Blogging Success Stories and You Gotta Try!

Hello friends! It’s Jason with this week’s blog post.

Real World Stories of Blogging Making Things Happen

One of our goals for our blog this year is to tell more real world stories about the work we do. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard some great stories from our clients about things that have happened because we are blogging together.

DurvetWe’ve been blogging with Durvet for a couple of months now and they are already seeing great results. One of Durvet’s challenges over the years has been that a lot of people in Kansas City don’t know who they are or what they do. (They supply animal healthcare products on a massive scale out of their warehouse in Blue Springs.) Mark Niblo wrote one of the articles in their first month of blogging and somebody from the Kansas City Star saw it on LinkedIn. They contacted Mark to ask more about Durvet and they’ve decided to write a piece about Durvet for the Star.

Straub ConstructionWe’ve been blogging with Straub Construction for over a year. In last month’s blogging session, Ernie Straub mentioned that someone from the Kansas City Business Journal had recently given him a bunch of kudos for their blogging and social media efforts. Their impression was that Straub has really ramped up their presence on social media over the past few months and they’ve been seeing their stories on LinkedIn.

These are just two examples. Who knows what an article in the Star or visibility with the Business Journal might do for Durvet or Straub Construction. What I do know is that it makes conversations happens. It raises awareness. And it happens on a consistent basis.

CamelCamelCamel.comDo you love buying stuff from Amazon as much as I do? If you shop there often and haven’t heard of, you’ve gotta check it out. Did you know that Amazon changes their price on items multiple times a day based on purchase volume, number of views, etc.? can show you the price history for any item. You can see the highest price it ever sold for, the lowest price, and get a feel for what a good deal would be for an item. It’s amazing!

Our free price tracker monitors millions of products and alerts you when prices drop. Click To Tweet

I use the site in a couple of ways:

  • The easiest way is to click on the Popular Products tab. This will show you pages of products that are being bought the most by other shoppers. It also tells you if it’s a good deal or best price based on past pricing data. It’s a great way to browse current deals on Amazon.
  • The other way I use the site is to monitor the price of an item over time. For example, if I want to buy a 4K television, I find it on Amazon, copy the URL and paste it into I can then set up an alert to happen if the product drops below a price threshold (basically if it drops to a price I would be willing to pay for it.)

Try it out… you will love it.

Shameless Call to Action

We do three things really well:

If you or someone you know could use our help, I would love to talk to you about it!

It’s a fine line between showing you care and breaking your arm patting yourself on the back.

I was working with Greg and Jim at Straub Construction earlier this week on their June blog stories and some website updates when a simple truth hit me square in the face.

Before I share that idea, I need to give you some background.

DroneStraub is going to write a blog post celebrating 10 years in the headquarters building they built in Shawnee. I thought it would be really cool if they got some aerial drone footage of their building. Straub owns and operates a drone for their construction projects, but due to some recent firmware updates not working out as planned, it’s currently grounded. I offered to help them troubleshoot it because I own the same drone and also had some problems doing the updates (they were a pain but I figured it out.)

I also offered to bring my drone along, so regardless of whether or not we get theirs in the air, we can still capture the aerial footage using mine as a backup. I’m not going to charge anything because Straub is a monthly retainer client and they are good friends. It’s an investment in our relationship. But Ernie and Parker weren’t in the room at the time. And I realized that if I didn’t tell them the plan, they might never know how I was going to help out.

That’s when the simple truth hit me…

It’s important to tell your clients when you do something special for them.

I did some research on this with about a dozen different business owners. The majority agreed that they did things for clients that went unnoticed. And the sad thing is that it was usually because they forgot to make the client aware it even happened.

When your client is in the loop on what you’ve done, it reinforces the idea that you really care about them. That they aren’t just a number or a source of revenue for you. That you are doing things above and beyond the scope of your agreement because you appreciate their friendship and their continued business.

If you put in extra time for them but they don’t know about it, how can they appreciate the effort? If you take cookies to their office as a treat and the owner is out, take a selfie with the cookies and their smiling staff and send it to the owner. Again, it’s not about you asking for thanks, it’s about making sure they know how much you care.

I had a conversation with Ernie and Parker about helping with the drone video. I mentioned the idea that, “you gotta tell them when you’re doing stuff for them!” They both agreed. They do things on their job sites all the time that are above and beyond the scope of the project. And they try to make sure the developer knows about it. As always, Ernie said something that I just had to quote…

It's a fine line between showing you care and breaking your arm patting yourself on the back. Click To Tweet

Relationship BankI recognize it can be a fine line. But if you do it right, they will see how much you value the relationship.

Next time you do something special for a client, tell them why you did it and how much you appreciate their business. It’s another important deposit in the relationship bank.

6 Hidden LinkedIn Features That Shouldn’t Be Hidden

Post author: Mic Johnson

Full disclosure. I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I’ve been using it for the better part of the last 10 years…first as a recruiter and now as someone who trains others how to best leverage LinkedIn personally and professionally.

But I’ve never been a fan of the way LinkedIn makes it hard for people to see and do things that should be more prominent on the site. I hear the same feedback from people all of the time who say that LinkedIn isn’t user-friendly. That isn’t what you’d expect from a social network that’s been around for almost 14 years.

LinkedIn has all kinds of hidden features that shouldn't be hidden. Click To Tweet

With that in mind, I’m going to lift the veil on a few of those hidden features until LinkedIn makes them easier for everyone to find.

(NOTE: The features I’m highlighting are best viewed from a web browser (which is honestly where I still use LinkedIn the most) instead of their still-much-to-be-left-desired mobile app.)

Personalized LinkedIn Invitation1. Personalizing LinkedIn Invitations

This has been my #1 pet peeve with LinkedIn FOR YEARS. I have no idea why they won’t make it easier to personalize invitations. The way they have it set up currently DISCOURAGES engagement between LinkedIn users. Here’s the deal…

ConnectIf you click the blue CONNECT button just about anywhere on LinkedIn, it will automatically send the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message.

UNLESS you’re on someone’s profile (on a web browser), and click the button there, then you’ll see the option to personalize your invitation as shown in the image here. (Or, if you’re on mobile and you’re on someone’s profile, you can click the three little dots in the upper right hand corner for an option to personalize your invitation.)

What really bothers me is NONE of this isn’t intuitive.

Most people will see a big blue CONNECT button and just click it….which is why all of us get countless impersonal “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” messages from people we don’t know and wonder why they want to connect. #LinkedInFail

Which takes me to my next point….

Pending LinkedIn Invitations2. How to Reply to Invitation Requests From People and See If They Wrote You a Personalized Message

When you hover over the icon showing you have pending invitations and then click on the words “Pending invitations” you get a page with the photo of the people who have sent you invites. But you don’t see a message from them, do you? NOPE. Why?

How to see a LinkedIn messageBecause in order to see if they wrote a personalized message, you have to click the little “quotes” and then an expanded window pops open.

What makes this even worse is if someone wrote you a personalized message that you never saw because you just clicked “ACCEPT” or “IGNORE” instead of hitting the little quotes.

I can’t imagine the number of times personalized messages are being completely missed because of this LinkedIn “hidden feature.”

It discourages engagement and it’s not intuitive. #LinkedInFail

3. Update Your Privacy and Other Settings

Privacy and SettingsDid you even know this was possible? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably NO. Why?

Because it’s hidden underneath your small profile picture in the upper right hand corner and you have to click that image to see the privacy and other options.

Again, sensing a theme here? Not intuitive. #LinkedInFail

4. How Many LinkedIn Active Sessions Do You Have Going?

LinkedIn Active SessionsI just found this setting the other day. If you go into your Privacy & Settings and click on ACCOUNT, you’ll see “Where you’re signed in.”

When I did it, I had TEN active LinkedIn sessions going…and one was from 3 months ago!

You can easily sign out of unwanted active sessions here, so that’s awesome. But again, LinkedIn makes you hunt to find this hidden feature, and that’s why it earns the #LinkedInFail.

Most Recent Updates5. Top Updates vs. Recent Updates

This is one of my bigger pet peeves with LinkedIn. Like any effective LinkedIn user, I spend time engaging with my connections by viewing/liking/commenting on their updates that appear in my “HOME” feed.

Little did I know that LinkedIn has the default view set to “Top Updates” instead of “Recent Updates.”

If you click HOME and then look right under “Publish a Post”, you will see three little dots like you see in this image here. Then select Recent Updates. I found there were several updates from my network that I wasn’t seeing because of the default “Top Updates” setup.

Also, and even more annoying, if you click away from the home page to another part of LinkedIn and then come back…yep, you guessed it, it defaults back to Top Updates.

I’m not a fan of social networks (Facebook does this too) choosing what they think I want to see instead of the other way around. #LinkedInFail

LinkedIn Relationship Tab6.  Relationship Tab

When you’re on the profile page of one of your connections, tucked right underneath their photo is the Relationship tab. Most people, myself included, haven’t paid much attention to this section.

From here, you can jot down notes about the person, set follow up reminders and tag (put the person in a category such as “Prospects”) them so they can be included, and sorted, among your contacts.

This could be a great feature and used more often, but the way it’s laid out in LinkedIn makes it missed more often than not. #LinkedInFail

In summary, LinkedIn is one of the best tools out there for connecting with people in business, finding people you share in common with others, and consuming and sharing quality content.

But LinkedIn needs to spend more time making the user experience more intuitive and and stop forcing people to click around to find hidden features. Until that day comes,I guess I’ll keep writing about them.

What other LinkedIn hidden features have you found? What recommendations do you have to help them improve the end user experience? Share your Comments below for us and our readers…and, as always, thank you for your support of Blue Gurus!

How to Have Less Stress, More Time and a Happier Life

Post author: Mic Johnson

One of the items listed in my LinkedIn Summary reads as follows:

☑ Organized – My desk, my work, my email inbox, my car, my closet, my home….you name it, it’s organized. And I LOVE helping other people get organized.

As I wrote this post, I took a quick inventory:

My desk: I’m sitting at my “desk”, which is to say I’m at my home office…it’s me, my laptop, and my phone. It’s organized.
My work: I’m up to speed with my clients. I know what projects are due and when. My calendar is up-to-date and I know what appointments I’ve got coming up and what I need to do to prepare for each. It’s organized.
My email inbox: I have ZERO emails in my inbox. It’s consistently been that way for a good portion of my career. It’s organized.
My car:  There’s no trash on the floor…no wrappers, no receipts, no clothes, no packages…nothing. It’s clean. It stays that way. It’s organized.
My closet: The clothes are hung or folded neatly. The shoes are on the rack. The belts are hung up. The laundry is in the basket. It’s organized.
My home: Our home is clean. We have a cleaning crew come once a month to give it a good “once over.” And recently my lovely wife Missy and I gave the house a thorough deep cleaning. We don’t leave clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink, crumbs on the counters, the beds unmade, stacks of mail, or the windows dirty. It’s organized.

A disorganized desk, work life, email inbox, car, closet and home are just a few examples of things that subconsciously add to the unnecessary and often overwhelming levels of stress many people feel every single day.

As with anything in life you want to achieve, there’s no question it takes great discipline to consistently achieve the things I mentioned above. So why am I so passionate about being organized in work and in life? The answer is simple: Because it reduces stress, gives me more control of my time and leads to a happier life.


LessStressMoreTimeHappierLifeThat’s the equation. Learn it. Love it. Live it.

One of the most precious things we have in our lives is TIME. The more time you build into your life to do the things you want to do and with the people you want to do them with, the LESS STRESS you have and the HAPPIER you’ll be.

The myth and the negative record that plays over and over again in our heads is that we don’t have any control over our time.

But we do.

Think about it. Much of what is on your calendar each day/week/month/year are things YOU committed to, both personally and professionally, and oftentimes without ever giving a second thought on the impact it would have on your personal time and overall happiness.

Over the years, through countless career and personal choices, and by having a deep respect for the discipline it takes to get there, I’ve learned to greatly reduce, and in some cases completely eliminate, many of those daily stressors.

Here’s a few ways you can too:

Email Management
This is a big one for just about everyone. Yes, I check email several times throughout the day on my laptop and iPhone. I know some people schedule “email time” at points throughout the day. Whatever your method, it’s necessary if you want to consistently achieve as close to INBOX ZERO as possible. I check my email throughout the day and night. It doesn’t mean I’m not present when I’m doing other activities or don’t put my phone down for hours at a time.

Checking email regularly allows me to, as the Kansas City Royals mantra goes…keep the line moving. When I check emails, I reply, delete, file or forward them quickly. I also schedule emails ahead of time using Boomerang for Gmail if I know I want to reach out to someone or follow up with someone later in the week or month.

I also use (It’s FREE. Thank me later.) to bundle emails together and deal with them all at once. It also makes it SUPER EASY to unsubscribe from email newsletters I don’t want anymore or never signed up for in the first place.

It’s Ok To Say No
You don’t have to stay in the job that requires 65 hour work weeks and time away from your family. You don’t have to live in the house with all of the square footage you don’t use. You aren’t a bad parent if you don’t sign the kids up for every activity. You don’t have to buy the new, expensive car that gives you one more monthly payment to deal with. You don’t have to say yes to every social invite you receive. You don’t have to say yes to every project someone at work asks you to be a part of. You don’t have to say yes to every volunteer opportunity you’re approached about. You can tell someone you don’t have time to meet right now and schedule something 2-3 weeks out.

Look, all of those things may feel necessary or sometimes make you feel good, but they also take a lot of time. Make sure you feel good about the trade-off before you say YES. And don’t beat yourself up when you say NO. It’s ok.

Your Calendar Is Your Friend
I schedule EVERYTHING, both personally and professionally, on my Google Calendar. Sales calls. Follow ups. Client appointments. Birthdays. Reminders. Dinner dates. Writing blog posts. Vacations. Afternoons off. Royals and Jayhawk games. And on and on. I’m in my calendar several times a day adding items I need to stay on top of, follow up on, or want to remember.

Bottom line: If it’s on the calendar, it gets done. PERIOD.

Smart Scheduling
When you have appointments on your calendar or set up meetings with people, do your best to schedule them when you’re already going to be in that part of the city. Why not kill 2, 3 or even 4 birds with one stone? As an example, I recently set up a client appointment, a lunch, a sales appointment, and a happy hour all within a mile of each other.

I’m always courteous of the other person’s time and be sure to ask them where they’re coming from in the city and where they’re going after our meeting…and then we pick a convenient spot in between. Imagine the amount of time you will save if you focus on smart scheduling even for the next month. Try it!

Call Before Coffee 
Have you ever received an email introduction to someone that wasn’t very clear as to why you should meet? The conditioned response we’ve all had and heard a million times is “Let’s get together for coffee.” Think about that for a minute. You just agreed to drive 15-20 minutes both ways and spend a good hour with someone and you’re not even sure why.

I’m not saying I never do that, but if I’m not clear from the email introduction why someone thinks we should meet, I’ll often say “Hey, it’s nice to virtually meet you. Would you be open to scheduling an initial call to learn a bit more about each other? Then, if it make sense, we can schedule an in-person meeting at that time.”  This saves BOTH people time, especially if you find out (which has happened to me countless times) that neither of you are really in a place where you can help one another.

Just think about how much time this can save in a day, a week, a month and a year when you add up all of the drive time and meeting time!

Proactive > Procrastinate. If You Think It, Do It.
Keep things picked up around your house and office. Do the dishes after every meal. Go through the mail daily. Pay your bills as you get them. Schedule items on your calendar that need to get done. Create a file system at work/home and put files away you aren’t using. Hire a cleaning crew if you just can’t keep the house clean.

If you proactively do the daily tasks that need to get done, they won’t build up later in the week or month. If you think it, do it. Be proactive. Stop procrastinating.

Be Disciplined: Momentum Comes From Movement
I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating as it’s THE KEY to achieving anything you want to accomplish. You have to stay the course. You have to be committed to the change you’re seeking. If you slip up one day, keep going…tomorrow is a new day to start again. Momentum comes from movement.

What other tools and tips do you use to stay organized, save time and be happy in your life? These are just a few of the things I do. I’m always looking for ways to improve. Please share your ideas and suggestions below for me and anyone else who read this.

Avoid $1,000 fines for copyrighted images on your website with these three alternatives.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a significant increase in companies receiving legal nastygrams for using copyrighted images on their websites. These notices have been requests for payment anywhere from $800 to $1,200 for a single image. So what should you do to avoid copyright infringement?

We ask our clients to use photos that they’ve taken themselves for most stories to avoid this issue entirely. I also believe photos that you take yourself work better when trying to convey the emotion of a situation. But that’s not always possible, and sometimes you just forget to take pictures during the moment.

If you have to find something on the internet, I wanted to point you in a couple of directions for finding images that are royalty free for use on your website or in your blog posts. (Royalty-free refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.)


PixabayPixabay is a site full of royalty free images. The only trick is that search results begin with a row of sponsored images that you actually have to pay for. Just skip this row by scrolling down and get to the real results that you can use for free. Visit to try it out.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia CommonsWikimedia commons is a database of almost 30 million media files that can be used freely. Visit to see if you can find something useful.

Google Image Search with License Type Filter

I bet you’ve used Google Image Search before to find pictures for your website.

Did you know that the results that come back by default include copyrighted images? Probably.

Did you know that you can filter the results easily to include only images that are free to use however you want? Probably not.

All you have to do is go to and search. For this example, let’s use “social media” as the search term. Type in “social media” and click the search icon. On the resulting screen, you will see a toolbar at the top of the page before all of the search results. It’s always been there, you just might have missed it. Click the “search tools” menu.

Google Image Search

The “search tools” menu has a bunch of options in it like size, color, type, time, etc. Crazy, right? What we’re looking for is the “usage rights” menu. Click that and you will get a dropdown of options shown below. Click the “labeled for reuse with modification” and your search results will be filtered appropriately.

Google Image Search

I’m not your lawyer.

Grabbing images from the internet has some risk associated with it. But these free options seem to be great ways to avoid problems with copyrighted images.

How To Personalize Invitations On LinkedIn’s Mobile App

Post author: Mic Johnson

Ok, full disclosure here. I train people and companies on how to leverage LinkedIn both personally and professionally. And for a long time even I didn’t know how to do it. I looked and looked and couldn’t figure it out. But I knew there HAD to be a way to do it. All I knew was that it certainly wasn’t obvious. So I finally broke down one day and contacted LinkedIn directly and asked…

“Why can’t I customize LinkedIn invitation requests from your mobile app?”

Of course they replied back and said “You can” and went on to tell me how. I felt like an idiot, which I’m assuming isn’t how LinkedIn wants their users to feel. But I digress.

To prevent you from feeling like an idiot and to further prevent you from sending that mindbogglingly annoying and impersonal “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message ever again, here’s all you have to do:

1. Find a person’s profile on the LinkedIn Mobile App by searching for their name in the SEARCH box. Click on their name. It will take you to their personal profile. (Note: This is for the iPhone. I’m assuming Android devices are similar.)


LinkedIn Mobile Search

2. Click on the COMPLETELY UN-OBVIOUS three little dots in the upper right hand corner of the screen. DON’T CLICK ON THE COMPLETELY OBVIOUS BIG FAT BLUE CONNECT BUTTON because it will automatically send the aforementioned mindbogglingly annoying and impersonal “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message.


3. Choose CUSTOMIZE INVITE. Type your customized, personal, thoughtful invitation message and hit SEND.

Customized LI Invite

That’s it. So totally NOT OBVIOUS, right? One of these days LinkedIn will finally listen to my pleas to have customized invites be the default option anytime you click the BIG FAT BLUE CONNECT BUTTON.

But until then, at least now you know what to do. Happy connecting!

(Thank you to the awesome Jay Senter from the equally awesome Prairie Village Post for allowing me to use him to illustrate this tip for you! is a hyperlocal news site covering government, sports, events and business in northeast Johnson County, KS.)

Tech Talk: Using Gmail? Here’s How To Make Email Links Work In Your Web Browser

Author: Jason Terry

Hello friends! A couple of quick administrative items.

First, if you’re wondering about the results of the storytelling test I did in the Kansas Speedway blog post, I had more than 30 people contact me through phone calls, emails, text messages or in person that they’d read my article. (Thank you!) Some of them had their own stories about the Kansas Speedway. And 2 of those people I hadn’t had any communication with in more than 6 months. Success!

Second, I got a lot of positive feedback about my previous Tech Talk: Need to Take Better Screenshots? Please let me know if you’d like me to continue doing these Tech Talks once a month-ish.

Now on to the story.

Making Email Links Work In Your Browser When Using Gmail

GmailI can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Google Apps users struggle with email links in their web browsers. Until recently, I was one of them. I’d gotten used to right clicking the email address and copying it, then opening Gmail and starting a new email message. Then I pasted the email address into the recipient list. What a pain!

If you use Outlook, you simply click on an email address in your browser. Outlook opens, and a new message is automatically created with the email address filled in.

To see what your browser does, click on my email address:

But that’s not the default behavior if you’re using Gmail

If you’re using Gmail, and you click an email address in a browser, you might see a dialog pop up asking you to set up Microsoft Outlook or some other default mail program. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could click on the email address and your browser was smart enough to open a new Gmail message with the recipient address filled out?

The good news is, your browser can handle it with a little help

First off, if you’re using Google Chrome, you might have already figured out how to make this work… it’s in Google’s best interests to make their browser and their web based email system play well together. But if you use a different browser, or if you’re still having the problem I described above, then read on…

There are add-ons and extensions available for your web browser that will make email hyperlinks in web pages work properly! Even if you aren’t technical, you will be able to get this to work. Follow the appropriate link below for a good solution for your particular web browser.

Firefox: Changing Your Default Email Program
Opera: Gmail Compose Add-On
Chrome, Safari, Opera: Mail To Chrome Extension

I use Firefox a lot, so I followed the “Changing Your Default Email Program” instructions above to get the behavior I want when clicking an email link. It works perfectly!

Let me know if this helped you out. And thank you for reading our stories!

Do Not Disturb: The Life Changing iPhone Setting

Post author: Mic Johnson

GroupTextHave you ever been added to a group text and found yourself in “group text hell” when person after person responds back with “Awesome!”, “Great photo!”, “Cool!”, etc. and then your text notification goes off again and again and again and again and again?

(You know what’s REALLY fun? I typically have my phone on vibrate and my text notification is actually a series of 4-5 vibrations…so take that, and multiply it by the number of texts in a typical group text, and it sounds like I’ve got a bunch of bees having a party in my front right pocket.)

If you’ve ever found yourself in this annoying scenario, I’ve got great news for you. THERE’S A WAY OUT! (This is for iPhone users. It also has to be done on each specific group text. It doesn’t remember the setting for all future group texts.)

1. Click on the group text message.

2. In the upper right hand corner, you’ll see “Details”. Click on that.

DoNotDisturb3. You’ll see the list of all of the people included in the group text. Scroll down.

4. Get really excited as you realize that your life is about to change.

5. There it is…DO NOT DISTURB. Move the little slider over and you’ll get no more audio or vibrate notifications for the group text!

6. Compose yourself.

7. Wipe away the tears of joy.

8. Get on with your day!



Tech Talk : Need to take better screenshots? Snagit is your answer.

Post author: Jason Terry

We do a lot of work on computers, right? Document editing, emails, accounting, time and order entry and so many other daily tasks. Often, I find myself wanting to share something that I’ve seen on my PC. Or I might need a screenshot of an error message to forward on to support. But capturing the image is just the first challenge.

For the sake of walking you through this, I will assume you are using a PC.

On a PC, you take a screenshot by hitting the PRTSCN (PRINT SCREEN) key on your keyboard. It’s usually on the top right of your keyboard next to the function keys. When you click this button, it puts a copy of your screen into the computer’s memory as a picture.

Once you have your screenshot in memory, you have to open it in some kind of image editing program to do anything with it. So you might open the built in Windows image editor (which is not easy to use in my opinion) or maybe something more powerful like Photoshop Elements (that you can get for $65 on You create a new document and paste your image into it by hitting CTRL+V or using the menu and choosing Edit | Paste.

This process can be cumbersome and time consuming. There’s a better answer.

Snagit by TechSmith

Snagit - TechSmithSnagit is an excellent screen capture program that will make taking a screenshot easy and allow you to do some powerful things with your captured image as well.

  • You can capture just a portion of your screen.
  • You can capture a video of your screen as you guide someone through some steps and send that training video on to other team members.
  • You can capture an entire scrolling web page. (If you’ve ever tried to take a screenshot of an entire page on a website before, this feature will be worth the price of admission all by itself.)
  • You can also easily add arrows in your favorite color to point out an important aspect of the captured image.
  • You can add text and save your file to all the major image formats.

One of our goals in blogging is to save you time and help you be more efficient. If you take lots of screenshots in your weekly work, I encourage you to take a good look at Snagit. You can try a fully functional version of Snagit with a free trial for 15 days. If you like how it works, a copy of the software is $50. Mic and I both use Snagit on a regular basis. It’s paid for itself many times over!

Sales Conversations – Mastering the Art of Shutting Up

Hi friends!  It’s Jason with this week’s blog post.

I was talking with a bunch of business owner friends last Friday about sales process, relationship, referrals and more.  A part of the conversation centered on how easy it is to talk too much about features and benefits during a sales call.  Every single business owner in the room agreed with this philosophy.

I’ve learned over the years that it’s important to let the person you are talking with speak.  That might sound silly and obvious, but you’d be surprised how often we mess that up.  In other words my sales calls are actually sales conversations, and as a result, I believe more effective.

Sales conversations with one person

If I’m meeting with one person, they usually end up asking questions after I’ve finished the intro about our services.  They share their personal experiences with similar situations in the past.  They tell me what they think about the pain of maintaining a website with a company that won’t call them back or is charging them too much.  They talk about the fact that they know they need to be blogging but just can’t seem to get started or keep the effort going.  The answer to their question is almost always, “Yes. We can do that.”  I might expand on how a bit, but it’s important to get back to the place where they are talking.

Sales conversations with a group

The idea of letting your potential new client drive the sales conversation is even more effective when it involves two or more people.  Inevitably, the group begins talking about their pain and why they need help.  And all too often they haven’t really talked that much amongst themselves prior to our meeting, so important details come out during the conversation.  Too much work.  Not enough support.  Problems with leadership getting on board.  Unfulfilled promises from previous vendors.  The list goes on and on.

The Art of Shutting UpMastering the Art of Shutting Up

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve won a new client by talking less.  And if you know me at all, you know I love to talk.  And I get passionate about helping people and can’t wait to tell them how things could be better.  So this is something I really have to work at!  Being quiet is a learned behavior for me.

Sure, I start out the conversation with what we do, how it works, pricing, etc.  The nuts and bolts of our services.  But then the magic happens.  They. Start. Talking.

They start talking individually or as a group and it’s an awesome feeling when they make a decision to work with us by the time they’re done.  I answer questions along the way, and definitely offer bits and pieces of advice about things they hadn’t thought of or didn’t know existed, but generally I let them drive the conversation.

The hard part is biting my tongue when I think of something additional to tell them… because they’re still talking.

What do you think?  Have you had any experiences with this?  Do you like the idea?  Will you try it next time you are meeting with someone?  I’d love to hear from you!