Saturday, February 23

Visual vs Verbal: Reaching Out to Grab The Customer #storytelling

I love hearing stories about businesses. I'm sure you've heard the apocryphal story about Nordstrom accepting a return of a set of tires, even though they don't sell tires, just to please a customer. (If you haven't, click here to read the full story). The fact that people enjoy repeating the story not only reinforces the mythology, but enforces Nordstrom's reputation for first-rate customer service.

The web can be a pretty cold place when it comes to selling. As customers, it's tough to see through a sales pitch and feel the love for a product or brand. That's the reason why websites need to have comprehensive 'About Us' and Frequently Asked Questions pages. The very best About Us pages tell stories about the people behind the business. The FAQs should be written in an engaging manner - not just filled with techno-fluff and acronyms. Friendly word phrasing is important; just as important as the visual impact of a picture.

If you've heard me speak, you've no doubt heard "post enough pictures to tell the story as if there were no description, and write your description as if there were no pictures." By doing so, the pictures can appeal to those who have a visual learning style and provide equal punch to those of a verbal bent who get far more out of words.

Stories and anecdotes can create just as much magnetism as a dazzling seventy-five year art provenance. Words. When phrased well they speak to people - and carry your message.

Building trust goes a long way to nurture long term customers. One of the best ways to build trust is to tell stories.

While reading Lou Hoffman's blog, I came across SlideShare deck below produced by the Hoffman Agency: “The Return of Storytelling vs. Corporate Speak,” which shares some of the science and anecdotal evidence on why storytelling works. It's well worth the time to take a couple of minutes and enjoy the message.

Tuesday, February 19

Take Control of Your Google+ Calendar Events

Does your phone (tablet or computer) ever notify you of a meeting when you don't expect it? Yea, me too. Then I open my Google calendar only to find I have been invited to an "event" - hosted by someone I don't know - in a far away time zone.
Mind you, I enjoy being invited to events that are relevant to my work, but the Google+ invitations are more than invitations. Just about anyone, even if you are not in their circles (or they in yours) can reserve space on your personal calendar.
The settings to prevent this are not obvious (one would think you'd find them under the Calender tab, but no), so I thought I'd share...
  1. Go to your Google calendar
  2. On the far right of the calendar, you will see a cog icon next to the word More. Clicking the cog will open a drop-down menu
  3. Scroll down the page until you find the following words"Show events you have declined" as shown below
  4. Gcalender
  5. Click your mouse in the three radio buttons indicated in my screen shot. In essence, what this does is by selecting no, you will no longer see any events on your personal calendar except for those to which you've responded yes.
That should do it. From now on only the events you see will be the ones you put on your calendar. Note that if you share your calendar, others who see your calendar will see those events.

Thanks to +Kelly Lux  for inspiring this post!

Monday, February 11

USPS to Continue Saturday and Begin Sunday Package Delivery

In an exclusive interview with MSNBC's Craig Melvin, Postmaster General of the United States Patrick Donahoe talks about the future of the U.S. Postal Service;and says the organization will soon start delivering packages on Sundays.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
This isn't t your grandparent's Post Office. They are facing new challenges using today's technology. In this exclusive interview, Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General of the United States shared some strategies:
"Here is what we are doing. the reason we are delivering packages on saturday is because package growth is booming. 14% up in the last two years. 17% christmas this year. year over year. big, big growth in fact, you will see in some areas we will be delivering packages on Sunday starting soon. That is a big innovation. the other thing that you see, is the world of secure and secure digital messages. We are getting into that, people tell us, the same thing you can do from a hard copy, sealed against inspection, we need that in the digital, e-mail world. there's a lot on the table. we have to get the negative finance behind us in the rear view mirror so we can focus on growth."