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The 100th Monkey Effect

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Do You Know Ze’ Monkey?

Are you familiar with The 100th Monkey Effect?  The notion that you and I, yours, mine and humankind, we are all connected by a flexing delicate web of unseen subconscious energy and the universal collective knowledge of our species.

The 100th Monkey Effect Experienced 

You’ve seen The 100th Monkey Effect in simultaneous scientific gee-whiz discoveries like Calculus, Sunspots, Typewriting and the freaking Telephone.   Malcom Gladwell wrote on the subject in his New Yorker article titled, “IN THE AIR – Who says big ideas are rare?.  Wikipedia outlines the pros, cons and WTHs HERE.

You’ve personally experienced the effect too.  For example, white plate plain, a house languishes longtime unshown.  Shazam, on the same day, not one, but three offers roll in.  

Want another example?  Ok.  

You’re booked on the 6:07pm flight to Vegas.  Your business is responsibly zipped up and cooled out.   At 3:07pm you toss your bags in back and head for the airport.  Smiling like tomorrow’s lottery winner, you board.  Surprisingly, phone calls from perviously MIA buyers and sellers begin to roll in, “We want to buy now.  We must list tomorrow!”   Happens all the time right?

Friends, this is the 100th Monkey Effect in action.

The 100th Monkey Effect & Surveys

The subject of surveys is buzzing, flexing and blooming.  I’m speaking about using Consumer Surveys to identify your strengths, opportunities, challenges and triumphs.  Using surveys to provide current and prospective clients with transparent analysis, feedback and evaluation.  Using surveys as the garden path to follow-up, reengage and request referrals.

Check out these recent Survey Story sightings. All share smart insight, approach and consideration.

1000Watt Consulting guru Marc Davidson wrote a blog post titled “What If You Recieved This In Your Inbox?” 

Redfin CEO, Greg Kelman shares his Consumer Survey sentiment with his post titled “A Call To Arms.”

Brandie Young – Marketing savant and AgentGenius.com contributor, penned this, “Get Word Of Mouth – FAST”

SurveyMonkey.com

SurveyMonkey.com is a super simple way to create professional, fast surveys .  Online anytime, create, send, collect and analyze your results.  No postage costs, no dead trees.  Small surveys are FREE. Splash out creatively and exponentially for less than 20 bucks a month.   As a Sales Manager, I use Survey Monkey with my Icon Team Members.  It’s easy – here’s a recent  SAMPLE Survey.

If I were a high flying, aspirational real estate agent like you, I would send at least two surveys to my buying  and selling clients.  One during the transaction and one after the transaction. I’d jazz my contact and conversation by  polling, quizzing and engaging my sphere of influence at least four times a year.

What types of questions should you ask?  Great examples and approaches are outlined in the three posts above.  My personal opinion, the type of questions you ask is not as important as the asking.  Don’t agonize over the questions, agonize over inaction.  Take action, create, send and follow-up.  Today would be nice.

There’s power is in the action of sending the survey, it shows you care.  Beauty and prosperity building occurs when you follow-up and engage in On-Purpose, In-Person Conversation.  

I hear this all the time,  “I know I need to talk to people but I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to talk about.”  This is simple, send the Survey, call and ask if they received it.  Call and ask if there are any questions that should be added.  Call and thank them for positive comments.  Call and recover by addressing and correcting un-positive feedback.  Call, call, call.

Should you mail a survey too?  Sure, why not?  Get to it.

Seven Pointers:

Short is best.  Long is worst.

Ask Questions that invite written answers.

Write questions in your own voice, not stuffy, corporate BS style ad speak.

Don’t sit on your butt and think about it, do it. Do it today!

Don’t send a survey, then do nothing.  

Do send the survey, follow-up In-Person and On-Purpose.  

Remember, it takes Personal Contact to Write Contracts.  Get to it:-)

What Survey Questions Work Best?

Marc Davidson, Greg Kelman and Brandie Young share keen examples and inspirational angles of approach in their blog posts (included above).  I know you have some savvy thoughts on the subject, share the questions you would ask….or, maybe you’re asking them now.  Share them in the comments and we’ll all WIN, so will our clients.  

Thanks – Rock on!

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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