Photographers of my generation (40 or older) remember photography as a two-sided coin. There was the taking of the picture; be it sports, nature, or whatever. But there was also the developing of the picture; be it B/W, slides, or color. Cameras, light meters, and flash units were expensive, but that was still only half the cost of a true photographer. Many photographers, myself included; had almost as much invested in their darkroom as they did in camera gear.It was a sad day; when in college, they announced it would be their last year of having a darkroom. It felt like they had ripped one of my arms out. It felt like half of everything I knew suddenly was irrelevant and unimportant. It made me question the rest of my photography experience as well. I mean; if they got rid of darkrooms, could traditional photography be that far behind? At that point; I asked myself, “Have I wasted 20 years of my life?”The answer to that question for me and several million others out there is a resounding, “NO!” We have not reached the end of the road. We have entered a new chapter in the book of life and for many of us this is where the story gets really exciting. The mechanics of good photography involve knowing the mechanics of good art. Regardless if you use 35mm, digital, or even video you still need to know things like: the rule of thirds, framing, and depth of field. Light, lines, and balance have much more to do with “how” you see verses “what” you see with.The same is true of the digital darkroom that we call the computer. Photography is still a two- sided coin. There is taking the picture and there is enhancing the picture. Before we used enlargers, timers, and chemicals; now we use, computers, software, and media card readers. It may all be overwhelming at first (I know it was for me.) But look at it this way; after two or three hours at your computer, have you ever been told you smell like chemicals?Skills like cropping, dodging and burning are still used in all major photo-editing software. In fact, the things that would have taken hours in the darkroom can often be done in seconds. When it comes to dodging (making a certain area lighter) things have become incredibly easier. How many of you still have half a dozen specialized dodging tools laying in a closet somewhere? If you wanted to combine images in a darkroom it took hours to produce and years of experience to make it look real. Now a days, two or three images can be combined in just minutes and still look VERY realistic!If you remember back to how long it took you to master your darkroom skills, it probably won’t take you as long to learn new computer skills. For those of you who are hesitating because of cost; I can remember spending $1500.00 to set up a darkroom and thinking that was a good deal. At today’s prices, you can get a really good computer and excellent photo-editing software for less money than that.We who have documented the past must embrace the future. Photography is NOT a dead and buried art form. Every advertiser still uses photography. Every high school student still wants senior portraits. Every Mother still wants a photo of her new born baby. The need for good photography has not disappeared, it has simply evolved. If every mechanic quit; every time a new car was introduced, the world would be in big trouble. Do not fear the future, be the future. Show the world that creativity never dies, and join us in the digital age.
There’s a saying experienced sales leaders have that goes like this: “You lose more sleep over the ones you don’t fire than the ones you do.” It’s never easy deciding when to let a challenged sales professional get on with his or her life, but that decision should drive your hiring and staffing decisions.Successful staffing, quality leadership and a fit culture help to ensure that every staffing investment is a good one. I’ve hired hundreds of sales professionals over the years, and I’ve developed a proven line of questioning that helps to ensure good staffing decisions and quality sales success results.There are a load of areas to explore and fundamental (behavior based) questioning is important. By behavior based questioning, I’m talking about asking the candidates to speak about their specific successes, failures, sales scenarios and the like — so that the discussion is not abstract. It’s nonsense the way some hiring managers allow the discussion to be hypothetical in nature.In addition to covering the basics needed to ensure the creation of a TEAM with chemistry, appropriate educational, sales training and work experience and a passion for the customer, I like to ask the individual hire candidates the following set of questions.Let me state the questions, and then I’ll give you some information on how to correctly use them and how to gauge the responses. While the answers may be important, the reasons behind why and how they approach the questioning is what really matters to me. The questions are designed to provide insight into five very important areas: organizational skills, aggressiveness, professionalism, ability to take direction and integrity.On a scale of 1-10, how organized do you think you are?On a scale of 1-10, how aggressive do you feel you are?On a scale of 1-10, how professional do you think you are?On a scale of 1-10, how good are you at taking direction?On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your integrity levels?Each question should be asked individually and followed up on PRIOR to moving on to the next question. Anytime someone answers below an 8, they better have a skewed measuring perspective or they are not going to cut it working for me.On a scale of 1-10, how organized do you think you are?Regardless of their answer follow-up with “Why so?” Their answer will divulge if they have a skewed measuring perspective, and that will need modified in order to correctly place them on your scale. For instance, if they think 5 is good — help them to understand that this is a competitive marketplace and 7 probably is not going to allow them to succeed.In today’s fast paced world, organized sales professionals succeed more often than unorganized ones. Just like the days of the hard charging, chain smoking, heavy drinking sales rep are long gone, so are the days of sales reps being unorganized. An unorganized sales rep will either be slow to respond to customers or a bottle neck internally, and neither of those scenarios bode well for you hitting your number or enabling sales success within your company.On a scale of 1-10, how aggressive do you feel you are?Why so? If they are not an 8 or higher, are they really going to have the courage to ASK tough questions? Remember, you have to A-S-K to G-E-T and sales professionals need to be aggressive.I’ll share a quick story with you. I once had a customer call and say that the sales rep was too aggressive. I apologized to the customer and then I went and gave the rep a raise. Forgive me, but the business of selling is not for the bashful.On a scale of 1-10, how professional do you think you are?Why so? Your industry or market may not require professionalism. But if I am hiring aggressive sales reps, I want them to know how to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the expectations of the specific marketplace. Base your needs on your specific market’s culture and norms.On a scale of 1-10, how good are you at taking direction?Why so? Now let me start by saying that if any of the previous 1-10 questions were not answered with a number, I don’t care how high they proclaim their ability to take direction — because they have not demonstrated this quality with the answers to the previous questions. I’m a big fan of Situational Leadership, and if they have the skills and commitment to do the job, most times you only need to point them in the right direction and get out of the way. But anything less and you had better be hiring folks who can follow your lead.On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your integrity levels?Why so? Look, no one is perfect so I’m not looking for a 10 here. We all make mistakes and I am more concerned with their respect for doing what is right than I am with them trying to con me into thinking they’re a saint. If they are telling me their perfect, they’ll probably be telling my customers that we are perfect as a company — and I would rather have sales reps who know how to sell reality not a dream or an expectation we cannot fulfill.All responses in an interview setting should be fairly concise. If the candidate is blathering on and on without logic and purpose, they’ll soon be doing the same thing in front of your customers — if you hire them.Finally, keep in mind that many times superstar sales reps are a big pain in the butt internally. And they’re worth it. The passion they demonstrate internally is the same passion they are showing your prospects and customers, and that means results and sales success.
What Makes Sydney So Travel-Friendly
Sydney in Australia is among the top tourist spots in the world. Well, why not? It has some of the most sought after travel destinations to begin with. But what is most admiring about this cosmopolitan city of Australia is that it is actually travel-friendly.Sydney offers a lot of recreational pursuits, along with valuable assistance for its city tourists. Just one more trivia, Sydney is ranked first for quality of life in the Asia Pacific region. Here are some of the reasons why people keep on flocking this popular city.Shopping is fun and varied!
Sydney’s Darling Harbour and/ The Rocks are some of the finest shopping areas in Australia. You can find a variety of goods that are truly Australian. It also serves as a form of family recreation as your bonding time. In fact, one can go cruising along Sydney Harbour, as this place offers ferry rides and top notch extravagant cruises.Dining and Food are culturally rich
Australia has one of the highest levels of cultural diversity in the world. Because of this, even their cuisine has evolved into richer fusions of taste to accommodate the varied roots of people. In Sydney, you can find a series of restaurants and dining areas offering Indian, Asian, Chinese, and Mediterranean menu to satisfy your taste buds. Of course, the popular pick for a main course would always be Australian’s very special seafood. The Sydney Harbour, and the high-rise buildings offer tempting meals. For casual, more outdoor-style of food trip, the Darling Harbour and The Rocks are the places to go.Sydney Hotels range from affordable to luxurious
From drive inns, to medium-range accommodation, up to five star types of hotels, the city offers so much of these. You can also find resorts and hotels that cater to both leisure and business travel. Sydney hotels often provide guest airport transfers, and guided tours for people.
Boost Your Sales Force Productivity With CRM Technology
Increase Your Sales Force Productivity with CRM TechnologyIn today’s business environments, CRM implementations have a broad range in both their acceptance and also the reach of their deployments. Some organizations have yet to discover CRM Software, while others could never imagine how they could operate their business without it. CRM Software, at its core, is the technology that brings sales, marketing and customer service departments together to make sure that everyone knows what is transpiring inside of an organization. Let’s examine how this technology can be a huge factor in making your sales force is more productive and connected.Different Roles, Different NeedsWhen we look inside of a typical company’s sales department, one sees three major resource groups at play. First, often there is an inside sales department responsible for tasks that range from field sales support to appointment setting or just straight up sales. Next, outside sales professionals are often calling on the largest customers to build relationships and “protect their turf.” In addition, while all of this is going on, sales management is trying to monitor this activity and assist the entire department to ensure that sales are coming in the door and that the whole team is functioning as a cohesive unit.So, how can CRM Software assist a sales department in increasing productivity and building relationships while providing management with a bird’s eye view of the whole operation? To answer this, we need to look inside the CRM Software capabilities and how it functions in each role.Inside Sales RepWe will start with the inside sales department which has a broad range of tasks and is clearly in need of organization. For this article, we will focus on one of the core functions of any CRM solution – the activity scheduler. It is here where the users will organize activities, record follow-up calls and schedule appointments. All interactions between your sales department and their customers and prospects should be recorded in the system’s activities scheduler. Sales representatives should be using this tool to not only record notes and actions, but also to schedule tasks for other members of the team. In this way, everything is in one place and everyone can see what is occurring. Also, by deploying this functionality, one is putting themselves in a position to look educated and prepared when the customer reaches out.These benefits are endless for an inside sales department and we have just touched on one capability of the software. It is also important that the CRM Software provide features like, account profiles, email management, query building and document management when looking for tools that will provide productivity gains for the inside sales representative.Outside Sales RepNext, consider the outside sales professional. Here, we need a CRM technology that allows one to keep in touch with all activities at the home office while being very portable. This is where web based CRM solutions provide a wealth of knowledge for this environment. As mentioned above, a proper deployment of any activity scheduler will keep everyone in sync. However, the outside sales representative needs access to this data in a mobile, easy to use interface. Web based CRM solutions are easily accessible just by being online. A sales representative can be anywhere they have internet access and not only enter activity data, but also populate sales pipeline information, contact relationship hierarchy, and social CRM roles, just to name a few. Couple all of this into a wireless technology that can be rolled out on a phone or tabular device, and it is easy to see how the outside sales representative can stay connected, informed, and most importantly, productive.Sales ManagementFinally, we move on to the sales management point of view and what can be more useful to management then data. Data is crucial in making sure that tasks are being followed, opportunities are being managed and sales objectives are being achieved. This is where a quality CRM tool should have interactive dashboards. Dashboards need to be more than just reports. A manager needs to be able to work inside of the dashboard so that they can easily move to records and opportunities and see firsthand what is transpiring, what assistance is needed and how likely the opportunity is to close. CRM interactive dashboards are really a necessity for any productive sales management team.CRMSo, after reviewing this technology and how it can be implemented, it is easy to see how effective CRM Software can be in assisting today’s sales departments. Productivity gains are quickly seen when the proper CRM tool is implemented. Everyone is connected, in touch and focused on their customers and prospects. The need is clearly there, and it is crucial that the CRM Software you rely on can accomplish these tasks with an intuitive and easy to use interface.