Sunday, 8 November 2015


Tuesday, 3 November 2015


Everyone sees spring as the time to do a clean sweep and catch up on all the household chores you've been putting off. But if tacking these jobs is more than you can handle right now, hiring outside help isn't a bad option. Let a pro tackle these three to-do's to get the biggest bang for your spring-cleaning buck (and one less thing on your list).
1.      Washing Windows
Depending on the type and number of windows you have, washing them yourself can turn into a multi-day project. Professional window-washing services will usually clean the windows (inside and out), screens, and sills as part of the basic package. Some will move furnishings and protect floors and surrounding surfaces at no extra charge. The total cost will be based on your location, the number of windows, and any extras like blinds or storm windows that you also want cleaned. Call several services to compare what they offer. Most will provide free estimates for your consideration.
2.      Cleaning Carpets
Deep cleaning carpets is not a particularly easy job to do, even if you own a machine. So once every year or so, it's a good idea to call in a professional carpet cleaning service. Some cleaning Institution recommends it and many carpet manufacturers require professional cleaning to uphold the terms of their warranty. Warning: Don't select a service just because you have a coupon or saw an ad. Call several services and request on-site estimates. Be wary of those that provide phone or web estimates only. When they arrive and see the actual job, they often quote a higher price that you may then feel compelled to accept. Expect any service to pre-treat spots and stains and move small pieces of furniture, like end and coffee tables and chairs. If it's not already included, we recommend purchasing an application of a stain-repellent finish to help protect your carpeting against stains and dirt. Finally, ask any service you are considering whether or not it guarantees its work and will return to treat any stains that reappear after the carpet dries.

3.       Restoring Hardwood Floors
One option is professional in-home cleaning. Cleaning Support Services, with its network of professional floor refinishers, offers consumers the opportunity to get hardwood floors cleaned more thoroughly and deeply than they can do themselves with just a mop. Cleaning Support technicians use a special strategies coupled with a commercial-strength, wood-safe cleaner to gently scrub floors and lift away built-up dirt, even from narrow cracks and crevices. If you ever want a try and see how they work, call them at 1300-550-720!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


A Broke Salesperson’s Guide To Free Prospecting Tools

“Don’t poison the watering hole.” There’s a bit of old-time cowboy wisdom to start your day moving in the right direction. Say what you want about cowboys, but they understood how to do prospecting the right way.
Poisoning the watering hole means overworking your prospecting source. When everyone on your sales team is running the same LinkedIn searches for prospects, there’s trouble on the horizon. You could pay for prospects, but there’s no guarantee that expensive leads are quality leads. Instead, you could find and qualify prospects in minutes for $0 if you only knew where to look.
Don’t sweat it, cowboy. No matter what other Social Selling problems you encounter, finding high quality leads online shouldn’t be one of them. The World Wide Web is a rich gold mine, with somewhere around 3.2 billion active leads. Here are free tools to help you find, qualify and contact them quickly. The rest of your team probably doesn’t know about these tools yet, so feel free to share as you see fit.

Secret Tools for Better Prospecting

1. Sidekick – After competitors, another prospecting source that sales professionals tend to overlook is past prospects that didn’t work out. Things change, and they could be ready to make a purchase now. Find out if they are worth pursuing with this app from HubSpot that alerts you when someone interacts with your content (email, website, blog posts, etc.). The free account comes with 200 free notifications, and the power-user level opens it up to unlimited notifications.
2. Datanyze – Some of the best sources for prospects are your competitors. You know these prospects need what you offer, and some percentage of them will be unsatisfied. This app lets you find out who has started or stopped using your competitors. It also has a free browser extension to help you find email contacts that you can qualify using other tools on this list

3. TimeTrade – Do you hate wasting 10 emails or texts just to schedule a meeting? Scheduling can be a momentum killer. Simplify everyone’s life by trying out this app that allows prospects to schedule themselves on your calendar. The free account gives you five appointments per month, and the paid version allows unlimited appointments. It integrates with Outlook or Google Calendar, and you can include a link within your emails as a call-to-action.
4. Rapportive – What do you know about the person you’re about to email? Tailored emails build relationships while generic ones build spam folders. LinkedIn’s Rapportive is a free Gmail plugin that searches the social web for information about your prospect to qualify them and give you some critical insights into how to get their attention.
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.45.17 AM
5. Boomerang – Timing is…everything. A good email at the wrong time gets ignored. Just like those tools for scheduling your social posts, this free Gmail plugin lets you write all your emails at once and schedule them to go out at the most effective times. It will also remind you when it’s time to follow up and move your prospects along the buyer’s journey.
- See more at:

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Deep-Clean Your Bathroom in 7 Steps

Go nuts on lurking germs with these bacteria-targeting tricks that work.

By Nicole Sforza

How Gross Is the Bathroom?

According to University of Arizona professor of microbiology Charles Gerba, who has conducted many studies of household bacteria, pretty darn gross. With super effective tactics from Aggie MacKenzie, a coauthor of How Clean Is Your House?and with Gerba’s gory details to spur you on—you can clobber germs like never before. Whether you divvy up your antibacterial blitz into small sessions or complete it in one fell swoop, implementing these habits every couple of months will be like flushing your worries down the…well, you know.


What to do: Take it from the top: Pour an ample amount of white vinegar into a plastic grocery bag (enough to fully submerge the showerhead nozzle) and tie it in place for an overnight soaking. Remove it in the morning and run the water to rinse. Give plastic shower curtains and liners a spin in the washing machine with your regular detergent and a few old towels, which act as scrubbers to help get rid of soap scum and mildew. Rehang to dry. For shower doors, make a paste by adding a few drops of distilled white vinegar to a cup of baking soda; apply it directly to the door (it’s nice and thick, so it will stick). Let sit for an hour, then rub with a microfiber cloth. Rinse and buff dry with a fresh, dry microfiber cloth. The tub is less of an issue—a weekly scrubbing is usually enough. But for extra gleam, fill it with hot water, then drain. Apply a bathroom cleaner and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing.

Why: Besides the soap-scum issue, there’s the showerhead, which can harbor Mycobacterium avium, a pathogen linked to pulmonary disease. Gerba says that turning on a neglected shower can send millions of germs straight into your lungs.

Best practices: Wipe condensation from all surfaces after showering, and leave the window open for one hour a day to lower the room’s humidity level.


What to do: Dip a grout brush in straight bleach and scrub any discolored areas; rinse well. Be sure to ventilate the room.

Why: Grout is porous and highly susceptible to bacteria growth.

Best practice: Seal grout every six months to help prevent moisture and grime from infiltrating.

Tile, Walls, Ceiling

What to do: Spray tile, countertops, walls, and the ceiling with all-purpose cleaner and turn on the shower, cranking the hot water until steam builds (about five minutes). Turn off the water, shut the door on your way out, and let the steam and the cleaner mix for 20 minutes. Then wipe down all surfaces with a clean cloth. To reach high spots, use a clean, dry microfiber mop. Wipe the tile floor, too, but only after you’ve finished the rest of the dirty work.

Why: Soaps, along with the dirt and the skin cells they slough off, leave behind a microscopic film.

Best practices: To minimize water marks on ceramic tile, apply a coat of car wax once a year. Water will bead up and roll off. Mildew-resistant paint can also help on untiled walls and ceilings.


What to do: Start by pouring a cup of baking soda into the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes; brush and flush. Still seeing spots? A damp pumice stone is abrasive enough to remove stains caused by mineral deposits and lime scale but gentle enough not to damage surfaces. Then tackle the toilet brush itself, which you should be cleaning after every use. Here’s how: Secure the brush handle between the already-cleaned seat and the basin so that it hovers over the bowl; pour bleach over the bristles. Let stand for a few minutes, then douse with a pitcher of clean water. Next, fill the brush canister with warm, soapy water and let sit; dump the dirty water into the toilet. In cases of extreme grime buildup (or acute toilet-crevice trepidation), you might want to invest in a small, light-duty electric pressure washer. It lets you blast hard-to-reach areas, like the spots where the hinges meet the seat, from a safe distance. Start on the lowest setting—you’ll be amazed by what comes out.

Why: Gerba says that a flushing toilet, when viewed in slow motion, resembles a fireworks display. And since germs linger in the bowl even after flushing, bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can fly into the air and land on the seat, the handle, and other surfaces at any time.

Best practices: Always close the lid when you flush, and use the vent fan (it sucks up bacteria before they can settle). If you’re not already storing toothbrushes and contact lenses inside the medicine cabinet, you may want to start now.


What to do: Pour white vinegar or baking soda down the drain and flush with hot water. For the faucet, Gerba recommends disposable disinfecting wipes, which significantly reduce bacteria. (In contrast, cloths may just move germs from one spot to another; Gerba has even found bacteria from the toilet bowl living in the kitchen sink.) If you must use cloths, be fastidious about where each one is employed and stored. When the handles are done, floss the faucet (yes, you read that right). The stringy stuff is perfect for tackling that narrow, grimy space where the base of the faucet and the taps meet the sink.

Why: Prepare to shudder: The sink drain wins for highest bathroom bacteria count—topping even the toilet seat. In his research, Gerba has detected as many bacteria down there as you would find on a cutting board used to slice raw meat. And faucet handles? You touch them after using the toilet and before washing your hands. Eww.

Best practice: Dab baby oil on the soap dish to keep the bar from sticking and sliming up.

Hand Towels

What to do: Use the sanitizing setting if your washing machine has one (or bleach them). Replace with clean towels every three to four days.

Why: They’re shared by many, and they trap moisture—that’s a recipe for bacteria stew.

Best practices: Spread out wet towels on a bar, where air can circulate, rather than hanging them from a hook, where folds form. Don’t forget to clean the towel bar; it too collects bacteria. And avoid hanging wet towels near the toilet. (Remember that slo-mo spray we talked about?)

Ventilation Fan

What to do: First flip the circuit breaker. Then remove the cover and soak it in warm water and dish soap. Use the vacuum’s nozzle attachment to get gunk off the fan blades; wipe with a damp cloth. Remove dust from the motor and other nooks and crannies with a stiff, clean paintbrush, and suck up the debris with a vacuum. When it’s completely dry, replace the cover.

Why: While it helps reduce mold and mildew, the fan also inhales a smorgasbord of airborne particles, which can linger on the blades and the vent.

Best practices: Put the fan on a switch timer (an easy job for a handyman), and run it during every shower and for 30 minutes afterward to keep moisture (and energy use) in check.

And for an overall best practice?Whenever you clean the bathroom, whether deeply or quickly, dry all surfaces well afterward.

3 Surprising Skills You’ll Need To Succeed

The New Role Of Sales: 3 Surprising Skills You’ll Need To Succeed

 Jamie Shanks  

Before I discuss the future, let’s look back at how the role of sales professionals has evolved. When I founded Sales for Life on January 1, 2010, I intended to take all of the Sales 2.0 best practices (such as cold calling and inside sales best practices) and coach local Toronto businesses on how to build SDR and ADR inside sales teams. At that time, I had just been exposed to marketing automation, live chat, inbound lead notification tools, and auto-dialers—and was confident that was the absolute future of selling.
However, fast forward one year. By 2011, I had seen a diminishing of the return on investment of calling and emailing random companies and presenting your solution. Traditional selling had gone cold. I realized that I needed to shift gears, and identify a modern way of selling. So I started to experiment. In late 2011 and 2012, I started to experiment with LinkedIn, and I learned that I could take those best practices I discussed earlier and reverse-engineer those techniques using tools like LinkedIn and Twitter. And it began to evolve. By 2013 and early 2014, LinkedIn was an extremely effective tactic.
Now a new trend began to emerge—Social Selling.
LinkedIn has become the tool of choice for Social Selling, but it’s not the future of what a sales professional will become. What I’m starting to see is that the most advanced and effective organizations have recognized that their selling needs to use both the “left brain” and the “right brain.”
The “left brain” is the art of marketing, and the “right brain” is the science of sales and marketing. When you put them together, you get a sales professional who understands that their job is to take a customer through a buying journey, not through a sales process.

Sales and marketing integration: The future of sales

The future sales professional needs to understand the importance of aligning both sales and marketing. And the best companies are finding, recruiting, and onboarding this talent and allowing them to flourish, and training them to evolve the sales culture.

What makes up a Smarketer?

A Smarketer understands that the company has one funnel, one buyer, and one revenue team. They know that marketing and sales are one team, and that not every lead is created by the sales professional. Leads are created through a multiple of avenues, and every action you as a sales professional provide digitally impacts the top of the funnel.
There are three qualities of a great Smarketer:

Great Smarketers share content.

Smarketers share content with ideal buyers, who are connecting and absorbing that information, and sharing it with their peers. This drives traffic back to your website, resulting in increased downloads of assets, more subscribers, and those ideal buyers becoming warmer leads. Thus, the sales professional has a positive effect on the funnel becoming larger through educating companies.

Great Smarketers are willing to be part of content development to enhance the customer experience.

This doesn’t mean that sales professionals actually write the content, but they’re part of the creation process. They’re part of panels and committees that are providing assets for the marketing department. As a sales professional, you know your customers better than anyone—and you can best relay that information to marketing to produce digital content.

Great Smarketers use Social Selling as another tool in the tool belt.

They recognize that every day, they need to apply digital elements to the workflow. Great social sellers:
  • Sell to every customer every day with insights using content.
  • Use triggers mechanized through social tools and channels to provide contextual information about a customer which enables them to have a stronger conversation
  • Constantly road-map relationships of people. Selling is now P2P—person to person selling. And Smarketers are leveraging tools to be able to see potential referrals, and more opportunities between people.
- See more at:

Sunday, 25 October 2015

How To Replace Cold Calling With Warm Instructions

How To Replace Cold Calling With Warm Instructions

Jamie Shanks

Cold calling is often cited as one of the least-favorite activities salespeople take part in. Even seasoned members of the sales team can feel a touch of anxiety and uncertainty when faced with a prospect’s name, contact info, and not much else. It is a time-proven method of drumming up business, however, and remains a staple for many sales teams.
The key to successful cold calling is to warm up your conversations with relevance and context, but how? Salespeople need to adopt a different approach to making the first move with a new, unfamiliar customer – one that provides better insights into potential customers. Cold calling success requires that both sales leaders and sales reps overcome five major obstacles.

Obstacle #1

Challenge: Not knowing how you’re connected with prospects, decreasing their trust.

Solution: Professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn allow you to see the business contacts you have in common with prospects, making you less of a stranger. This can help potential customers be more open to you and your services. With any luck, you’ll be able to identify former or current clients of yours who are also connected to your prospect, and are willing to put in a good word for you.

Obstacle #2

Challenge: You can’t get a comprehensive view of your prospect’s mindset.

Solution: Social Selling allows you to see 360-degree information about prospects before you ever call them. Learn professional insights from their LinkedIn profile, and identify specific needs from Twitter posts. After perusing the public information available on a potential customer’s social media profiles, you can merge the information you find into a unified concept of the prospect’s wants and needs. This puts the product or service you’re selling into the proper context for the prospect, creating the kind of relevance that allows you to increase sales opportunities up to 20 percent and close deals faster.

Obstacle #3

Challenge: Limited ability to control access to contact data across departments, teams, and individuals.

Solution: Social Selling can eliminate the lost time incurred when members of the sales team need to share information about prospects or collaborate on a project. With so much data available on the web, there’s less need to wait for another team member to get back to you with customer info. You can find a lot of information by simply searching through their social media profiles and getting a good feel for the prospect.

Obstacle #4

Challenge: You don’t know why the prospect needs you.

Solution: Of course your prospects could benefit from the product or service you’re selling, but if you can’t explain to them exactly why, you could lose the sale. Social Selling allows you to more fully understand how your solutions fit into a potential customer’s life. Once you have a firm grasp of the specific benefits you can offer prospects, you can better explain them to your prospects.

Obstacle #5

Challenge: Knowing too much.

Solution: People can share a lot of personal information online. However, no matter how open they are, using too much of that info during the initial contact can come off wrong, and prospects may feel like their privacy has been violated. Instead of bringing up specifics, use the insights you gain to customize your message so the prospect feels like your solutions suit their circumstances.

The cure for the common cold

Social Selling is the cure for the common cold call. Businesses have access to an unprecedented volume of sales data through social media. From general public opinions and trends to conversations about specific companies and products, companies can gain valuable insight into potential customers from the millions of tweets, status updates, and “likes” produced every day. If you can harness this information and apply it effectively, you can both shorten and sharpen the your buyer’s journey, even before first contact.
- See more at:

Cleaning Grout Tips with Home made Cleaning agents

 Cleaning Grout Tips with Home made Cleaning agents

Want a simple trick for cleaning grout in your shower, bath, or kitchen? This homemade grout cleaner works great and it only requires 2 ingredients: baking soda and bleach!
When we moved into this apartment it wasn’t very clean. I already shared my 5 minute microwave steam cleaning tip, but another area that needed serious cleaning was the bathroom. The grout was disgusting! But after cleaning it with this home made grout cleaner, it was brand new again!
How To Clean Grout With A Homemade Grout Cleaner - The simple recipe is just baking soda and bleach!
There are tons of recipes out there for homemade grout cleaner, but I wanted an effective one that wasn’t too hard to make. I ended up with this grout cleaner recipe which only has 2 ingredients, and it worked great!


Here’s what you need: (Amazon affiliate links below)
How To Clean Grout With A Homemade Grout Cleaner - The simple recipe is just baking soda and bleach!
Mix the baking soda and bleach together in the bowl until it forms sort of a thick paste. Then apply the paste to the dirty grout lines and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
The bleach will do most of the work just sitting there, but after 5-10 minutes, scrub it with your toothbrush to really work the cleaner deeper into the grout.
Wait another 5-10 minutes and then rinse the cleaner off of the grout. If you have a handheld shower head, use that, otherwise just use a damp rag and rinse it out often as you wipe the cleaner away.
Remember, grout does sometimes turn darker when it’s wet. So if you’re not totally impressed with how sparkling white your grout is right when you finish rinsing it, wait a few hours until it dries!
How To Clean Grout With A Homemade Grout Cleaner - The simple recipe is just baking soda and bleach!
I am so happy with how CLEAN everything is now!
Just a few important notes:
  1. You’re using bleach. Make sure you are wearing old clothes or something you don’t care about. I figured it wouldn’t splatter so I didn’t change before doing this, and now my jeans have white spots all over them! There is a surprising amount of splatter, even if you’re careful. So just change first.
  2. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from irritation.
  3. Open a window or wear a respirator to protect your nose, mouth, and lungs.
  4. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from irritation.
  5. And if you use a washcloth or rag to wipe the cleaner off, make sure it’s something that’s okay to be bleached.
How’s the state of your bathroom grout? Or in your kitchen, if you have tile on the floor or in your back-splash. I’m really liking these make-it-yourself cleaning recipes, because they work just as well and it means I don’t have 30 different types of chemical cleaners laying around! We have been using home made borax free laundry soap for almost a year now and we absolutely love it! It’s cheap, non-toxic, and works better than commercial detergent!