First Business

Business Articles

August 01, 2010

Companies decide whether LEED certification can justify cost

When Lawrence University in Appleton built its newest residence hall in 2003, it built to sustainable guidelines, but did not seek LEED certification. But by 2007, as it planned what has now become the Warch Campus Center, LEED certification was a …
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July 30, 2010

Activity tracking is not a management tool, it’s an exercise in babysitting

How does a manager properly measure the effectiveness of his/her sales people?Most would point to level of productivity. Fair enough. What, exactly, does being productive mean for a sales person?Does one measure productivity through activity or …
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July 14, 2010

Creating a flow chart is first step toward improving process, efficiency

This probably won't surprise you: Most businesses don't really know how they work. For all of the daily conversations about getting things done, most managers couldn't accurately describe how their stuff gets out the door. Don't believe me? Update …
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July 14, 2010

Display advertising can pay dividends as part of overall marketing strategy

As companies struggle with where to put their limited advertising dollars, one often overlooked approach is display advertising, sometimes better known as banner advertising. (see page 15 at the following link)
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July 14, 2010

For maximum benefit, take the 9-Box Tool to the next level

Last month, I introduced the 9-Box Tool and discussed how you could begin to leverage its use. Today, I follow that up with an example of how you can better coach your management team to higher levels of performance. (see page 11 at the following …
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July 14, 2010

Human Resources: Hail the introvert

Do you know someone who needs down time every day? Someone who connects well one-on-one but occasionally stumbles when communicating at a team meeting? Who can deliver a persuasive presentation to a large audience but experiences brain-freeze when …
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July 14, 2010

Mining the best way to new sales: client referrals

Asking for referrals is often easier and friendlier than cold calling to get sales leads. Yet, it is vastly underutilized. About 20 percent of your customers will offer a referral, another 20 percent never will and the remaining 60 percent need a …
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July 14, 2010

Well-crafted questionnaire can be salesperson’s best power tool

Maybe youre feeling a bit ambitious this summer, building a terraced deck or getting the hands dirty with some designed landscaping, each adding texture and color to your home.To create that neighborhood magnum opus, youll need the appropriate tools …
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July 09, 2010

Sales: No change, no progress

My company is in the business of making sales organizations better at selling. As such, executives and business owners approach me to explore the possibility of us doing just that for their companies.Let me take you through the initial conversation …
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July 09, 2010

Smart phones and other gadgets boost (hinder) productivity

Ever heard the expression The more things change, the more they stay the same? Not so in the world of technology. In fact, things change so fast its hard to keep up. Just when you buy the latest and greatest gadget, something else comes along that …
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July 09, 2010

Why CEOs Need to Harness People Power

Do you have an idea to improve the way things are done in your company? Well, guess whatyou're not alone. Ask your co-workers if they, too, have ideas. You will quickly discover that even in the best-run companies there are thousands of ideas that …
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July 06, 2010

Getting back into marketing

Many small businesses felt the need to pull back on their marketing budgets during the recent recession.But at the same time, the economic downturn provided a golden opportunity for small businesses to examine the ways and means that they market …
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