Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Many Ways Building Business Relationships is Like Online Dating


                                   

If you are like me, you or someone you know is divorced, widowed or never been married. At sometime during their dating experience, they have (and certainly I have) dabbled in the "online experience". However, most of my friends are sorely disappointed in the results. Why? Because to give you the unvarnished truth...people lie!

How does this correlate with building business relationships? You might be surprised....let's take a peek, shall we? 


Little White Lies

When you misrepresent your age, weight, job and education, you are creating mistrust right from the start. Here are two quick stories: 

I have a friend that recently took out a woman who said she was college educated. When they sat down to dinner, he asked her what college she attended. She said, "Oh I never went to college, but I want to date college educated men so I put that on my profile." 

Another friend went to pick up his date at her home. When she came to the door, she was about 125 pounds heavier than her photo. 

What is the Impact? 

You know this...little white lies (or outright lies) lead to mistrust. Neither one of those ladies was able to recover or explain away their lies. 

What about you? Are you promising things your company cannot deliver? Misrepresenting your product line or yourself? 

Anytime there is conflict in your message, whether it be online, on the phone or in person, you create mistrust. You can't recover. 

You Need to be Able to Communicate Well on All Levels

I have dated men who seemed very interesting via email communication and on the phone, but when it came to the face-to-face encounter they could not carry on an interesting conversation. In addition, I have received email messages from men who communicate like they are texting or ignore the spell check option on the system. This spells one thing: L-A-Z-I-N-E-S-S. 

In business, is it important to communicate well on all levels: email, texting, on the phone and in person. If you lack skills in one or more of these areas, work toward a professional polished image in 2015. 

Don't Make It All About You

It still amazes me the number of men I have gone out with that do all the talking on our first date. They tell me all about their ex, their children, their work, their lot in life and it drones on. Very few of them ask about me - or if they do it is almost an afterthought. 

In business, you need to ask good, qualifying questions. And then you need to shut up and listen. This is true of relationships as well. You don't want to spend time with someone who you are not compatible with; either personally or professionally. If you don't have what a client needs or wants, move on. But the only way you are going to know this is if you ask good questions. 

About De-de Mulligan & Mulligan Management Group, LLC

I specialize in building relationships with my clients to maximize their exposure in the digital world. As a successful entrepreneur and accomplished writer, I work hard telling my clients' stories and presenting a consistent message that is truth tested. Please give me a call at 330-472-7673 if I can help tell your company's story. 

Yes, I have tried all the online dating sites as well...(sigh)...with no success. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Starting up at a Start Up

Classroom preparation only prepares you so much for work place tasks with very little discussion about the intangible skills that make people successful. Much of the education I have received this far has been mainly content driven with the basic applications incorporated in some of the class where the teacher actually knew how to apply their masters degree, or PhD. Working at Mulligan Management Group has allowed me to integrate the knowledge I have acquired by being able to put into practice many of the definitions and techniques I have learned. There are 3 main areas that relate most to my education, and what I am obtaining more insight into. 

Market Research
Research is more than just typing something into Google and  seeing what pops of on the first page. Its about knowing what exact words to use to help narrow down sometimes broad searches, and where to dive a little deeper to find valuable content. Once finding something of significance its about understanding what you have just taken in to make an analysis. I practice this approach everyday on the job. This is something I continually get better through repetition and fine tuning my techniques. 

Building Brand Awareness
One of the daily tasks I am assigned is obviously to do research, so I get to see the full spectrum of how a company, or brand is  portrayed. Consumers only know what they know as cliché  as that sounds, and if your a small business chances are they have never heard of you before. What Mulligan Management Group has been teaching me is how to promote your business in the correct manner through social media channels to accurately illustrate the values of your company.
 
The Art of the Deal
No matter what industry your in everyone is going to be selling something which is the reason why I am going to school for it. When approaching a deal it should never be about trying to get the best scenario for your own interest. Its about finding the middle ground where it is a win win for everyone. Mulligan Management Group highlights this and has there own style to approaching a deal, and I have mine. Getting to see the process in action is extremely valuable and a tremendous learning experience.

To reach me or learn more about Mulligan Management Group, call De-de Mulligan at 330-472-7673.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Guide to Connectivity - Cell Data or Wi-Fi?



So with all the bells and whistles associated with smartphone technology, why would you need meeting room Wi-Fi when a data plan is so easily available and accessible on your phone, and they both provide Internet service? 

This series of articles will address the most basic to the most complex information about meeting room connectivity to put you in the driver’s seat when talking with your internal team, venue or prospective clients.


Meeting Room Connectivity - 6 part Series


Here is a summary of what you will learn in this 6-part series on meeting room connectivity: 


Part 1: Cellular Data Service versus Wi-Fi: What is the difference? Part 2: Basic definitions of Wi-FiPart 3: Evaluating a venue’s Wi-Fi system and where to go for additional capacityPart 4: How to be RFP and contract smart when it comes to Wi-Fi Part 5: Creative ways to pay for Wi-FiPart 6: MiFi, LiFi and other bandwidth alternatives

What is Cellular Data Service?


Data Service is the transmission of non-voice data via a smartphone. This is an extra-cost, limited service beyond voice calling and texting (which usually are unlimited). The primary types of cellular data usage are e-mail messages and Web pages. 
Accessing video, email and the web are through your cell phone provider’s network and do not require a router or Wi-Fi. 


What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a wireless local area network that is connected to a router and allows any electronic device to exchange data wirelessly over a computer network, such as a high-speed Internet connection. A device that uses Wi-Fi in a meeting can be a laptop, iPad/tablet or smartphone connected to the network via an access point. 
With Wi-Fi, you access the available networks, choose from those listed and enter a password. 


Data Driven Differences between Cell Services and Wi-Fi

SPEED


According to WeFi, a data intelligence technology company, on average Wi-Fi is 69% faster than cellular networks when it comes to loading websites, streaming videos or sending email messages. 
In a meeting environment, the last thing you want attendees to experience is the ominous circle of wait on their phone or the message “page loading”. With the correct Wi-Fi configuration, you will know ahead of time that the bandwidth you have, is all you need. 
Data-heavy apps such as video or complex presentations are going to work much better on Wi-Fi due to its overall availability.


COVERAGE


Wi-Fi is as prevalent as cell phone coverage and in some areas, may be more available as it continues to pop up in more locations every day. 


COST

If attendees are expected to use their own data plans to access the meeting apps, realize that
1) a subset of meeting participants may not have a data plan and 2) they may not be happy you are asking them to use their data plan for your conference.


Since data plans can run $80-100 per month for a limited chunk of data, they may leave your conference with overages or no data coverage left for that month. 


Wi-Fi is usually available at the meeting venue and if it is not enough bandwidth, you can always look at bandwidth booster rental units. In addition, it is usually free to attendees or it can be integrated into sponsorship or registration fees.


SECURITY

According to a 2012 Cisco survey, over 50% of respondents felt that Wi-Fi was more secure than cellular because the security settings were stronger.
At a meeting, cell data coverage can be compromised because the networks are public. Wi-Fi access requires a sign-in and password both into the network and into the meeting. 


RANGE

Wi-Fi is limited to so many feet of the router and when you are out of range, the service is unavailable. Cell data plan is limited to the network of the cell provider, which covers about 95% of the country.Now that you understand the differences between cellular data and WiFi, don't forget to check out Part 2 of this series on Wi-Fi terminology. 

Check out the rest of the series at:  http://computerrentals.com/articles/dede-mulligan-author.php


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guide to Connectivity - Evaluating WiFi Systems Part 3 | CRE Rentals - Technology Rental Company

Blog I wrote about connectivity in Meetings



Guide to Connectivity - Evaluating WiFi Systems Part 3 | CRE Rentals - Technology Rental Company

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

David vs. Goliath: What to do When Your Business is More Like David



We all know and love the Biblical story of David and Goliath. It is just human nature to root for the underdog and hope they win. After all, there are times we have felt our company just isn't big enough or bright enough to compete efficiently in this "The World is Flat" marketplace.

To this I say: Hogwash.

Small businesses makes up the largest segment of the US economy, but many small business owners I know have an complex when it comes to marketing their products and services. Sure we are not IBM, Apple or Wal-Mart. But we have something they don't have - agility, creativity and the ability to bring our offerings to the marketplace that much quicker.

So, let's look at the 5 P's in marketing and see where you stand:

PRODUCT

What products and services do you currently offer? Are they exactly the same as the "Goliaths" in your marketing space? If so, now is the time to either enhance that offering through innovation or kill that product offering. Let's face it: you are not going to win on price, so it might be time to spend money or streamline your offerings.

When Apple was a small company, they didn't try to compete with the dot-matrix printer, they came up with a better offering, the laser printer. They decided not to become an open source system - they controlled application development through propriety interfaces. They didn't try to compete with IBM; they segmented their product to people who would use and love them - teachers and graphic designers - two of their segments who still almost exclusively use their products.

PRICE

Your price can't be higher if you offer the same product as the big guys. You either need to offer the same thing at a lower price or step up your offering. This is a binary equation. MORE VALUE = HIGHER PRICE or EQUAL VALUE = LOWER PRICE.

PROMOTION

How you promote and where you promote your services should match your niche market. Hopefully by now you realize you cannot be everything to everyone. The more you refine your target market, the easier it is to come up with promotions to match that market.

The big guys have the money to conduct million dollar marketing campaigns. You don't. Stick to what works, get rid of what doesn't and measure results. That's what is so great about PPC advertising on social media. You can refine your target and only pay for the clicks received.

PLACE

Do people have to come to you or do you go to them? Do you have a store front or can you work from your home?

If you have a store or office, make certain everything is looking fantastic. In the town I live in, we actually still have an independent book store (I know - hard to believe). Anyway, it was small and crowded with lots of foot traffic and tons of books...everywhere. The new owner took over and what did they do? They got rid of that cluttered feel and now the store looks empty! When you ask for a particular book, they say "we can order it for you". Well I can do that...through a company called Amazon!

Make sure your place has the feel the customers want.

PEOPLE

This, above anything else, is going to make or break your company. Are you and your people friendly and responsive? Do you know what you are doing? Do you follow-through?

My dentist has an automated service and they called my phone last month reminding me that my son had not been to see them in several months. When I called back to schedule an appointment, I received a snippy person who said "your son has missed too many appointments and you will have to keep calling back to see when we have an opening." Now hold on - YOU called me! Needless to say, I am taking my business and my other son's business away from them. All because of an unfortunate encounter with someone who was more interested in filling appointments with "credible" clients than with my family.

I belong to a professional organization and the administrator is constantly saying, "that isn't my responsibility, you need to talk to ________________." NO, you need to talk to ______________. You need to understand that once you send out an email, it has your stamp of responsibility on it.

People. Above all, people make the difference.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

5 Fabulous Questions to Ask Your Social Media Agency




How do you go about choosing a digital marketing company? Do you base your decision on price, value, service, or experience? 

During the last few years, a plethora of new "Social Media Experts" have hit the market, intended to improve your company's search ranking and brand awareness. But with all these choices coupled with the decision criteria above, what organizations are best equipped to provide you with the best solution

Here is a 5-point checklist to help you sort out the various organizations and choose the right one:

Tip #1: Look at the Stability of the Organization. 

Ideally, you want to work with a company that has been in business for at least 3 years. Here are some other items to consider:


  • Number of Years in Business, more than 3
  • Expansive Customer List
  • Annual Revenue and
  • Longevity of the Leadership Team
Tip #2: Vet Them. 
Make sure you choose a company that has a proven track record in providing the type of services you need.

Check out the following:

  • Talk to the C-Level Executives
  • Ask for References and call them
  • Look at Testimonials on Website and on LinkedIn
Tip #3: Single Source Provider.
Give the organization a complete listing of your needs and see if they can do it. Find out who they will subcontract with if they cannot meet all your needs and vet the subcontractor too. Regardless of the source, make certain the company you contract with will manage and be responsible for any questions or issues that arise. 

Tip #4: Look at their total support package.
  • Customer service, how fast do they return your calls and emails?
  • Do they resolve client issues quickly and completely?
  • Do they provide project management services?
Tip #5: Team Player.  

The company needs to work well with your team. It is vital that your partner communicate well and have a "can do" attitude during the planning and execution process of your all important digital presence.

Mulligan Management Group, LLC can meet all 5 criteria and is most interested in gaining your business. Give us a call at 330.472.7673 to learn more about how we can help you be very successful with your online initiatives.