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Archive for May, 2007

We are OFF today!

We are enjoying a relaxing long weekend here and today is day 3.

See you tomorrow!

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Penelope Trunk is a career columnist and author of the book Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success. She writes for the Boston Globe and Yahoo Finance and her syndicated column has run in more than 200 publications providing unique and often provocative opinions to the new generation of career seekers. Guy Kawasaki has a 10 question interview with her posted on his blog – another great 5 minute read.

While we do post links to, and suggest, other people’s blogs and articles keep in mind that we do not necessarily agree with every point of view we link to. The purpose of this is to provide material we find interesting for you to peruse and possibly discuss within your own circles, with us and other readers via the comments section, or just to use for general information in your activities.

Having said that, let us explain why we think new generation career counseling information might be useful. While it may not apply to you directly it might help you analyze a new job applicant. Are they old school? Have they taken the time to up date themselves? Etc.

Let us know what you think.

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Selling to Big Companies is another blog we read regularly. The writing style is fresh, links are plentiful, and resources abound. If you are looking for a little kick in the pants, want to improve your sales figures, overcome bad habits, and have a good chuckle then check out Jill Konrath’s Selling to Big Companies web site and blog. We’ve read her book by the same name and it’s worth way more than it costs!

She just posted an article we received by email earlier this week called 3 Strategies for Curing Connectile Dysfunction. Check it out!

Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies, helps sellers crack into corporate accounts, shorten sales cycles and win big contracts. She is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events

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There you are having a (insert beverage of choice) with your colleagues and you decide to tell them about an idea you had last night. As they sit there staring at you one of them will inevitably say something like “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard”. Then someone follows by saying “No, no wait, I think that’s really cool” and then the rest kind of hum and haw between the two extremes. Now what?

Well, this is where the entrepreneurs get separated from the ‘wannabes’. Listen and maybe even note what everyone had to say, do some basic research, ask some more people what they think, do more research and continue with what feels right – and makes sense. It’s your dream, your idea.

Here is another article by Guy Kawasaki along these lines. Enjoy!

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We have received a few comments via email over the last few days, and some more daring people even clicked the chat button and spoke to us in person, all asking where we are headed with this blog and with our project altogether. This Monitor with staticimmediately tells me two things: people are reading what we write here and this space definitely needs a bit more organization!

Have no fear, ReLP is here (to stay)! A blog is a great way to voice whatever is on one’s mind and we decided to use it to keep you updated on our product progress, share ideas on how a live customer support tool should be used, link to interesting articles we come across on the web, and even use it as a discussion platform with all of you.

Please bear with us as we get all this sorted out here. Tags, categories, links, the web site, and more are all being worked on but could easily be another full time job. Unfortunately we aren’t there yet so while we’re writing this here, we aren’t doing some other tasks like sales!

Your feedback is always appreciated and we do respond to everyone. In the meantime we’ll post some good articles we came across in the last few days.

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Let’s carry on from last week with a generic example. Providing live customer support right off your website is pretty much the only tool you haven’t tried yet. Your site looks great, traffic is moving through, and sales are anywhere from non-existent to steady. Whatever the situation, the question remains: How can sales be increased? Well, most online sales people will say “drive more traffic”. OK, while that isn’t entirely wrong there are a couple of better options you should try.

In our example we said your site has good traffic flow but is it qualified or targeted traffic? It’s nice to say there are X number of visits per day but if you are selling widgets and those people are looking for gizmos then multiplying those visits isn’t going to help one bit. What you need is targeted traffic, the more qualified the better. That way you can be sure that the visitors you are getting are indeed looking for widgets and your chances of making sales will increase. Now top that off with our Real-e-Live People™ application and extend a warm greeting with an offer of personal assistance to those visitors as they arrive and you’ve got a winning combination. The one stumbling block that remains is you are just to busy with your other duties to monitor your site and have no one else to delegate this to. Well, did you know that you could outsource your live support service?

There are numerous companies that offer the service of taking your live support calls for you. Some just take a message (qualified lead generation) and others go so far as to actually act as representatives of your business and handle the sales for you. Real-e-Live People™ is not yet affiliated with any such company but a quick search in your favorite engine will find you a bunch of results.

Another option along these same lines is much like time sharing. In the case of ReLP, you would get the benefit of having your website traffic monitored and qualified leads generated without bearing the full cost of the monthly service. This falls between outsourcing and pay-per-click, which we’ll cover in a moment, but is a little more delicate to set up. In one live case we have running right now in a small, highly competitive, tourist based location 1 service company has obtained Real-e-Live People™ and actually monitors their competitors websites! Of course they have their permission and charge them a small monthly fee plus commission. Previous to ReLP coming into town these small businesses would refer clients to each other for a fee anyways so this deal wasn’t to hard to set up. Now many of them benefit from having their site monitored on top of regular sales without bearing the full cost of the service and related manpower and all have seen revenues rise in the short period that Real-e-Live People™ has been installed.

The last option we have is pay-per-click and works exactly the same way as other programs you may know by the same name. There are no monthly service fees until a visitor responds to the chat invitation or clicks the chat button on your site. The only up front fee is opening a balance on your account from which we debit the fees of the clicks. This way you do not need to lay out the cost for a monthly service and can control you spending budget by topping off your account when funds allow. Although this is the least costly way by which to get into a business class live customer support program, most people quickly exceed their monthly budgets and, because they see the revenue potential in answering more calls, they quickly migrate to our monthly flat fee service.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a configuration scenario for your web based business, please feel free to get in touch with us!

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If you have decided that having live customer support on your website(s) is THE only real way to increase your conversion rate, but find that the 24 hours in your day are all booked, or you don’t have the resources, or can spare an additional expense; don’t worry! ReLP is here to help!

First of all your site may very well be churning out sales all on its own and you are quite happy the way things are; great! However, you may have noticed that only at certain pages or stages in your checkout process does the abandon rate overshadow the transition. So instead of trying to rebuild those sections and taking time testing the outcome, try monitoring only those troublesome pages of your website and offer up live help only when it is really needed. This way you act as a positive catalyst and can then send yet another client on his way to completion instead of hand-holding through an entire process which rolls fairly smoothly on its own anyway. The Real-e-Live People™ monitoring module may not even be necessary if a very attractive live help icon is created and strategically positioned. This will help cut your cost as you could choose between our Lite or Standard edition consoles.

Another scenario could be creating a new position within your business. I know, I know, I started off writing about a lack of resources but hear me out. After some quick calculations, and maybe even a trial period, the success this new employee could achieve will most likely outweigh their cost. It could be said Real-e-Live People™ is self-financing! Depending on what your offer is, the first transaction may cover your monthly ReLP service fee and be making you some money already; and that is with just 1 transaction. Our automobile dealership, real estate, and travel industry clients love their Real-e-Live People™ consoles for this.

Tomorrow (sorry!) Monday we’ll look at outsourcing, pay-per-click, and ‘time-sharing’ your live support.

See you then!

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