Monthly Archives: February 2016

A Brief Note From 1928 About A Mummified Gift

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From the April 11, 1928 Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

How Smart People Do Social Selling

shutterstock 288384755 How Smart People Do Social Selling

If you want to start performing like a top social seller, either make a self-improvement project out of learning social media, or start pressing your company to bring in some social media training.

3) They do their homework.

“Sales is a numbers game.” I’m sure you’ve heard that before. And while just dialing like a banshee will indeed improve your odds, please think quality over quantity. Don’t blast the same follow-up to everyone.

I realize it’s hard to find the time for customized messages. You’ve got to make a certain number of touches per day. But how long does it really take to look at a website or learn even a little bit about someone by looking at their LinkedIn profile? Two minutes, max.

If you’re worried about getting sucked into doing too much research, set a timer to restrict your research time to two to three minutes per lead. Then write an email or leave a voicemail (or a LinkedIn invitation to connect) that shows you know at least a bit about the company beyond what the contact form included.

Want a tool to help speed this up? Consider Riffle, one of Jack Kosakowski’s favorite social selling tools.

We know that personalized messages get significantly higher conversion rates. A bit of research also says to your prospect:

  • You understand their unique situation
  • You are the type of person who takes extra care and treats people well
  • You’re more engaged than 90% of the other sales people who are going to contact them today

Still skeptical? Okay. Figure something out for me: How many fewer contacts will you be able to make if you did those two minutes of research for each lead? Now, if you got 20% more sales to close from those personalized contacts, would it be worth the extra time?

4) They leverage more than one medium and more than one social media platform.

Top social sellers are active on more than one social media channel. They are equally adept via–

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Text message
  • LinkedIn InMail
  • Skype call
  • Twitter direct messages
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • And more

They know tricks like how to record a short personalized video (less than 30 seconds) on their phone and then send it to someone via Twitter. They use visuals to educate their prospects, not just whitepapers and text-based content.

All this gives them far more channels to reach people through. It means that if they’ve got a visual learner, they won’t turn them off with a wonky whitepaper. And if they do have a quant on hand, they’ll have the charts and graphs and technical specs to keep them happy, too.

This can be a stretch for new social sellers. If you’re still on Twitter baby steps, sending a video message might seem out of reach. And that’s okay. Try to learn even one new format every month, and you’ll be going multichannel with the best of them in no time.

5) They use industry tools and sync them up.

If you’re going to have all those channels to communicate through, why not integrate them? That’s what top social sellers do.

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Act-On Marketing Blog

On This Day In Comedy… In 1970 Actress, Model, Producer, Carol Denise “Niecy” Nash Was Born!

On this day in comedy on February 23, 1970 Actress, Model, Producer, Carol Denise “Niecy” Nash (Carol Denise Ensley) was born in Los Angeles, California.

Many performers shy away from the label ‘role model’.   Others become them by example.   After the shooting death of her younger brother in 1993, her mother founded M.A.V. I. S. (Mothers Against Violence in Schools) and Nash became its most outspoken spokesperson; informing the public about the dangers of violence on campus.   That level of commitment permeates her work as well.

Nash began her career in films.  The maiden voyage was 1995’s Boys on the Side in a small virtually uncredited role; the character had no name, just a description.   That didn’t happen again.      In 1999 she was in Cookie’s Fortune, Guess Who in 2005, Code Name: The Cleaner in 2007, Not Easily Broken in 2009, G-Force in 2009 and Trust Me in 2013.   

Niecy Nash was also extremely active on television.   From 2003-2010 she hosted Clean House on the Style Network.  For her tenure of excellence she won an Emmy.    However, most viewers got a load of Nash when she gained notoriety on the Comedy Central sitcom, Reno 911 playing sassy Deputy Raineesha Williams from 2003 to 2009.  In 2007 the show was shot as a feature length film, Reno 911!: Miami.   

Before, during and after her run on Reno 911!, Nash guest starred on Reba, Girlfriends, One on One, Half & Half, That’s So Raven, My Name is Earl, Monk and others.   From 2003 – 2005 Nash had recurring roles on The Bernie Mac Show as Mac’s sister, Benita and she co-starred with Jerry O’Connell on the Fox sitcom, Do Not Disturb in 2008.   She had her own reality show, Leave It to Niecy, about her new family in 2011, a recurring role on Fox as a doctor on The Mindy Project and in 2015 she was Andre Braugher’s sister on the Fox comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  

Niecy Nash’s detail to craft did not go unnoticed.   She received multiple acting award nominations for the part of nurse Denise “DiDi” Ortley in Getting On airing on HBO from 2013-2015.   Beginning in 2012 she co-starred with Cedric the Entertainer on The Soul Man, a spin-off from the popular AMC sitcom, Hot in Cleveland.   Her role as Cedric’s wife has been universally applauded, but Nash has also received acclaim for her rare dramatic performances.    In the role of civil rights activist Richie Jean Jackson in 2014’s Selma she got raves.  She also received good reviews for her recurring role on the CBS series, City of Angels.   

The multi-faceted Nash was also no stranger to animation.     She was Mama Robin in Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie (2005).    She portrayed Cookie Freeman on The Boondocks and Fatso’s Mama on Minoriteam in 2006.    She lent her voice for the character of Mrs. Boots on the animated series, Slacker Cats on ABC Family and voiced Lorraine on American Dad from 2007-2013.   Nash was heard as Miss Yelp in Horton Hears a Who! (2008), Janet on The Cleveland Show (2010) and Gloria on The LeBrons in 2011.   She honestly would’ve done more, but there are only 24 hours in a day.  

In 2009 Niecy Nash won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Reno 911!   In 2010 she won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Special

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton

Check out the clip:

On This Day In Comedy… In 1929 Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter, Director, Playwright, Roberto Gómez Bolaños, AKA “Chespirito” Was Born!
On This Day In Comedy… In 1969 Comedian, Actor, Edwin San Juan Was Born!

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The Humor Mill


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A Historian Walks into a Bar . . .

Xiaomi Prepares To Fight Apple Pay In China

Apple made big news last week when its mobile payment service Apple Pay entered China. But China’s upstart mobile phone brand Xiaomi is fighting back.

China’s Xiaomi acquired a 65% stake in Jiefu Ruitong, a Chinese third-party payment service provider for an undisclosed sum.

Jiefu Ruitong reportedly completed an equity change on January 20, 2016, but it’s only now that the full information about the deal is hitting the media. After the change, Xiaomi holds a 65% stake in the company and Hohhot’s Shengyin Herui holds a 32% stake.

Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, is legal representative and chairman of Jiefu Ruitong. Meanwhile, the latest registered capital of Jiefu Ruitong has reached CNY100 million.

Jiefu Ruitong is the operator of the third-party payment system Ruifutong. By the end of November 2011, Ruifutong claimed to have over two million users, realized more than CNY2 billion annual trading, expanded over 100 cooperating partners, and established over 20,000 owned channels. This information comes from Ruifutong’s website, and updated data is not immediately available.

Jiefu Ruitong was initially established by Hohhot’s Shengyin Herui with an investment of CNY100 million. It is a high-tech enterprise engaged in third-party payments, and it has been approved by the People’s Bank of China. It is also the only organization in Inner Mongolia that can operate Internet payment and mobile phone payment businesses across the country.

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CRM’s Fantasy Sales Team Improves Sales

CRM Blog CRM’s Fantasy Sales Team Improves Sales

Just because football season has come to a close, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your fantasy team up and running! With Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s new Fantasy Sales Team’s competition module, managers can keep their sales teams motivated like never before! Sure, we’re all used to sales incentive programs and contests within our organizations, but rather than only reward the same top selling performers, CRM’s Fantasy platform makes it easy to keep everyone motivated and involved.

Users have the ability to “draft” teams within their organization and collaborate with their team members to compete within their chosen “sport”. Anyone can see the results, making participants even more inspired to drive your company toward success. This new CRM feature eliminates the me first, cut throat mentality that many salespeople have in competitions because you have to work with your team! That way, everyone benefits and even the weaker members can still feel useful. Games can last as short as one week or as long as one year, and because this platform is entirely team driven, sales people won’t lose motivation if they start to fall behind the usual leaders. Microsoft gives real time feedback to support productivity. If something isn’t working, team members will be able to make adjustments instantly to guide them to their goal. Here are some of the features that Microsoft CRM’s Fantasy Sales Team offers:

  • Include everyone in the fantasy draft – Don’t just limit the fun to your sales reps!
  • Assign point values to common tasks in and out of Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Create Prizes for multiple outcomes
  • Track results on interactive leaderboards all around the office – Celebratory firework videos included
  • Schedule automated emails with your team’s results embedded
  • Produce performance data charts/graphs for the team or individual

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s Fantasy Sales Team has been proven to produce results when and where you need it.  For more information on Microsoft CRM and how your company can benefit from this software, contact Logan Consulting your Chicago based Microsoft CRM partner for a consultation.

by Logan Consulting

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CRM Software Blog

#OscarsSoWhite? Big data’s prediction for Best Picture confirms sad reality of the Academy Awards

oscars 780x475 #OscarsSoWhite? Big data’s prediction for Best Picture confirms sad reality of the Academy Awards

For the past three years, digital advertising firm Exponential has correctly predicted the winner of the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards using a model built from its treasure chest of big data on consumers.

That would be interesting in most years to film nerds like me. But it’s particularly interesting this year, as the ceremony is engulfed in the #OscarSoWhite controversy that has drawn attention to the lack of diversity in nominees.

Why? While the prediction model is incredibly complex, drawing on thousands of statistically significant behaviors (more on those in a moment), the prediction for Best Picture also comes down to using all that data to make one, sad, stark determination: Which nominee is most preferred by older white males?

Of course, the reason that formula works is because it essentially describes the makeup of the group that nominates and selects the winners of the Oscars each year.

“The resulting profile of the Oscar voter is deep enough to support an hour-long presentation,” Exponential says in its report this year. “We know he (and it is a ‘he’) is a frequent traveler, invests heavily in home theater systems, follows baseball and tennis, is concerned about privacy and Social Security, buys expensive watches, and drives a European luxury car.”

In other words, Straight Outta Compton never stood a chance of getting a nomination.

You can see Exponential’s predictions for the three years it has done this modeling herehere and here. And in case you’re curious, I’m purposely holding off on revealing their prediction for this year until further down, just in case you don’t want to see a spoiler. (If a prediction can be considered a “spoiler.”)

Of course, if Exponential is wrong, then the company hypothesizes that voter behavior was possibly affected by the controversy. On the other hand, the slate of eight nominated films are each whiter-than-rice in their own way. So it could be hard to know for sure where the model went wrong.

In any case, here’s a quick breakdown of the profile of each film and who it appeals to in terms of consumer behaviors, according to Exponential:

Brooklyn: This mediocre snoozefest is set in the 1950s and features lots of famous people speaking in phony Irish accents. According to Exponential, Brooklyn has the oldest audience among the nominees, with an average age of 67, and also the “most prominently Caucasian” audience. The problem is that this audience doesn’t like film that much and would prefer to watch PBS or the BBC. In fact, they are 80 times more likely to watch Downton Abbey than the average person.

Bridge of Spies: Another mediocre snoozefest, this time set in the 1960s, it stars Tom Hanks as “Tom Hanks,” uttering tons of obvious lines about freedom and liberty. And it was directed by Steven Spielberg, which used to matter. The problem, according to Exponential, is that fans of this movie are interested in the armed forces, support lower taxes, want a freeze on immigration, are “13 times more likely to have considered emergency preparedness,” and are more likely to cook red meat at home than eat at a restaurant. In other words, they are not Hollywood liberals.

The Martian: This eminently predictable film stars Matt Damon as “Matt Damon” and ends exactly they way you knew it would the moment you saw the first trailer. People who like this movie are quite likely to be looking for an apartment to rent or installing solar panels on their home, have a lot of graduate degrees, and work in higher education or IT. In other words, they are too smart to be Oscar voters.

Mad Max: A relentless two hours of car chases through the desert by post-apocalyptic refugees who can’t seem to find food and water and gasoline but have amassed a bottomless supply of leather outerwear. Basically, these fans include a lot of fussy architects and contractors who drive Subarus and Mazdas but would rather be at a music festival (dressed, no doubt, in copious amounts of leather!). In other words, they are people willing to ignore the film’s lack of anything resembling a plot because it’s neat to look at. Side note: Also most likely to support Donald Trump!

The Revenant: This 2.5-hour orgy of male torture porn is the cinematic equivalent of lying in bed while someone places a pillow over your face and slowly smothers you to death. People who like this are “too conservative,” according to Exponential. They are religious, likely to listen to Glenn Beck, are number two on the Trump-support list, and are likely to drink bourbon and go hunting, own a truck or SUV, have a power saw, and work in law enforcement.

Room: The main character is a woman, and this is the favorite among women. Two strikes and you’re out, Oscar-wise. Also, as Exponential notes of this film’s fans: “This is also the wealthiest and most charitable audience, a pattern we do not find among Oscar voters.”

Spotlight vs. The Big Short: This is where it gets tough. And as you’ve probably figured out by now, (unless you have the intelligence of someone who liked The Revenant), the previous six are not the predicted winners.

One of these movies is about crusading white reporters who remind people that newspapers used to be a thing and that they mattered. The other is about a bunch of white guys who get wealthy while reminding people that big banks are crooked and the financial system is rigged against the little guy.

So it comes down to two movies with very similar profiles consumer-wise. According to Exponential, the fans of these movies share “95 percent of the 10,116 behavioral indicators we have identified.” I bet you didn’t even know that humans have more than 10,000 behaviors!

So which one does Exponential favor?

The Big Short.

Why? Men love it, and it’s the movie most preferred by Caucasians, after Brooklyn (which has too many other factors that rule it out). The Big Short is also super popular in Los Angeles and New York City, which, as we all know, are the only two places that really matter in the U.S. The rest of the country is pretty much just scrub brush and trailer parks at this point.

Also, Big Short fans match most of the Academy behavior profiles mentioned above, with a few minor tweaks: They like basketball more than baseball, and they prefer luxury cars from Asia to those from Europe.

So, there you have it. If Big Short wins this weekend, (and frankly, even if Spotlight wins), it’ll be directly attributable to the overall racial makeup of Hollywood and the Academy. Yes, we pretty much knew that already. But it’s never much fun to have your worst suspicions confirmed.

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Tour Program: Its Importance in Sales Effectiveness

Proper Planning and preparation prevents poor performance”
(Stephen Keague)

The outcome of any activity depends on two important factors i.e. Planning and Execution. Off Course the companies are emphasizing on these factors in their sales processes but here we are talking about a tool that will act as an assistant to the field force in Planning, Implementing, Studying Variance and Bringing out Analysis of their activities.

  Tour Program: Its Importance in Sales Effectiveness

Tour Program Feature in any conventional Sales Force Automation will assist the field force in the above listed activities in certain ways. It will help the Sales officers in planning their month (day-wise) and their territory in advance so as the sales people can give the best output possible.
The Tour Program is usually made on monthly basis in planning the working of next/coming month that lets the SO’s decide the type of activity, working geography and Retailers/Stockist to meet on a particular day for the whole month. The plan of action is sent to his manager for review, The manager can amend the plan as per the need. Now, there are Important Retailers or Customers for every organization, With the help of this tool, they will not be missed as the Managers and Senior Level people can select Joint-Working with the Field Staff in the tour Program Itself. The Joint-Working feature will also help the Managers analyse their upcoming month and can help in planning it in the best way possible. The Tour program can also be filled as per Journey Cycle(JC) which can be an important factor in FMCG sector. Unlike the monthly plan, the Journey Cycle is planned keeping some specific needs in mind. As an example the JC can be in day format like a 15 day or 28 day JC. It can also be a bi-weekly cycle. The JC should be made such that it can be copied for next months as well. This is called Permanent Journey Plan(PJP). Though it should account for holidays/Sundays and shift the working to the next working day. This will ease the process of the field force as well.

With the Tour Program tool available in mobile and web application, the Execution of the plan becomes possible as it gives ease to enter information on the go. The automated tour program alert will also tell the Field Force about their planning on the mobile app itself making information about the plan of action available to them at the start of the day. This will also help in preparation of the upcoming station.

As we know, the there is variation in planned and actual activities and there can be deviation of the same. In this case, the reason can be personal or professional like Retailers meet, Joint Working, Leave etc.This should be checked and accounted for in the system. The variance from the plan can be communicated to the field force in the form of automated alerts on daily basis. I will depict an example on the same situation. Now in the Tour Program planning, the sales person planned to visit X station on 12/07/15 but actually he visits Y station on that date. Then the system will send him an alert on his mobile application itself showing his variance. He can record the reason for same that will help in analysis in the later stage of sales process.

The analysis to the sales planning is equally important as it can help amend future course of actions. This can be done by showing a variance report from his planned vs actual working on day to day basis. The same can be discussed with each SO to know the cause of the deviation.

Any SFA should have a tour program feature as there is certain need for the Sales officers to follow the decided course of action. Usually the executive tend to visit few stations/retailers more than the others due to certain factors best known to them. Though this should not affect company’s sales and should be checked for with the help of Tour Program. As the manager can edit/approve the Tour Program decided by the SO, he can validate an even distribution of all the territories under him and at the end of the month a variance on the plan can be checked for This process will also give emphasis on HQ-Ex HQ-Out Station working to ensure 360 degree productivity from all the customers under any Sales Officer.

  Tour Program: Its Importance in Sales Effectiveness

The system in place will act as an assistant to the field force to plan their month in advance and improve sales effectiveness. Tour Program is just one of the many unique features available in a state-of-art Sales Force Automation. A good SFA combined with a passionate sales team will improve the operational efficiency of the Organisation.

Atul Daga is an expert in conventional Retail and Engineering industries CRM. He has done his MBA from Cardiff University, United kingdom. (U.K.). As Business Development Manager at Advanz101 Systems, he actively engages himself with some high valued clients in knowledge process outsourcing domain. Atul likes DJ’ing as a hobby. He can be reached at

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Advanz101 System – Business Intelligence


A possible cure for dementia:

A cure for dementia could be just five years away, according to a leading expert on the illness.

Dr Dennis Gillings, the departing chairmain of the World Dementia Council said there are now two potential breakthrough treatments on the brink of being a success.

Dr Gillings, who was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to create the council in 2013, believes huge steps have been taken in understanding the disease and he believes it should be looked at in the same way as cancer.

He told The Telegraph: ‘The original goal was disease modification by 2025.

‘I feel a lot more optimistic now: I wouldn’t be surprised if we get there by 2020 or 2021.

‘We may need more customised diagnosis. We used to just think cancer now we know there are many different types, with different treatments. We need to approach dementia similarly.’

The potential treatments on the horizon are said to be able to remove the plaques in the brain which are affected by dementia and unscramble neutral tangles which characterise the disease.

Although Britain has created a £150million Dementia Research Institute, breakthroughs are more likely to be made in the U.S.

There are also fears over whether such a treatment could be properly funded in the UK, as early drugs are likely to be expensive.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘While we are seeing progress in drug development and greater understanding of this disease, there can be no cause for complacency and I look to the World Dementia Council to use their expertise and global reach to drive governments, industry and regulators to further action.’

Yesterday, the Welsh Government released guidance urging people to undertake six simple steps believed to reduce the risk of developing the disease by up to 60 per cent.

It called on the public to be more active, regularly check their health, avoid smoking, drink sensible amounts of alcohol, watch their weight and try new things to stay mentally alert.

The initiative was launched after a new survey revealed that 48 per cent of people believe nothing can be done to stave off the the risk of developing the disease.

But health chiefs say evidence shows that maintaining a healthier lifestyle can reduce the risk.

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On This Day In Comedy… In 1969 Comedian, Actor, Edwin San Juan Was Born!

On this day in comedy on February 24, 1969 Comedian, Actor, Edwin San Juan was born!

When San Juan was coming up in comedy there weren’t a passel of clubs catering to the Asian audience.   So the Filipino funny man cut his teeth in Latin clubs and bars alongside comedians such as Gabriel Iglesias, Felipe Esparza and Jeff Garcia.   It was the perfectly rough circuit to get good and he did.   Soon he was doing USO shows and headlining nationally.  So San Juan was a seasoned pro when he gained notoriety as the creator and Executive Producer of SlantED Comedy, a showcase of Asian American stand-up comedians televised on Showtime.    

As a standup comedian, San Juan appeared on all available shows.  He was seen on Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham’s, BET’s Comic View, Live from Hollywood, Latino Laugh Festival, Que Loco, Inside Joke, Latino 101, International Sexy Ladies Show (ummm), Loco Comedy Jam, Comics without Borders, The Payaso Comedy Slam and Destination Stardom.    

Edwin San Juan appeared in the 2010 film, I’m Not Like That No More with Paul Rodriguez and he was the grand champion on the UPN show, Talent Agency.   He later moved to Nevada to become the resident comedian at the Las Vegas Live Comedy Club and in 2015 San Juan won Las Vegas Weekly’s “Best Comedian on the Las Vegas Strip.”   

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton

Check out the clip:

On This Day In Comedy… In 1970 Actress, Model, Producer, Carol Denise “Niecy” Nash Was Born!
Watch: Chiwetel Ejiofor And Anthony Mackie In ‘Triple 9’!

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The Humor Mill