Tweak Your Biz » Announcements » HP SugarTone: Making Your Business Amazing

HP SugarTone: Making Your Business Amazing



Bloggertone and BizSugar would like to announce our second Sugartone “Sweet Business Blogging Contest” called HP SugarTone: Making Your Business Amazing. We are delighted to welcome HP onboard as sponsor for this event. In case you missed the latest one, here’s how it will work:

The mechanics

#1 WRITE A BRAND NEW BLOG POST ABOUT BUSINESS in your area of expertise (e.g. Sales, Management, Finance, etc) and cover “How to make your business amazing!”. It must be fresh content (not pre-published elsewhere)

#2  SUBMIT YOUR ARTICLES TO tweakyourbiz.com: Click here between Monday August 30th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Monday September 6th 4pm GMT / 9am EST to submit your article to Bloggertone.

#3  VOTE ON THE ARTICLES OVER AT BIZSUGAR.com: Click here between Monday August 30th at 4pm GMT / 9am EST and Thursday September 9th 4pm GMT / 9am EST to go to BizSugar and vote on the articles.

The winners

Bloggers:

The winning article will be the one with the most votes (sweets) and will be announced on Thursday, September 9th after the voting closes.

Readers:

A special prize will be awarded for the most engaging comment to be decided by our judges.

The Prizes

First Prize. The blogger receiving the highest number of votes on the BizSugar community will receive  $350 in HP products or gift certificate.

Second Prize. $250 in HP products or gift certificate will be awarded for the “most engaging comment” as selected by our judges.

Plus. A selection of the articles will be made available to download as a super business E-book.

Some simple guidelines:

#1 Submit your article to tweakyourbiz.com

  • 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 here and we’ll publish it for you. You’ll also get a login and password after the event to make regular contributions to Bloggertone!

#2 Vote at Bizsugar.com

  • Simply go to Bizsugar.com under the category SugarTone (one vote per person so get your friends to help!)

#3 We publish and you vote & comment!

Bloggertone will submit all of the articles to BizSugar.com, the small business news and social media site. 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.

You and your friends vote & comment on the articles on both sites. You can vote and comment on more than one article!!!

Help us promote the contest:

Sugartonem

Grab any promotional banner here and embed it on your site

Ready to blog?

SUBMIT YOUR ARTICLE HERE (submissions finished, vote below!)

VOTE ON THE ARTICLES HERE

small business news and social media site


Sponsored Content

The Author:

Facundo is a founder here at Tweak Your Biz (formerly) Bloggertone and a director at Dublin based Web Agency Channelship, where he works with directly with key accounts, particularly in creative and strategic capabilities. Naturally involved in Bloggertone's and Channelship’s business development and promotional efforts, he enjoys networking in the Irish Business scene. http://www.channelship.ie

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Bloggertone are surely keeping us on our toes :)

    What a great challenge, and great prizes also. I sincerely hope it encourages people to blog more, and especially for Bloggertone!

    Well done guys!!

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    That’s the plan, thanks Elaine :)

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    I’m in!

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Thanks for the suppot as always Christina :)

  • Facundo

    Looking forward to your posts Elaine & Tina

  • http://www.TheFranchiseKingBlog.com The Franchise King

    Sweet!

  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name lyceum1776

    Facundo Villaveiran: This is a “sweet” contest!

    Niall Devitt: I am glad to see the prizes. I remember you and I talked about companies like HP in our phone conversation some time ago. I look forward to talk to you soon again regarding your new project.

  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name lyceum1776

    @Bloggertone I have now added the promotional banner on my EGO blog. I had to pick the 125×125, because the bigger one (300×250) could not be placed in a perfect way in the right column. It is a space for 300 px, but you have some margins included in the code, so it is a bit hard to use in the blogger template.

  • Facundo

    Thanks Martin! We’ll look into that

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Martin, yes it was good to finally chat. Let’s catch up after the comp :)

  • http://www.webinarbase.com Eugenia

    Great, I’m looking forward to this contest! If I don’t forget about it until the 30th, I might even submit an article :)

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Thanks Eugenia, so are we! why not set a reminder :)

  • Felix | Blogging for Profit

    Wow! Great Prizes. I want to join! Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Una Coleman

    Sat 4th and the competition is getting fierce…
    How about up to the minute stats on the first 5 positions, splashed across the home page to keep up the momentum. Frank, you’re killing me. Every time I get another vote you add 3!!

    Good luck to all.

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Congrats to Greg Fry & Frank Bradley who shared first prize.

    Announcement to follow including most engaging comment.

    A BIG thanks you to everyone that took part, all our participants & everyone that voted & commented on the posts.

    Thanks again everybody,
    Niall

  • http://www.encouragingexcellence.ie/ Mairéad Kelly

    Congratulations Greg & Frank.

  • Derbhile

    u00a0Tell that to the Government.

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Agreed! :)

  • http://www.smartsolutions.ie/blog/ Elaine Rogers

    I think it’s very important to ensure that call to actions are accounted for and by whom – and then followed up and reviewed. Certain meetings I attend; anything left undone stays on the agenda, others seem to just allow them to drop off as if they are not relevant at next meeting.

    As Niall says, selling should be about the client/customers’ needs, not what is being “sold” and this needs to be emphasized in the meetings. I always view sales people as almost self-employed as they have to manage their clients and their day. The difference is they have a Manager to answer to and that Manager should be as supportive and encouraging as possible.

    I have sat in Sales meetings where agents numbers have been projected on the wall for everyone to see – that can be degrading, and I always felt a 1-1 with the Manager would serve better to empower the agent and encourage them to change direction and be pro-active in trying new tactics.
    A little competition is healthy and I agree to perhaps split a group into 2, thereby not singling out one person and helps to forge camaraderie and healthier relationships amongst the team.

    Nice post Dave, thanks

  • Dave Thomas

    Elaine/Niall,
    Thanks for the feedback. I have always believed no matter whether it is sales, editorial, technology etc…. that meetings should be about results and not frequency. I have seen too many companies hold meeting after meeting just for the sake of meeting. Find a way to make meetings work, make them informative, and make them something workers want and not have to attend.

  • http://twitter.com/antonmccarthy Anton McCarthy

    Very pertinent points made around meetings. In a company I worked in previously, some novel approaches were to have everyone stand instead of sit during a meeting – focuses the mind and also has the inevitable effect of shortening meeting time! This can be especially effective when some meetings are held as much out of habit as anything else, or as an excuse to ‘catch up’, without a real need or benefit to actually having a meeting. 

  • http://www.ukelectricalsupplies.com/ Electrical Supplies

    This is something I have come across in the past where a business sales manager is looking for work, but the wrong work and generating the incorrect level of sufficient business. I think a sales manager should also re-asses how the business he is representing can be found on the internet!

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Tori, 

    I started off my sales career as a cold caller and have managed to build a career around selling to this very day. Cold-calling may not be dead but sales people and sales trainers have for me it seems, done their very best to kill it! Ask prospects if they enjoy the process of being cold called, and I think it’s fair to say that the majority will say no, why: because cold-calling is usually a waste of their time and often just simply downright annoying. Prospects don’ care about your business, your products or your special offers. They care about their business, their products and their customers. So unless you’re in a position to have an intelligent conversation about what they actually care about, my advice is to not bother picking up that phone.We have to really understand that time is our greatest resource, both for our prospects and for ourselves. If you really want to make an impression and build a relationship, spend time wisely, researching your prospect, researching their business, researching their market and ensure that you have something of value to say when you pick up that phone.As an industry, and as sales leaders, we have to stop feeding young people in entry level sales roles,the drivel that passes for sales training/methodology. The majority of salespeople that enter into selling fail and the internet is now killing our industry slowly. The sales people that survive will be business experts and trusted advisers to their customers.    

  • Torihawthorne

    Call me crazy but to me Sales is an art form. We have been sold th ideathat sales is a job that anyone can do. When really its a job that needs time, care and patience. We need to train sales people effectively in research and development as well as selling. Commission only has a lot to answer for. It has created an army of what seems to me to be angry sales people, pushing for a sale as the sale is what is going to pay their wage. Companies pay for a research and Development, sales people are on the ground getting the feedback with every answer from prospects. You are right. Training is key, businesses need to put value into their sales by effectively training staff and sales agents/teams in methods that are proven to work. Not a whole lot of “go get ‘em” cliches. Thanks for your comment Niall :)

  • Torihawthorne

    Thanks Amber ;) I love business development. It means I am always learning. Even leaning things like how different industries react to different BD methods. And immediate response is so valuable too ;) thanks again for comment. Tori

  • Elishbul

    Thanks Tori needed that. Especially this parting note.
    “This revelation also turns the idea that ‘cold-calling is dead’ right on
    its head… If you perceive cold-calling to be a way to make sales, then
    yes, you may be going to work everyday faced with a litany of No, no,
    nil, NO, and no… See this as the business development opportunity that
    it is and prepare yourself to make connections, learn about the
    person/company on the other end of the phone. ”

    Its about time a more human focus was put on Cold calling and in fact the phrase alone doesn’t do it justice- its about starting connections and worth remembering in a world that’s obsessed about social media when being a helpful voice on the line is probably one of the most social things you can do.

  • Tori Hawthorne

    That is so true Elish, I hate the term Cold-Calling, but actually love the task of doing it… I love connecting to people and sharing opportunities. I always smile when talking on the phone, an olden’ but golden rule ;)
    Social media has tried to take over that initial ‘cold call’ role but inevitably to take any relationship, business, customer, friendship or otherwise to a point of growing we must talk or meet.. I wish I could meet everyone I am connected to, maybe there is a tv programme there ;)

    Thank you for your comment ;) T

  • Ruby

    Thanks for all the great ideas here.  I appreciate the experience behind what you are sharing.  Ruby

  • Tori Hawthorne

    Thanks Ruby,

    My pleasure to share… Only way to let people know it works ;) Tori

  • http://twitter.com/marketingdebbie TheMarketingShop.ie

    Great post Tori, cold calling is not dead but I’ve always hated that phrase – randomly calling people and hoping for the best is not good for either the salesperson or the potential customer.  We approach people directly in our business as many of our customers are venturing online or onto social media for the very first time and wouldn’t have found us any other way. I would definitely say we more often get a positive than negative response when it’s handled correctly.  It’s about the value you’re offering them as opposed to the sale you’re clocking up for your company and it takes people skills and the ability to really listen to your prospect as opposed to robotic training to do the job effectively. 

  • http://www.smartsolutions.ie/blog/ Elaine Rogers

    I love this post, and in fact had a very interesting conversation about this very topic at open coffee during the week. Both our consensus was that relationship building and nurturing, leads to better quality sales and longer lasting business relationships. Another word we used was trust – not the “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind but having prospected, conversed, building a relationship, and nurturing that relationship, that prospect may never actually buy, but they will trust you enough to recommend or refer.
    Tori, Fantastic first post and a huge welcome to Bloggertone!

  • Tori Hawthorne

    Heya Debbi, thanks so much for your comment.. Its so true, we have to be well researched in who we are calling, why we are connecting and how to get the right message across.

    So true, its the value and them that’s important and not the sale… Its the cold calling term that makes it sound like such an awful task :( I much prefer business development because that’s what it is ;)

    Thank you

  • Tori Hawthorne

    Oh wow, thank you Elaine *blushing*

    Its so true, I have never viewed my work as prospecting, but always relationship building. Trust and nurturing is key. We have to be open, honest and as helpful as we can as sales people, it’s never just about the sales we make today but the sales in our future business. The initial stages of the relationship build the foundations for a strong future, once we trust the foundations are there we should always have lasting business and referrals.

    Thank you again Elaine 

    T

  • Derbhile

    You’ve sold me on cold calling. 

  • Tori Hawthorne

    WOW, Thanks so much for your comment Larry,

    I love your fish analogy, that’s it, the river is as important as the fish ;) I am so glad my post has helped your plans.
    It takes time and it’s not a process that will bring immediate results but it will bring firm results and good Business Relationships.

    Good luck with your process, hope it goes well

    Tori ;)

  • Tori Hawthorne

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

    Tori

  • Puneet

    I have always used a friendly and a genuine conversation to “explore” and common areas of “interest” and that has got many coffee meetings. I like the way you have put it in a more transitioning manner from the traditional cold calling to the new age business development discussions.

  • Tori Hawthorne

    Hi there Puneet,
    Thank you for your comment. That is really it, we need to move on from the hard sell and build relationships, this way we have a firm foundation for a great business relationship

    Thanks again
    Tori

  • Alagu Subramani

    Tori, your post helps one regain their confidence on cold calling. The honest approach works and not all customers are irate, they would also like to listen to what is out there in the market. There should not be a restricted timeframe within which you would like to complete the cold calling activity. It should be an ongoing practice. I am sure there might be questions about Gatekeepers not allowing you to speak to the right contact, there are different timings when you can call the contact and also crisp emails do get the customers attention. This is a really good post.

  • Tori Hawthorne

    Thank you Alagu,
    Its true, it is an ongoing process, we can try and set days to ‘do it’ but that time frame can change by the prospect dictating when they can be called… We have to be flexible and patient and polite to Gatekeepers ;)Thanks againTori

  • http://www.caribonix.com/blog Myron Yarde

    Hi Tori, thanks for your perspective. I still see cold calling as important as well. It really is a good way of getting out there as long as you’re not being “COLD”.

  • Tori Hawthorne

    Thanks Myron,

    Me too. We need to connect as businesses and when we don’t know who we are calling the call is ‘Cold’. Mindset needs to change, it needs to be seen that we need to make these calls to grow and we need to receive these calls to know what or who is truly out there… 
    Thanks again Tori ;)

  • Francie

    I love this article and have posted on my FaceBook. Cold Calling is truly an OPPORTUNITY… a platinum opportunity to learn a great deal in a timely fashion. Thank you, Tori, for the GREAT article.
    Francie

  • http://twitter.com/neilsisson Neil Sisson

    Great post Tori.

    I used to work for an IT training company that built it’s entire business from a database of 0 with cold calling. They had a great process though which involved cold calling to give something away for free, the thinking being that if you can’t give a company something for free, then there is no chance you will be able to sell them something.

    The follow up, post training day, was where as a sales person you were able to get some great feedback about the product being sold, the service delivery levels and obviously there was a super opportunity to build rapport, leading to goodwill and eventual further sales down the road. Not to mention a huge Database of the right contacts who you had marketing approval to contact.