Friday, August 3, 2012

Word-of-Mouth: The Best Form of Advertising

The problem with this philosophy is that “exceeding expectations” is a function of customer service; whereas “word-of-mouth” is a function of marketing. Everything the article mentioned are important things to do, but to say that “word-of-mouth relies on exceeded expectations” is to confuse the purpose of customer service with that of sales and marketing. 

Ivan Misner, author of 16 books on word-of-mouth marketing says that “… if you expect happy customers to talk about you a lot, think again.”

Top 10 Skills of Successful Leaders

Anyone looking to achieve higher levels of as a leader, in business, volunteering, or even just at home, would be well served by strengthening their abilities in each of these skill sets.

1. Critical Thinking
Successful leaders all have powerful critical thinking skills. The ability to quickly survey and analyze a situation then identify the core issues that need to be dealt with is key to business success. As is, the ability to understand new issues and factors that impact one's goals and designs.

2. Creative Thinking
These leaders also have varying abilities to think, well, differently. They have the ability to step out of rigid mindsets so that they can explore potential new ideas that others may consider risky, crazy, or silly.

3. Listening
Great leaders are great listeners. Experienced at focusing their energy to the task, this includes listening, so that when they listen, they are very focused on hearing everything that's being said so that they can make well-informed decisions.

4. Reading
The ability to read is vital to lifelong personal and professional success. Leaders in any industry or area all tend to be good readers who are exposed to large amounts of information through reports, newspapers, white papers, books, etc. While they may not be speed readers, they are excellent at grasping the main ideas and context of the material they do read.

5. Writing
They may not write often. And they may not write a lot. But when they do, successful leaders are clear, concise, and to the point.

6. Speaking
Perhaps the most important language skill, the best leaders are also good speakers. They are able to present their ideas verbally to audiences of all types and sizes, as well as easily change their presentation style so that they meet an audience's needs. While it may not be a skill that a leader is ever completely comfortable with, she understands that if she can't speak about the issues her business faces, nobody can.

7. Motivating
Skilled leaders are superb motivators. They understand that each of us is propelled by our own, personal, motivations. These leaders are able to apply all of their language skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) to create powerful group goals and visions that spur people to give 110%.

8. Networking
Successful people have successful networks. They have contacts, associates, and friends in a wide array of fields who they can call on for ideas, input, and assistance. These leaders actively cultivate and grow their networks all the time.

9. Delegating
To some, this may not seem like a leadership skill, but it is. Leaders who excel are leaders who don't try to take everything on themselves. Indeed, they understand that they can't do everything. They easily delegate all but the most important of tasks to their employees, assistants, and networks. They create systems so that they are available to focus on the most important issues at any moment.

10. Evolving
In evaluating successful leaders, I think this is the most powerful, yet most difficult skill to master. Evolving is the ability to adapt, quickly, to the newest technologies, styles, and modes of thinking that create success. It is a skill requiring a supreme sense of self-confidence coupled with extreme humility. For leaders, it is a skill applied not just for personal success, but also for the success of their business, their workers, and their families. It provides those who can master it, the opportunity to achieve life-long success in all areas of life.
Which of these skills do you already excel at and which do you need to work on? Evaluate yourself and hone your abilities in order to be a truly great leader. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

7 Job Posting Strategies That Guarantee Results

Job postings are undeniably one of the most effective methods for sourcing, recruiting and finding top talent. Here are seven job posting essentials to help you get increased returns from your job posting investments: 

7 Job Posting Strategies That Guarantee Results

SEO is Vital. Target industry–specific career keywords to ensure your job listings get noticed by the right candidates. Listing the job title, city and qualifications as part of keyword combinations have been known to be effective. The idea is to drive targeted candidate traffic to your job opening and not the unqualified masses.

Be Detailed. Avoid Fluff: Make sure your ads are clear, straight, and convey in depth all the job duties and responsibilities without giving irrelevant details.

Give Familiar Job titles: Do not use fancy job titles that candidates are not really familiar with. Use titles that are most easily understood and ones that candidates will be able to relate to easily.

Don't Promise the World: While it's important to talk about accomplishments and present day activities, you most certainly need to avoid making any predictions for the future or high flying promises.

Posting Strategy: Do your Research. Post your jobs on the right job sites and in the right categories. Refresh the jobs at appropriate frequencies.

Talk about Compensation: While it may not really be possible to give accurate compensation details, you should consider giving the compensation range along with information on bonuses, commissions and other perks. This will surely ensure increased responses to your postings.

Let People Recognize Your Brand: Placing your logo on your job postings enhances your credibility and brand value. Candidates are likely to apply to jobs if they see the company as professional and one they can trust.