Original Christmas Presents

Beat the rush and buy Christmas presents for friends and family in style! The smart way to avoid the crowds and pick up great value is to attend an auction. You’ll be amazed at what you can find and you’ll be amazed at the sheer variety.

The best way is to take out a one month subscription to various auction search services which have the widest coverage of forthcoming auction lots anywhere on the web. However, if you want to take a short cut, stay tuned to this blog for a few tips! We will be pointing you in the right direction twice a week over the next six weeks with some terrific ideas, thus enhancing your reputation as a savvy and imaginative gift buyer!

In an online world, people often forget the simple pleasure of writing in longhand! It is even more pleasurable to respond to the numerous gifts and invitations received over the Christmas period with an antique pen. There are some wonderful old pens available at auction, frequently modestly priced, and they combine the fact that they look good, feel good and write good!

Some are truly collectors items and their distinctiveness or rarity may be reflected in their prices. Their desirability may, however, be determined by either your budget or the degree to which you care for the recipient! The broadest coverage of all comes from eBay though there is an array of other options as this glimpse into an online ‘auction search’ database indicates.

Items for sale this week include:

A pair of late 19th /early 20th century jewellers scales with brass pens and weights in a mahogany box (Peter Cheney – Littlehampton, West Sussex)

A 19th century Anglo Indian carved ebony document box with an intricately fitted interior for documents, inkwells and pens with a tray raised on bracket feet (Northeast Auctions – Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

A small assortment of dip pens including mother of pearl and carved ivory examples (Fieldings – Stourbridge, West Midlands)

Two vintage Waterman fountain pens (Reeman Dansie – Colchester, Essex)

There is no estimate for the first two lots while the latter two should be relatively inexpensive at around £25 – 30 each. If you want to browse the web more thoroughly, we recommend scanning sites that focus on bricks and mortar salerooms.

Happy hunting!

Online Sales Presentations – Effectively Selling Value on Web Demonstrations

In today’s Web 2.0 world, the use of online web conferences for the purpose of selling or demonstrating a product or service are becoming more and more popular with companies employing a business to business [B2B] sales force. The proliferation of platforms including market leaders Go To Meeting and WebEx with many secondary competitors such as Dim Dim, Glance and Fuze all offer the same basic service and are all vying for market share. These platforms can prove to be a valuable and cost effective way to sell products or services for 3 main reasons: 1) The cost of travel to/from sales presentations is eliminated. Airfare, rental car, hotels and meals are not required. 2) In what used to take up to 3 days including travel to visit a sales prospect can be done in an hour or less. This allows a salesperson to increase the number of sales presentations by up to 15x! 3) A salesperson just needs the skills it takes to speak and present effectively online, which many find much more comfortable rather than speaking in person. This opens the door for many more qualified salespeople requiring less salary than a typical “road warrior” type salesperson further reducing the cost of sale for companies. All this being said, very few sales people know how to effectively use this platform and in the following article I’ll outline why a web conference is NOT a phone sale, the 5 biggest mistakes most commonly made using this platform and how to best duplicate a “face to face” selling environment online.

Selling over the phone is a dying method for selling products & services. National “Do Not Call” lists, voice mail, cell phones, phone screeners and decision makers spending less time in a standard office environment all contribute to the decline in the effectiveness of traditional inside, phone sale. The good news is web conferencing and demonstrations bring something new to the table; visual evidence, convenience & privacy. Asking a prospect to spend 15-30 minutes viewing the latest & greatest product or service that can benefit them is a much easier request to fill than hoping to catch someone at their desk and spit out enough info to avoid being hung up on. Effective web demonstrations are generally set in advance by the use of marketing channels much like a traditional face to face meeting but with much more flexibility in availability since travel & geographic constraints are eliminated. Like the traditional phone sale, the prospect is able to keep a virtual boundary that is lost in a face to face meeting which results in many more prospects agreeing to meet with you…online. The prospect is less fearful that a pushy salesman will show up and cause them to purchase something on the spot. If presented properly, prospects actually feel like your offering them the opportunity to view something of value rather than feel like they are doing a favor by not hanging the phone up. All of the above contributes to a less intrusive, more accepted and increasingly popular sales opportunity.

Many salespeople that utilize this new method of selling don’t realize that because this is not a traditional phone sale that their approach has to be different than what they might be used to with a typical over-the-phone sales pitch. Many salespeople still “show up & throw up” and bombard their prospect with as much information as they can in the shortest amount of time. It’s as if they are still afraid of the hang up and are trying to get across as much information before the dial tone sets in. A web demonstration is the complete opposite and should be treated as such. During a web demonstration, you have earned the prospects undivided attention for pre-specified time to introduce the benefits of your product or service. Another common mistake is salespeople tend to “lecture” over the demonstration. This brings back memories in the prospect’s mind of sitting in class watching a projector or blackboard. Extremely Boring! The goal is to encourage involvement and facilitate a meaningful conversation that will uncover the prospects “hot buttons” or what can be described as a “needs analysis”. If this is done properly, the prospect has given you a road map on exactly to how to sell them! This brings to mind another point. Listen! Listen! Listen! The old saying God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason especially holds true here. If you pay attention to the parts of demonstration that generate the most interest and listen to their questions and comments, the prospect will reveal the key to earning their business. Finally you must respect the prospect’s time. Before any demonstration you should set the time frame of how long this presentation will last. If it runs long because they extend it through questions and conversation, that’s okay! In fact that is what you want, however, if you end up doing most of the talking it better wrap up in the allotted time or you instantly become pest. Today’s sales environment is all about permission, not intrusion. When you set the expectations of the web demonstration you basically getting permission to present your product or service for that appointment time only. Don’t overstay your welcome.

Web Conferencing and Demonstrations will continue to gain popularity as the cost of doing business steadily increases. As a salesperson this is a skill set that is necessary to learn as soon as possible. If done properly, you can earn more money in less time and in many companies never leave your house. Web demonstrations creates a virtual marketplace that is inexpensive and highly effective.

Efficient Oral Presentations Which Are Tailored According To The Audience

When setting up a presentation, we all consider the fundamentals: what one needs to say, the information which needs to be used for backing, any visuals that may offer assistance. However shouldn’t we think about the individuals you’re presenting to? The tips will help in developing understanding about the audience to whom one has to present.

The better one comprehends the audience’s objectives and concerns, the more probable you are to attain to your target and your sought results. Furthermore, the better capable you will be to gauge those victories.

How enormous will the gathering be? Who will be truant? How many people are you expecting five, fifteen or fifty? The span of the group of onlookers influences the sort of presentation you’ll give and the assets you’ll require. Stay informed concerning which individuals would not be able to attend.

What are the designations of the people who are attending the presentation? To whom are they responsible? Having an essential comprehension of their obligations will help you connect with them. Consider why your message matters to them and how you can make their lives less demanding. You’ll highlight those things when you prepare your oral presentation.

What does the audience already know? What new do individuals need to know? Try not to express the self-evident, yet give individuals enough foundation data to comprehend what you’re stating and how it influences them.

What are individuals liable to accept? Which of those suppositions are right and which are mistaken? Anticipating your audience’s assumptions helps you make better choices about how to present your content. In the event that there’s a misperception you have to amend, this may be the time to do it tenderly. Case in point, if your viewers accept that the new framework you’re proposing will take a lot of time and push to learn, plainly clarify how you’ll help facilitate the move with preparing sessions and additional specialized backing.

Think about the consequences of goal conflict between the audiences? Anticipating your audience’s assumptions helps you make better choices about how to present your content.

Will you or another person consider them responsible for what happens amid or after the presentation? Counsel with the participants’ about
the criticism or deliverables you’ll be requesting, to verify your objectives adjusted to theirs.

Envisioning the needs and concerns of your group of viewers helps you align your psyche set as you plan and execute your oral presentation. Take the old saying about placing yourself in others’ shoes to the following level: Put yourself inside their heads and behind their eyes. Envision yourself staying there seeing what you need to say.