Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Fun Facts!

  • Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.
  • The world’s largest Christmas present was the Statue of Liberty. The French gave it to the US in 1886. It is 46.5 meters high and weighs 225 tons. Talk about a big gift!
  • The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.
  • The name Santa Claus was created by the Dutch who settled in the New York region of America, the term Sinterklaas, the Dutch name for St. Nicholas, was Americanized to produce the name Santa Claus.
  • Over 45,000 multi-colored LED lights adorn the 76 foot tall Norway Spruce in Rockefeller Center. Interestingly, the very first tree at Rockefeller Center was unadorned. Construction workers placed a bare tree there at the center of a construction site in 1931.
  • Approximately 30-35 million living Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S.  And on that note, Teddy Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree from the White House for environmental reasons.
  • Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.
  • According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.
  • Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870. Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday in 1836, and Oklahoma was the last to declare it in 1907.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Proverbs to Live by in Business

5 Ways to Kill a Business Deal

He who fails to prepare, prepares to fail.
Let’s face it, ‘winging it’ hasn’t worked since high school and even then I can recount the numerous times I’ve flopped a big presentation or bombed a quiz because I wasn't fully prepared. When it comes to business lack of preparation only leads to embarrassment, angry customers, and empty pockets.

VP of Sales Ken McCormack says it best, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight." First impressions count so always put your best foot forward. Whether you are sending out a quote or attending a sales meeting, sometimes you only get one chance to make or break a sale. It is important that you not only understand your customer's needs, but also address any potential concerns. When you are prepared, you appear more professional, intelligent and competent.

For example, if you are meeting with a CTO or CIO, make sure you bring a sales engineer; if you are meeting with a Fortune 500 company, then bring your VP. Use your resources as a competitive advantage.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
Kids are question-kings and masters of nagging. They are resilient and will stop at nothing until they get what they want. So what happened to that courage, that no holds barred, ask anything attitude? Now, as adults, we’d rather spend countless hours spinning our wheels and coming up with excuses rather than to simply 'just ask'. So why the hesitation? For some it may be fear of rejection or embarrassment, and for others, just plain ego. Regardless, I bet for every ‘no’ you've received, you've received triple, if not quadruple, the yes’es. So the next time you want something or have a question, what’s the harm in asking? Asking is a skill that functions like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger you get.

The early bird catches the worm.
Does ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ sound all too familiar'? Don’t let procrastination run your life. Success comes to those who act on what they want today, not tomorrow. Some opportunities are only available to the first competitors.

Honesty is the best policy.
Don't make promises unless you can keep them. Reliability is critical to any good relationship. It is important that you deliver on your promise and if you cannot for any reason, address the situation (be honest and upfront no matter how difficult it can be), and determine why you failed so it can be prevented in the future.

Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. Respect is perhaps the most important component in any successful relationship, whether business or personal. Respect is not given, it is earned.

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