

  • Hi Sian,nI have invested in headed paper specifically for this purpose. Although, some accounting packages offer specific paper also.nI have a question/clarification: I have been asked specifically if I would like to receive soft copies of invoices from service providers, and I have agreed to this. But the hard copy has stopped as a consequence. nSo, from what you’re saying above, are they not abiding by legal requirements? (one company continued to send hard copies, and I actually contacted them to say not to bother) If I print them out myself, do they qualify as legal invoices?nnGreat post 🙂

  • Hi Elaine, it’s not a legal requirement to post out an invoice if it has already been emailed it was just a suggestion to help as mentioned above. The points with ** against them are compulsory. Thanks for asking 🙂

  • Z_omar_17

    hi u00a0una , ni am phd student and i am so interested in doing my phd in social media and internationalsiation of firms ni mean for example the key success factors of using the social media in internationalisation of firms nso please i want to talk with you nmy email is n@hotmail:disqusu00a0so can you send me email plz

  • Hi John, interesting points, nI find the first point particularly true – and the complexity of the process is putting many off targeting larger organisations, as they do not understand how these processes and politics work within those organisations.nnI have experienced a huge gap between the well heeled sales person of old, and people just starting business or starting in a selling role. In a way the “newbies” are lucky, as they have nothing to compare against, so the selling doesn’t feel twice as long or twice as hard – it is what it is, and they adapt easily.nnI fear that recent years (last 5 as you suggest) have taken their toll on traditional sellers, and so much adaptation and mindset shifting is required to get with the new “program” that they are losing out meanwhile possibly to the “younger guns”.nnHave you experienced this? Would you agree?

  • Anonymous

    nnHi Elaine,nnnnInteresting point re the “newbies”. nnnnThe Sellers we see succeeding have a broad range of expertise/years under theirnbelt. The mindset shift hasn’t taken its toll because their focus has in somenways always been on the buyers process and business case. nnnnu201cNewbiesu201d or more established sellers comfortable with the knowledge the buyingnprocess is a long one have adapted well. nnnnWhere we have seen u201cnewbiesu201d succeed is in places where buyers want to see/meetnexperts in a given field or category to drive out their requirements. The newbies are seen to add a lot ofnvalue to the buyer and they are keen to help the buyer at all times. They arenmore buying process centric than selling process focused which is interesting.nu00a0nn

  • Johnogorman

    Hi Eamon, thanks for your thoughts. As you say knowing when to walk and when the deal isn’t good for both sides is key.

  • There is an awful amount of B.S. spoken and written about selling, I’m not including your post here Elaine :)nIn fact there is so much rubbish out there I often wonder how anyone could work it out.u00a0nnIn itsu00a0simplest form selling is about working out how why people buy, and different people buy for different reasons, depending on what they are buying and who they are buying for.u00a0nnTraditionalu00a0marketing is about appealing to the masses, selling on the other hand is about appealing to the individual so byu00a0definition a one size fits all sales approach was and is never going to work.u00a0nnInterestingly perhaps, I think that social media is bringing the gap between marketing and selling. Great social media and great selling have something very much in common – they both heavily depend on listening really well to customers. u00a0 u00a0 u00a0u00a0

  • Denise Fay

    Elaine, great post. nnSo What? is a question I ask my clients all the time when it comes to them communicating with their customers. It really helps business owners to continually think about their message and what they’re selling. And why someone would buy from them. nnThose two little words are so powerful – they smack a mighty punch. nnDenisennu00a0

  • Thank you Facundo – and of course some clients don’t quite know what the problem is, so sometimes we have to help them see the wood from the trees 🙂

  • Derbhile – that’s a great story – same thing happened to me recently – that is the beauty of networking, especially the non-formal type – amazing what relationships and collaborations can happen when people don’t feel “threatened” or “sold to”.nnWhen we tie in with the emotions of our clients, it doesn’t really feel like selling on either side – more a collaboration (where money transfers of course)nnThanks for sharing a great story 🙂

  • I agree Niall and I believe “selling” does not deserve to be out on such a limb – when every interaction we have with others is a form of selling anyway.nnWe need a new term – no better man (you are hired by the way!)

  • They surely do Denise – and I really felt that message recently during your #31ways webinar with regard to copyright and sharing a message.nnEverything we do is a form of communication, so perhaps we should concentrate more on having the conversation in order to listen. I do believe it is the preferred approach for most buyers.nnHaving said that, some buyers just want to be “WOWED” so perhaps there is still a place for FAB selling after all 🙂

  • Johnogorman

    nnHi Elaine, nnnu00a0nnnInteresting and thought provoking article. nnnu00a0nnnI am coming at this from a B2B complexnsales perspective.nnnu00a0nnnFAB selling for many sales teams can bentough to move away from and it can result in having the wrong conversations atnthe wrong levels with inevitable consequences on conversion rates and stalledndeals. nnnu00a0nnnMost benefits are not worthy of discussionnat the buyers board table because they rarely impact on the bottom line atnleast not tangibly. Business impact is king. Buyers need metrics to justify whynthey are investing!! nnnu00a0nnnNow we all know it is more difficult to sellnbusiness impact because it requires getting access to information on thenresults achieved by others, some view of the results the buyer wants (their businessncase), selling to more number focused buyers and selling to buyers who are quitenoften sceptical of lots of questions from sellers. nnnu00a0nnnSelling with stories, sells the impact andnhelps counters the weaknesses of FAB. nnnu00a0nnnOf course having a view of the buyersnprocess also helps (ties into Niall point above) nnnu00a0nnnHope this adds to the conversation. nu00a0nn

  • Hi John,nthanks for sharing your insights – you make some great points. I would imagine stories ties in with demonstrating integrity, experience, expertise, ability to do the job/complete the project and of course the emotional connection also.nnI take your point about some buyers being skeptical about lots of questions. I truly believe the way business is being done is changing and Iu00a0 see less sellers and buyers with their arms so close to their chest.nnTraditional ways will always be there, esp with B2B, but I think the traditional buyer will not be my client (however, I am open to correction on this). nnWe at Mallow Open Coffee ( ) are trying out a new initiative – meeting with a Nursing Home to chat and share with the entrepreneurs of yesterday. It will be very interesting to hear what they think of how business is being conducted todaynnAnd as I mentioned to Niall, a new term for selling would be cool 🙂

  • At a network meeting today the guy giving the talk suggested we ask the person beside us how we can help them without trying to pitch any of our services to them…I’ve done this before, somehow when I did it today it made a difference, one person I spoke to said to me afterwards “I’ll be back to you, you are just the type of person I need to help me”.u00a0 nnAt @IrishSmiley’s event just over a week ago she said that the word “sell” comes from the Swedish word “to serve” and when you think of it like that it completely changes how you approach it.nnI’ve both done and had done to me the “so what” and it really does make you think about what you are offering your clients.u00a0 Lots of thought provoking today…keep it coming.

  • Mairead – what a great story :)nnI am thinking we need a new term for “Sell” so open to suggestions – something that is more obviously serving. I think the word alone can scare people off!nnThanks for contributing to the conversation, glad you enjoyed the post as it was aimed to provoke thought

  • Anonymous

    Elaine,nnYour post reminded me of a trend I have been observing both directly and from conversations with small business peers. When all is said and done, the person you are selling to is trying to imagine how he/she can benefit from what you offer and what budget line will pay for it. Asking questions and highlighting their answers (not yours) helps them see more clearly how you are the right person for what they need.

  • Very true Elli – thanks for sharing your observations. I feel now like I need to become a second skin for my clients to really feel and understand their needs lol.nnBut I wonder what happens when a client recognises that you have just reflected back their worst fears and insecurities. It would turn into a coaching session :-/

  • cashformysettlement

    Yes we all need to set goals……….we just need to stick with them!!

  • Outsourcing to (or even employing) a good bookkeeper can be very cost effective. They will devote time to tracking down missing invoices, making sure you claim all your VAT back, ensure you are tax compliant, get the money in and out efficiently – no more lost weekends! This frees business owners up to work on the business – what they are best at! 
    I expect people, (even accountants), to challenge me on the spreadsheet point. Spreadsheets are commonly used, can cause serious errors, and are not giving valuable info to the client in most cases.  
    I did a lot of work with the small business unit of a big 4 accountancy firm and client spreadsheets were a nightmare. For instance – a chap who likes everything in order inserts 2 rows to pop in one missing invoice. Without boring you with a step by step – he updated the formula to add everything up. The result? All of the invoices that came before the inserted invoice were not added into totals. He used those totals to calculate his VAT payable and made an incorrect VAT return. He seriously underpaid his VAT as a result & was incredulous that he had made a mistake, because he had used a spreadsheet. He thought he had removed the potential for error…
    I won’t go on – it could be another blog post! Actually it will 🙂
    Thanks Lorna.

  • Great timely piece Helen. Spreadsheets burned me badly a couple of years ago when I was relying on them for my debtors. Indeed I was using an accs package to some degree but relying on spreadsheets too much (because I am good with them). I was so good, I missed invoicing 2 clients for work done. 1000 euro was finally retrieved the following year (because I have great clients) but I agree about relying on spreadsheets.

    Little and often, I am a firm believer, but I don’t do it!!! I leave everything for a couple of months, and then because I do have a great filing system, and am highly organised, blitz everything in half a day.

    Book-keeping, I am beginning to think it is a good idea to outsource a couple of hours a week/month, depending on the business, because like you say, it gives back valuable time to the business owner, if even just their Saturday morning

  • Jhonwotsan

    Everyone needs goals…..and they need to stick with them………hard to do tho in this challenging world we live in.

  • Some good points there Elaine  – a nice addition to the post. Thank you,
    ~ Helen

  • When I started the business I was very lucky to be introduced to an excellent accountant who is also a great business advisor. He recommended a bookkeeping software package and showed me the basics I needed to know to get started and then over time he went through it in greater detail. I would be completely lost without it.

    I am definitely going to start using lever arch files for my paperwork. At present I am putting invoices etc into files in a filing cabinet but I find over time they get mixed up and completely out of order. I receive a lot of invoices digitally but I have to admit at times I don’t save them immediately. Days later I have to trawl through my inbox looking for them. A real headache and a waste of time.

    I totally agree with your comment about speadsheets Helen. I would highly recommend a bookkeeping software package as it gives detailed information on how the business is doing at the press of a button.

    An excellent post Helen which has been added to my favourites for future reference.

  • Sellyourannuity

    Make goals for yourself, make them challenging to keep them interesting and you will be more apt to stay with them.

  • Hi there.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation.  it is always about the other person / people, and if we are mindful of that, we are winning 🙂

  • Why, thank you 😉 ~Helen

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