Contact info: phone: 847-991-1294 email: howard@larsonassociates.ws
Apr

05

The USPS® Rate Decrease Effec

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

What will Your Business Save?

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is set to reduce First-Class Mail prices on Sunday, April 10, 2016. Yes, you read that right: the rate change is a reduction for the first time in nearly a century! Regardless of the type of mail or sort levels, you will realize average savings of over 4%.

Why now? The reduction comes with the expiration of legislation that imposed an exigent surcharge for mailing products and services for two years. The goal was to help the USPS manage financial challenges mainly due to the recession and declining First-Class mail volumes. The 4.3% exigent surcharge is set to be reversed after the USPS collects additional funds totaling .6 billion. They are expected to hit this threshold by April 10, 2016.

How the Rate Reductions Stack Up

 

FIRST-CLASS MAIL

·        Stamp price decreases to 47 cents

·        ~4.2% decrease for all First-Class


STANDARD MAIL

·        ~4.2% decrease for all Standard Mail


PACKAGE SERVICES

·        ~4.2% decrease for all Package Services

·        Retain %content%.001 IMb barcode discount for BPM Flats


FULL SERVICE

·        Full services IMb incentives remain in place


SPECIAL SERVICES

·        ~4.2% decrease for Special Services


Note: The cost of sending Certified Mail with Return Receipt will now be .47 (compared to .74) for a one ounce letter. Consider checking 2-3 day rates with your private carriers to see if they are less money. Or, switch to Electronic Return Receipt which saves .35 each.



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Apr

04

Making SEO Work

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

If getting your web site found organically is important taking a quick look at the basic principles of SEO is always good. .   If you have read me at all you know my adversion to PFC (pay for click). So just how important it is to create your site according to the specifications of the search engines, after I say VERY. . .  

MOBILE RESPONSIVENESS
A survey conducted way back in 2013 showed that at least 87 percent of Internet users accessed the Web through a mobile device, and that was in 13. You know it has to be even more now with better data packages out there, Heck even I do some mobile web searches now and you know if I do, almost anyone who can, is. I would say mobile should be a priority of yours to ensure that your site allows users on any devices to have access. Not doing so, (soon) will cost you in your website rankings on Google but you did not hear ME say that.

DOMAIN NAME EXTENSION
With the increased impact of local SEO, emerging brands may want to consider adding a local extension like .chicago to show how local you are. It is not going to be as good as getting your Google plus account set up ( https://plus.google.com/+LarsonAssociatesPalatine ) and any SEO bump is still up for debate, but it does show your immediate area you’re serious about working local and that should be worth a few brownie points.

DESCRIPTIVE PAGE NAME
The name of a site should be as descriptive as possible. While exact match domains tend to be cheap or spammy sounding (such as bestratemotel.com), the name should have a connection to the brand or the product’s name. The previously mentioned local domain name extensions can help brands achieve this goal when their ".com" is taken.

SITE SPEED
Website visitors expect a site to load quickly and so do the search engines. You might want to consider using Google Page Speed to check for loading issues, as well as current Web design trends that can strip down a site to its most basic elements. Sometime times less is more in terms or getting higher and seen more

PAGE ACCESS
How many clicks does it take to reach the page a person wants to go to on your website? If someone has perform multi-clicks to get to the page they are looking for, there is a good chance they will leave and never come back. Put page links where users can see them and hit them.

SITE CONTENT
This is not quite the function of the website designer, but the content that is being posted can have a huge effect on its SEO ranking. You need compelling content that also utilizes key works you want people to be using to find you in an organic search.

SITE PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography does matter and I am not talking just about the look of the shot. Take for example a site for a photographer. If the photographs used on the site are too large and are slowing the site’s speed down or even stalling it out you had better make some changes, like fast.

Larson Notes & Satire:  If you don’t know where your web site is sitting you might want to get an Alexa Traffic Ranking. I have been tracking my site for years and find it more of a game to tweak it up and make little changes to see what happens. Side note my site went up 101272 in the USA. Words, meta tags (yes you heard me) links, content it all counts and all works together.

So for the answer to your SEO problems call Larson & Associates at 847-991-1294 or email me at
howard@larsonassociates.ws .  One call is all it takes to start getting up higher on the rankings

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account
acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
http://www.larsonassociates.ws
http://larsonassociates.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/LarsonAndAssociatesFans
http://www.linkedin.com/in/larsonassociates
https://twitter.com/LarsonAssociate

P.S. We make teleprospection for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 10 hours a week. Maybe you should add teleprospecting into your marketing mix call today and find out.


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Mar

16

Larson & Associates Award

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Larson & Associates Receives 2016 Best of Palatine Award

Palatine Award Program Honors the Achievement

PALATINE March 4, 2016 -- Larson & Associates has been selected for the 2016 Best of Palatine Award in the Merchandising & Marketing Consultants category by the Palatine Award Program.


Each year, the Palatine Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Palatine area a great place to live, work and play.


Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Palatine Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Palatine Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Palatine Award Program.


The Palatine Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Palatine area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.


The Palatine Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

 

 


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Sep

09

Larson’s Business Expansion

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

How to expand your business? You have more ways than you might realize. Here is a quick checklist for you to plan out your expansion. Think of your existing markets, your customers, your produces and services and your distribution channels and try to generate new alternatives for your business in these approaches.

A. Teleprospecting.
B. Hire a new salesperson
C. Sell more of your existing products and services to existing customers
D. Develop new products for existing customers.
E. Open up new markets for existing products and services.
F. Penetrate new markets with new products and services.
G. Create new uses for existing products.
H, Segment existing markets by customer types
I. Change your markets perception of your products and services.
J. Change your approach to your existing market.
K. Develop new channels and outlets for existing products and services.
L. Reposition existing products and services.
M. Fragmenting existing products, services clients and markets
N. Creating add-ons to existing products and services.
O. Developing “downstream” sales and aftermarkets.
P. Introducing products as add-ons to products and services.
Q. Bringing new technology to existing products and services.
R. Create entrepreneurs to sell existing products and services.
S. Selling technology as well as products and services.
T. Sell “piggyback” products and services with other products and services.
U. Enter into alliances with other companies whose products, services, markets, clients, distribution channels and outlets complements yours.
V. Buy into markets, products, services, know-how and clients.
W. Offering a wider variety of products and brands
X. Target new pricing niches within your markets as well as specific pieces of your competitors businesses.
Y. Go to group meetings you have never been to before.
Z. Become an industry expert in your unique area or business.

Larson Notes & Satire: 
Start here and then do some more brainstorming. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

If you need really help sign up for our “Pick My Brain Consulting
http://www.larsonassociates.ws/Pick_My_Brain

When you need to talk to someone about growing your business do you know who to turn to about those hard problems? Larson & Associates gives you a way to tap into a vast resource of knowledge build upon years of experience, some good, and some bad so you can navigate the vast ocean of business life.

 

For the answer to your sales and lead generation problems call Larson & Associates at 847-991-1294 or email me at howard@larsonassociates.ws .  One call is all it takes.

 

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
http://www.larsonassociates.ws
http://larsonassociates.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/LarsonAndAssociatesFans
http://www.linkedin.com/in/larsonassociates

https://twitter.com/LarsonAssociate

 

P.S. We make teleprospection for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 10 hours a week. Maybe you should add teleprospecting into your marketing mix call today and find out.


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Aug

28

Getting Past Gatekeepers on th

No comments · Posted by Howard Larson

Now in calling we normally use what I call the Payton to the right, Payton to the left, Payton up the middle technique. We hit the line with honesty and directness and it works 9 times out of 10. But if you’re having problems getting through or it is one of those need to have accounts sometimes you need to call out of the box.

1. Call and ask for the Sales Department.
Sales always answers. Talking with salespeople can be an excellent approach. It’s amazing how one salesperson will be willing to help out another salesperson. When asking for assistance, be sure to offer to help them in finding potential leads and contacts. Scratch their backs to get your back scratched.

2. Rather than asking the gatekeeper for the person you want to speak to, begin the call by asking them the same questions you would ask your prospect. These people know more and might have more insight then you or I give them credit. Many times the gatekeeper will realize they can’t answer the questions and wind up connecting with the person and/or department who can.

3. Call back before 8 AM or after 5 PM. Most gatekeepers work traditional hours, so calling either before 8 or after 5 may allow somebody else to answer the phone, "How can help you?" Might be considered unprofitable for having a service to these kinds of calling but if it is you? Go for it.

4. Call during holiday weeks. I’m always surprised at how people behave differently knowing there’s a holiday coming. Calling during a holiday week may very well result in speaking with the gatekeeper when they are in a completely different mood. Side note is the gatekeeper might be on vacation.

5. Call one or two digits off from the phone number you’ve been calling. Dangerious to do but When the person answers, be upfront and say who you’re looking to speak to.

6. Call and ask for Accounts Receivable. Who won’t you through to accounts receivable. Every company is eager to collect money if they can, and by asking for that department, you’ll get connected. When you do get connected, be upfront and state who you’re looking to speak to.

7. Call at different times of the day or over lunch. Everyone takes breaks, and many times the person who relieves the gatekeeper for lunch and/or breaks does not take the same approach as they gatekeeper would.  That person filling in may very well put you through.

8. Let your personality come through and allow the gatekeeper to see you as a normal person who is merely doing their job, just like them.

9. Call a different division or location, if the company has one. Using the other location is a way to learn who you should speak to when the location you’re trying to reach is stonewalling you.

10. Don’t allow one rejection by a gatekeeper to stop you from calling again.

Larson Notes & Satire:  I might or might not suggest you using some of these tactics but they can and do work. I might choose to not use some of the shadier ones. Persistence is your best way and can and will pay off in the long run. Don’t take it seriously or personally. Calling is a game of cat and mouse.

If you allow a rejection by a gatekeeper to negatively impact you, there is little chance you will ever be successful.

The beautiful thing about be being blocked by a gatekeeper is the same thing is most likely happening to your competitor. Big difference is your competitor is probably blowing off the opportunity, leaving the door wide open for you once you get past the gatekeeper.

Many times huge sales have been made after getting past the gatekeeper.

For the answer to your sales and lead generation problems call Larson & Associates at 847-991-1294 or email me at howard@larsonassociates.ws .  One call is all it takes.

Howard LarsoLarson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better|
847-991-1294
howard@larsonassociates.ws
http://www.larsonassociates.ws
http://larsonassociates.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/LarsonAndAssociatesFans
http://www.linkedin.com/in/larsonassociates

https://twitter.com/LarsonAssociate

P.S. We make teleprospection for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 10 hours a week. Maybe you should add teleprospecting into your marketing mix call today and find out.

 

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