Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bitrix24 Helps Endeleza International Provide Affordable And Quality Education In Kenya

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Endeleza is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable and quality education and encourages community empowerment and sustainable development in Buri, Kenya. 

Why Endeleza Matters 

By law primary education in Kenya is free, but in practice it does not happen: teachers don’t get paid in schools and families have to compensate their salaries. Children who do not have financial means to pay their school fees are deprived of access to education. As about half of the population lives below the poverty line in Kenya, a significant portion of citizens has no access to basic sanitation, medical treatment, regular food and live in precarious conditions, which further impairs the quality of education and perpetuates the cycle of poverty across generations. 

At the moment Endeleza provides education and meals for 300 local children in Kenya. This association is growing, attracting new members who believe that much more can be done for local children. 

How Bitrix24 Helps 

CRM, Calendars, Tasks and Projects are the most necessary tools for the association. The team believes that Bitrix24 improved their productivity, as their tasks are getting more organized and on time. Bitrix24 CRM helps Endeleza attract new members and grow as association. By the end of the year Endeleza plans to double the number of people who collaborate via Bitrix24. 

“Previously the NGO used Asana but when we needed a CRM with multiple users, I ran behind several systems and performed tests on them. Bitrix24 was the one which gave us greater user flexibility and more utilities. Moreover, our concern was to pass on the money to African children. As Bitrix24 is a free solution, it was the first option of choice,” says Felipe Gerais, a representative of Endeleza. 

Learn more about how you can use Bitrix24 as free non-profit management software.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

What Makes Taylor Swift World's Best Negotiator

Christine K. Clifford, CSP is the author of nine books including Let’s Close a Deal! Turn Contacts Into Paying Customers for Your Company, Product, Service or Cause and  YOU, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself. She is CEO/President of Christine Clifford Enterprises and The Cancer Club, helping companies and individuals craft their story and designs “knock your socks off” Media Kits for companies, individuals and entertainers. 

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Let’s start with a basic question – what are the biggest negotiation mistakes that novices make? 

The biggest mistake made by most sales people—both new and old—is thinking of a sale in terms of “What’s in it for you, and what’s in it for me?” I call this the typical “Win-Win” situation. Rather, a sale always has a third party beneficiary: your company, your family, a charitable organizations, etc. So instead, look at the sale as, “What’s in it for three?” I call this the Win-Win-Win. If you keep in mind all parties involved, you have a much greater chance of success. 

What is the quickest way to improve your negotiation skills within a short time period, say, six weeks? 

Ask everyone you know (your boss; colleagues; friends; family) what you are doing right, but more importantly, what are you doing wrong? This information can be gathered fairly quickly and you can start acting on it immediately. 

Face to face meetings and personal interactions are becoming increasingly rare. How do you negotiate in the age of Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp? 

Getting your face—and body—in front of a potential client is still the best way to close a deal. But if you can’t accomplish that, send a short video, Skype, or Facetime so you can actually interact with the other party. 

Many newer companies, especially startups, take pride in the fact that they don’t have a sales department single sales person, even in the niches that are still dominated by direct sales, like enterprise software. What’s your view on this trend – is salesmanship a skill that’s going to be always in demand or are technological advances, especially Big Data, leaving less and less room for ‘old school’ sales tactics? 

We are all salespeople… in every aspect of our lives. So the question is not, “Is there a need for a sales person?” But rather, “How can I be more effective?” Every person in every organization is a “face of the company.” And because of that, they are selling the company/product/service/ or cause. But this becomes even more reason to be as effective as you can be given the small amount of time or exposure you may have to a potential client. 

Could you please give a few specific tips for negotiating over the Internet – email, LinkedIn, Skype, etc. 

I sold a $2500 sponsorship to PORSCHE by simply sending a cold/call query email. Why did it work? Because it captured their attention, explained briefly what the benefit would be to them to participate, provided a history of the success of the organization I was soliciting for, and asked them for their business. Tips for negotiating over the internet are these: be brief, brilliant, bold and brave. 

If you were to pick one person to be world’s best negotiator of all times, who would that be and why? 

Taylor Swift has become one of the world’s best negotiators because she has clout; she asks for what she wants/needs in a way that is not offensive; and she is liked—no loved—by all. Positioning yourself in a place where you cannot fail is what Taylor has accomplished in a culture-changing way. 

What books, blogs, podcasts and other resources would you recommend to our users who want to learn more about negotiating successfully? 

I would recommend my two books: Let’s Close a Deal: Turn Contacts into Paying Customers for Your Company Product, Service or Causeand YOU, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself. 

Thank you for the interview. 


Bitrix24 is a free social collaboration platform. Use promocode TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

5 Bootstrapping Strategies Every Startup Should Be Using

Money is frequently the biggest issue for startups. You have to spend money to make money, but there isn’t much to begin with. Don’t despair with a little bit of common sense and a bootstrapping mindset, you can stretch your hard earned dollar a long way. Here are five tips to get you started.


1. Take advantage of the SaaS wars.

Software as a service is a multibillion dollar industry with new companies trying to get a piece of the pie every month. In order to gain market share, some companies provide free plans which could easily compete with competitors’ paid versions. For example, Bitrix24 offers a free CRM that’s better than 95% of paid CRMs. Asana (of ex-Facebook fame) is a terrific project management service that’s free for any company with 20 employees or fewer. Wave Accounting has an extremely generous free plan that can save you thousands. Any business tool you can think of (invoicing, conference calling, benefit management, time sheets) is offered for free by some SaaS that’s backed up by millions in venture financing with aggressive growth strategy.

Hint – follow KillerStartups’ Twitter account and you’ll be the first to know when a new one is launched.

2. Smart-sourcing

I am sure you know can you save a lot of money by outsourcing work to people with lower wage expectations and that crowdsourcing lets you choose among dozens of qualified workers. However, to get your black belt in crowdsourcing, stay away from do-it-all crowdsourcing sites (eLanceFreelance.comGuru.com, etc.) and learn about niche crowdsourcing sites. The difference is this:  at an unspecialized site, you have to explain the task in tedious detail to the hired hand, at a specialist site, you may find that you’ve working with someone who understands the task better than you do.

Need a domain name for your project? You’ll get hundreds of suggestions for unregistered domains at PickyDomains.com, it costs $50 and you pay only if you decide to use one of the suggestions. 99Designs.com is widely regarded as the best place for logos, where the ready-made versions cost only $99. Need to shoot a commercial for a local TV advertisement? That’s what PopTent.com is for. As with SaaS, there are dozens of amazing niche crowdsourcing sites for virtually every aspect of your business, from cold calling to legal services. All you have to do is dig a little deeper and ask around.

3. Start accepting ‘exotic’ digital currencies.

You accept credit cards, PayPal and bank transfers, thinking that’s plenty enough. WRONG!  First of all, almost every country has a digital currency that’s in wide use. For example, WebMoney in Eastern Europe is more popular than PayPal. MoneyBookers (now known as Skrill) is extremely popular in India. It’s hard to sell things in China without accepting AliPay or TenPay.

Offering key regional digital currencies immediately increases your appeal in local markets. Second, some global digital currencies, like BitCoin, for example, form a large community around them. Once a few people from that community start buying from your startup, the news spreads like a wild fire.  Joining one of many online barter networks also helps.

4. DIY public relations with LinkedIn InMail

If you are a tech startup, hiring a PR firm with enough expertise and weight to get you published in tech publications well set you back at least $5000 a month. Needless to say, the results aren’t guaranteed. You’d be better off (at least in the beginning) investing $100 a month in upgrading your LinkedIn account, so you can send InMails.

Essentially, InMail option lets you send messages to any LinkedIn member, even the ones you aren’t connected to. LinkedIn makes contacting editors-in-chief or journalists very easy. Also, you are charged only for InMails that were actually read by the recipient.

Here’s a tip – don’t ever use LinkedIn to send press-releases. Use it to ask questions, pitch ideas or inquire about guest posting opportunities. If you want a journalist to take a look at your press-release, ask him or her first. Something like, “We are publishing a report about how offering a freemium option increases sales based on our own statistics. There are quite a few interesting numbers in the report. Can I send you a press-release for that?” usually works.

5. Take advantage of numerous ‘frugal’ sites

There are numerous online communities for the frugal-minded. Reddit has r/frugal and r/freebiesAppSumo works like a Groupon for business tools and services. RetailMeNot can get you coupons for office supplies. There are sites and apps devoted solely to listing stores that are going out of business in a certain radius. Bootstrapping is a state of mind. Join other like-minded individuals and share your finds, tips, techniques and experiences.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Five Questions To Ask To Get More Sales

Being ready with a few prepared questions can make the sales process easier for you and more comfortable for your customers. Review these questions and have them ready so you can move those conversations forward to closing ground. 
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Question 1: Name Your Problem 
What’s your biggest project right now? 
What’s the biggest problem you face right now? 
What’s causing you the most stress right now? 

Phrasing your question in an open-ended way–one which doesn’t allow for Yes or No answers–helps your customers to share what’s really on their minds. And that’s exactly what you want. 

Honest conversations build rapport and trust. They also help you to understand what your customers really need and which obstacles keep them up at night. When you can pinpoint their projects and their problems, you can start introducing the best solutions. 

Question 2: Name Your Change 
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be? 
If you could change one area of your business, what would it be? 
What’s one change that would really help you? 

This question helps your customers to break out of a limited mindset, bound by time and budget constraints, and dream a little. What would really improve their lives and businesses? As an objective listener, you can help them see that the change they want isn’t that far out of reach. Then you can help them build a realistic plan. 

Or, as you listen, you might see that the changes they name aren’t real improvements or the smartest investments. Introduce other ideas that might be doable and offer the help you can to accomplish those goals. 

Question 3: Name Your Obstacle 
What’s holding you back from making this change? 
What’s keeping you from deciding on this purchase? 
What’s the best reason you have to walk away from this opportunity? 

Every customer has a list of reasons why it’s easier to say no. Sometimes staying stuck in a rut is more appealing than working up the energy to move forward. Of course, your customers won’t say that; they’ll just list their reasons: “It’s too expensive,” or “It takes too long,” or “It’s not the right fit,” or “We’ve tried that before.” 

Instead of putting your customer on the defensive, go ahead and invite their best reasons to say no to your offer. When you remove the conflict from the conversation, your customer is more likely to be open and see that their best reasons are, maybe, not that great. And, with that clear list of obstacles, you can answer each one of them specifically. 

Question 4: Name Your Need 
How can I help you right now? 
What can I do to help you most with this problem? 
What kind of help do you need the most? 

This is the kind of question that customers try to brush off; don’t let them. If their first response is negative, rephrase the question and ask again. We all have needs, but we’re not all used to asking for, or accepting, help. 

There’s just one caveat here: be ready to provide, to the best of your ability, what your customer needs. That might be time to think, more information, further meetings, or some other resource you can provide. Do what you can to show your customer that your priority is to help them however you can. 

Question 5: Name Your Benefit 
What will you miss by not taking this opportunity? 
What do you think you’ll miss if you don’t move forward now? 
What do you risk if you choose to walk away? 

Discussing problems, obstacles, and needs will provide plenty of opportunities for you to share the benefits of your product or service. What’s left is to let your customers convince themselves. That’s what this question does: you’re helping your customers tell themselves what they could gain, and what they risk losing, by saying no to the sale. 

Don’t be afraid to repeat questions in your conversations. Sometimes the first answer (or two) is a quick response without much thought in it. When you present the same question, rephrased, a few different times, your customer gets a chance to think about it and answer honestly. You gain insight into your customer’s real needs and insight to lead your customer to the right solution for those needs. 

Bitrix24 offers Internal communication tools. Use promocode TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB. 

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