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Software to autofill reciprocal forms like Title, URL. etc..
While developing links, I ome across lots of forms to fill, asking for information such as "url", "title","description" etc. Dos anyone use a simple software that auto-fills these repetitive forms?

A Question for RSS feeds experts
Okay, here's the deal. I am in search of a free or cheap way to send "keyword rich" fresh RSS feeds automatically every 30 minutes to my Internet marketing blog. How is this done? If it helps to answer the question, I use blogger.com.

Buzz Marketing Ideas and Concepts
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"I Heard Your Company Might Be for Sale."
"I Heard Your Company Might Be for Sale." I talked to a colleague and friend of mine not long ago, with a masters degree in marketing and has a good history of success. One day we were discussing the plight of a certain struggling long-running family business since the 1930's (which we both knew really well), which was then bought out in an offer from a lawyer with his own dough -- but unfortunately didn't know the product well.

Blogs Away: Why Blogs Are Important To Market Strategy
It is a “whodathunkit” kind of thing, isn’t it? A web log, with its straightforward elegance, its honest and reciprocal dialogue, its inexpensiveness (though time is money), has become the next darling of marketing and public relations—a real time, two-way walkie-talkie, a bulletin board of instant feedback.




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Persistence Leads to Sales Success Ė Donít Drop the Clutch Too Soon!
If you are starting a business or are in the process of investing further into your existing business in order to take it to the next level, it is important
that you keep the faith and keep moving forward until you have created enough momentum to keep your business moving into the black.

The Three Traps of Selling Conventionally in a Complex New World
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It's Not About What You Take From Your Customer
Would you like to participate in an experiment? Just imagine you are a customer and you are looking for a solution to a problem. It might be that you need a new battery for your mobile phone,

Psychology of Setting Prices
Pricing is one of the four major components of marketing. Psychological pricing forms one of the key elements of demand pricing wherein the consumer demand is the main focus. The price and quality relationship that governs the central theme of the consumer market relationship is surrounded by uncertainty and gives the consumer the perception that higher the price, better the quality.



06.16.05

Tips For Maintaining Client Relationships

By Erich Heintz

Customer Relations Is Not Just A "Sales" Function

Consulting is a service business and engineers, administrators and technicians are the heart of it. Sadly, too many of us see customer relations as a "sales" function. While the sales department can be very effective at generating leads and performing a lot of the up-front work that initiates a customer relationship, long term success depends highly on the implementers themselves.

Repeat Technology Services Business

Much of the repeat business that I get from clients comes not from "sales" beating them down with phone calls and emails, but by clients approaching me directly to satisfy newfound needs.

I'm proud to say that I have clients who refuse to deal with our sales department for any function other than signing contracts. These customers are no longer looking to be "sold" solutions; they come to me specifically to "buy" them.

If you are content with perpetual strings of one-off projects you can stop reading here. My focus is maintaining long standing relationships that produce reliable revenue streams.


Don't Be A Drone

Too many consultants show up, drop in a solution and leave, making no effort to establish a relationship with their client. Get to know the client and their business. Showing an interest in the client's work can not only help you develop a rapport, you may learn something as well. Being able to show up at a site, ask about the client's family AND being able to address their kids by name will help establish you as more than just the "computer guy". The "computer guy" is generally about as memorable as the "phone guy" or the "cable guy".

Be Flexible

Very few consultants are so good that they can get away with a "my way or the highway" attitude. There are a few out there and if you think you are one of them you probably stopped reading by now.

As a solution provider, your first effort should bring to your customer the best fix for their problem. Whether that fix is hardware, software, policy or procedure, there are almost always client considerations you weren't made aware of during design. Budget usually lands at the top of that list.

Rarely is there a single solution to a problem. Be able to provide options to your client. If they balk at your first solution, have alternative approaches ready to discuss and explain to them the tradeoffs involved. A client will always respect your efforts to work with them and meet all their needs, as opposed to just providing a canned solution.

Know When To Be Inflexible

When client constraints force a loss of proposed functionality be fully prepared to explain, or even argue, how the compromise will degrade or even nullify the effectiveness of your proposal. Implementing a poor solution because "the customer told you to" is a bad idea and will generally come back to haunt you.

If you have the flexibility, you may decide to decline a project because of too many forced compromises. Believe it or not, turning down work on principle will sometimes jostle the customer into accepting the original proposal, because they now see that you are looking out for their interests, not just billable hours. Once in a while, "my way or the highway" works.


If You Don't Know An Answer, Admit It

Too often when confronted with a client challenge consultants try to "fake" their way through an effort. While you may be able to get a way with this once (or even a couple of times), eventually it will catch up with you. I've found that most customers respond surprisingly well to "I do not know, but I will find out."

Any time you try to bluff your way through a scenario, you run the risk of being discovered. Once you break a client's trust, it's virtually impossible to regain it.

Keep Your Attitude In Check


Frustrations exist in every facet of business. Due to the need for customer interaction, consulting can be particularly stressful. There are ways to express dissatisfaction or frustration without blowing your top. When faced with a stressful situation, measure your words and your disposition carefully. Delivery is often more significant than the message. Carefully worded, you'd be surprised just what you can tell a client to go do with themselves, and get away with it.

Conclusion

There's no holy grail here, just a few nuggets of advice that I've come to realize in my own years as a consultant. I'm not giving any guarantees of success. If I could, I'd write a book and retire on royalties. What I can guarantee is long term survival in this industry hinges on established customers. Keeping these customers returning to you requires the same care and feeding as any other relationship.


About the Author:
Erich currently specializes in providing network and security solutions for small to medium businesses that frequently have to resolve the conflict of need versus budget. His commitment to precision and excellence is eclipsed only by his fascination with gadgets, particularly ones that are shiny, or that blink, or that beep. If you would like to contact Erich you can e-mail him at erich.heintz @ gmail.com. If you would like to know more about computer security please visit us at http://www.defendingthenet.com.

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