Tuesday, December 2, 2014

12 Things Not To Do at The Office Christmas Party!


Have Fun But Not Too Much Fun

One of the most hazardous driving days of the year is the Friday before Christmas, because that’s when many companies take part in that yearly tradition known as the Office Christmas Party. While this should be an occasion for enjoying the company of your co-workers, too often the office party turns into an embarrassment that haunts some employees well into the next year.

Here are some common gaffes to avoid. 

Don’t get drunk. This is the number one mistake that tends to be at the root of all other mistakes. Drinking too much can lower your inhibitions and make you do things you’d never do sober. Before the party begins, resolve to have no more than two alcoholic drinks all evening, even if there’s an open bar and the booze is free. Carry around a glass of sparkling water with an olive and no one will know you’re not drinking.

Don’t eat like a pig. Even if the food is expensive and delicious, try to use good manners.
Don’t overload your plate and properly dispose of stained napkins, toothpicks, etc. Above all, do not try to sneak out snacks for later consumption. Being seen stuffing a napkin full of shrimp in your pocket or purse does not contribute to your image as a classy employee who knows how to represent the company in public.

Do not use the office party as an opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. Just because those in upper echelon management choose to make an appearance at the office party does not mean that they’re willing to be your new best pals. Do not buttonhole the company president and try to make a case for your getting that promotion you’ve been hoping for. Do not pitch the head of research and development the fabulous new product you’ve been working on in your basement. Career-wise, you’ll do yourself more good by politely introducing yourself to bigwigs without monopolizing their time.

Do not make sexual advances to co-workers—or anyone else. If there’s one faux pas that can haunt you all the way to divorce court or the unemployment line, it’s this one.

Hitting on your fellow partygoers has always been a really bad idea, but now in the age of smartphone cameras and social media, it’s a potential career (or relationship) killer. If you come on to that sexy babe in the low cut dress and she turns out to be the big boss’s trophy wife, getting shot down is bad enough. Having a photo of your unsuccessful forward pass wind up on Facebook or Instagram is much worse.

Do not over (or under) dress. For some women, the holiday season is the perfect time to play the sexy siren, with plunging necklines, curve-clinging dresses and stiletto heels. While there’s a place for movie star glamour, it’s not the office Christmas party. If you want to be taken seriously in the corporate marketplace, do not use this as an excuse to show off your figure. You don’t have to wear the same tailored suits you wear to work, but do keep it classy. As for the guys, liven your work wear with a Christmas tie, but stick to standard office attire unless the party is formal.

Don’t do anything you don’t want others to see. In addition to those ubiquitous smartphones, some companies have security cameras hidden around the premises. Do not think you can sneak off to the janitor’s closet for a tryst with an inebriated co-worker and not get caught. There are some more things you should consider not doing at the office holiday party ahead. Keep reading so you know what they are 12 Things Not to Do at the Office Christmas Party.

Do not bring uninvited guests. Spouses and other SOs are welcome at some office parties, considered excess baggage at others. If the invitation does not clearly state that you are welcome to bring a guest, ask about your company’s policy before bringing anyone else. If your spouse gets miffed about not being invited, remind him/her that this is a career obligation, not a fun event for sharing. To smooth things over, stay at the party for a short time, then take the SO out for a romantic dinner.

Do not inflict your religious or political beliefs on others. This is not the time to toss down a few drinks and start giving your opinions of the current administration, your state’s governor or how your city is being run. Not only are you boring the crap out of most of the other guests, you may be offending someone who can affect your future with the company. Your boss may have been a major contributor to the campaign of one of the politicians you’re bad-mouthing. This goes double for trying to preach your religious positions on your co-workers.

Do not just fail to show up. If you really hate office parties and are tempted to pass this year, make sure attendance isn’t mandatory. There are some companies where all employees are expected to make an appearance and those who don’t are likely to find their future with the firm cut short. Find out how important it is to make an appearance at the party before you beg off with an excuse.

Don’t over-share. Maybe you think you could do your boss’s job better than s/he does. Maybe you’re planning to bolt for a competitor after the first of the year and take all your clients with you. Maybe you had a one-night stand with someone from human resources last summer. Stay sober enough not to share any of these at the office party.

Don’t show off your dance moves. Getting your groove on out on the dance floor may make you the life of the party, but not in the way you’d like. Even if you’re ready for “Dancing with the Stars,” you don’t really want to see photos of yourself booty bouncing all over a co-worker’s Facebook page. Slow dancing can get even more dangerous if you have a few too many and use it as an excuse to feel up that sexy redhead in accounting.

Don’t drink and drive. Another reason for staying somewhat sober at the office bash is that you have to drive home afterwards. Even if you live in an area where you can get home via public transportation, you don’t want to be so snockered that you don’t know where you’re going and miss your stop. Getting arrested for DUI can negatively impact your career and could be grounds for dismissal if you’re convicted, so it’s just not worth risking. Plus, if you’re one of the guests most capable of driving safely, you can help others get home in one piece. You never know when doing something nice for a co-worker will work in your favor. Try to have a moderately good time and be happy the office Christmas party strikes only once a year! 12 Things Not to Do at the Office Christmas Party

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Contact me at tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.









Monday, November 24, 2014

12 Tips To Your End of Year Sales Quota



Each year, November brings with it a certain level of anxiety for many sales managers. With fewer than 60 days left for sales reps to meet their quota objectives for the year, it's not uncommon for them to feel a bit overwhelmed. It's not only the rep who is affected, however, as sales managers typically inherit a fair amount of stress as well.  Sales managers whose own commissions and bonuses are based on their reps making quota need to do everything they can to help push sellers in the right direction.

Here are 12 ways to help your reps close their end-of-year sales and make quota:

1. Encourage your reps to take a “one more” approach to sales. Whether they're selling PCs, projects or services, capitalize on situations in which they might be able to sell one extra thing.
2. Ask sellers to spend two or three days focusing on nothing other than closing proposals that have been lingering in the pipeline. Even proposals from back in January are potential opportunities.
3. Ensure your reps are setting appointments now for January. This can give them a jump start on the year and may even result in a few last-minute opportunities for 2014.
4. Coach your sellers to upsell any add-ons that they may have thought best to leave out of earlier proposals.
5. Push your reps to analyze all the proposals they've closed throughout the year to identify anything that a customer decided to hold off on. Now's the time to close these.
6. Assist your reps in tackling any potential roadblocks that have been hindering a sale.
7. Have your sellers conduct a review meeting with their top eight customers from 2014. Review the successes they've had throughout the year and identify what’s yet to be done before year-end.
8. Instruct reps to call any customers they haven't spoken with in more than 90 days. Tell them to check in on the prospect's positioning for the start of 2015, as well as whether they may need a hand now.
9. Remind your sellers to look for customers who have money left in their 2014 budgets that they may want to allocate now to projects kicking off in early 2015.
10. Have your sellers review their forecasts to identify specific steps they can take to close opportunities and who from your team they need to help make it happen. 11. Have reps remind customers that you welcome referrals. Many customers will be more than happy to oblige when they appreciate the great service you’ve provided. There might be a last-minute sale in a new referral with end-of-year budget.
12. Direct your sellers to call all prospects that have been putting them off. While not always the most comfortable route, especially for your sales reps who dislike prospecting, it's worth a call to inquire about prospect’s first-quarter initiatives—and uncover year-end spending opportunities in the process.


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Contact me at tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.









Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Colorado Data Center News on OneNeck

OneNeck It Solutions is investing $20 million on a new data center in Colorado, its first in the state. OneNeck parent company TDS acquired Englewood-based MSN Communications in October 2013, unifying it under the OneNeck IT brand. At the time of the acquisition, the company announced intentions to build, which it has now confirmed.

OneNeck has lined up construction companies and has secured incentives from Douglas County Commissioners. The project leverages a personal property tax rebate and construction fee waivers.

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Contact me at Tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.









Friday, September 19, 2014

Integra Tech Expo 2014 Denver, Colorado




Join Integra at the Tech Expo as we provide critical insights into industry trends and connect you with industry leaders so they can answer your business application questions. Space is limited so register now! Lunch provided by Integra – Grab a lunch and join our sponsors for in-depth conversations about solutions and their products and a chance to win an iPad mini or a GoPro Black camera at the Vendor Fair.

Keynote|8:30 AM - 9:15 AM The CIOs new Job: Drive Customer-Centric Innovation Throughout Your Business Knowledge Sessions| 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM *Data Center Without Walls: Networking for the Hybrid Cloud *How the Cloud is Changing The Deployment of Wi-Fi *Security With Hosted Exchange: What You Need to Know *From Boxes to Clouds: The Evolution and Impact of Communications Services *Social Media and Customer Interaction driving business technology today Vendor Fair| 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM Lunch and Prizes| 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

For more information on the topics of discussion please visit: http://www.integratelecom.com/about/pages/tech-expo-2014.aspx

*Feel free to Contact me for more information and if tickets are needed.

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Contact me at Tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.









Wednesday, September 17, 2014

22 Brilliant Social Media Marketing Tips



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Contact me at Tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.









Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How To Target & Exceed Quota!



Quota Bound &  How To Get There
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For salespeople, we all have a quota. It may go by other names where you work (target, goal, "the number"), but regardless of what it is called, it is the single most important measurement of your success as a salesperson. Yes, your company (or yourself) also looks at attitude, thoroughness, and dozens of other things; however, it you're not contributing revenue (or margin) as a salesperson, your days are numbered.

Some companies go to the extreme when managing salespeople to quota. It has become an obsession. For those poor souls who work for these types of companies, we all know the inevitable result: Micromanagement. No salesperson likes to be micromanaged. For that matter, few Sales Managers like to micromanage their salespeople. It usually happens because of the culture of the company or how the Sales Manager grew up in the industry. It's really not important why it happens. What matters is that you hit your quota (monthly, quarterly, annually) and you put yourself in a position of success. Here's some helpful tips (some are obvious) that can get the "monkey off your back," and hit your quota:

1. Figure out early how to get there. This one seems pretty straightforward, but for every type of company, there is a typical formula for a salesperson to hit quota. Your job is to talk to other successful salespeople and get them to reveal the secret. You may get different answers (which is good). Sort through the mess, overlay your personality and selling style and come up with the formula.

2. It's hard to get to quota with hundreds of transactions. It's easier to do it in chunks. Let's say you have to sell $1M of stuff to hit your quota. Most successful salespeople will break that $1M down into reasonable, sellable pieces. For example, one way to get to the number is to sell one big deal (say for $500K), two to three medium deals (say $150K each), and then 15-20 smaller deals. Believe me, if you don't plan this out and revisit this throughout the year, you can get caught up in the details of selling and before you know it, you missed the target.

3. Work smarter that you are working today. I say it like this because everyone is at a different place in their career when it comes to efficiency, tools and selling patterns. Therefore, wherever you are today, figure out a way to do it smarter tomorrow. Maybe it's leveraging a new tool, writing down goals, changing a small piece of your strategy. Smarter gets you to quota faster!

4. Pipeline development (or Sales Activity in general) is the raw materials that sales are made of. If you run out of raw materials, you're screwed. NEVER run out of raw materials. This means that you have to feed the pipeline, go out on sales calls, do proposals, meet with customers, perform demos, etc. to feed the never ending raw material engine. Don't let yourself get caught in a rat-hole on some detail. Stay big-picture. Never run out of raw materials.

5. Set your own goals and targets that are GREATER than your quota. Some companies do this already, but this does not matter. If you need $1M, set your goals at $1.25M. Setting the bar higher gives you several advantages: First, it's a buffer. Giving yourself a buffer is a good idea. Second, you will likely be financially rewarded when you over-achieve. Here's a bonus tip: When it comes to forecasting - be honest with yourself and your managers. Don't load-up with pipeline with unqualified deals and don't over-promise bookings that really won't happen. First, this let's you change your activity behavior if things don't look good. Second, it helps build rapport with management.

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Contact me at Tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.









Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Success Is An Inside Job



Success Is An Inside Job
by Bill Caskey

Contrary to the old adage, I believe great salespeople are made, not born. Furthermore, the "making" of a great salesperson involves more than just going to the right training classes or having the right coaches. It also requires developing the attitudes, attributes and inner discipline that allow you to maximize what you've learned in those classes and coaching sessions. What are these qualities? Following is my list of the top five attributes of a high-performance sales professional.

Mental toughness. This is skill number one for all salespeople, yet typically it hovers below the radar screen of most conventional sales trainers and recruiters. The top 5% of sales professionals achieve at a higher level than 50% of the rest. Some might attribute these results to superior closing, probing, or territory management skills. In reality, they're a result of mental toughness: the inner ability to know what to do, coupled with the mechanical ability to execute it.

Profound communication skills. Effective communication involves more than just matching and mirroring prospects. Profound communication skills enable you to create an environment of trust in which prospects become willing to share and reveal the truth about their problems. Ninety percent of sales processes are based on lies, misinformation and gamesmanship. In order to get prospects to open up and reveal their problems, you must understand how to communicate in a way that elicits truth. Then, and only then, will you be working on the right problems.

Knowledge of value. Some would say this is not a skill. But if not, what is it? If you don't understand the core tenets of your value proposition, how can you expect to articulate them effectively to the marketplace? In fact, most salespeople have a weak understanding of what a value proposition is, which is why they typically convey only a small percentage of the value their company really offers. Communicating real value requires study, practice, and shedding preconceived notions about what selling really is.

The ability to deal with humans. Those pesky humans! Wouldn't it be nice to not have to deal with all their insecurities and pains? But then, who would write the checks, approve the deals, and have the motivation? When you accepted life on earth, you accepted the challenge of relationships. The better you are at having a relationship with yourself, the better you will be at external relationships. This applies to relationships with your superiors, clients, prospects, vendors and anyone else you come in contact with. If you're in sales, you signed up for relationships, and lots of them. So your skill at dealing with people is essential. Do you have a good psychological understanding of why people do the things they do? Do you know why most prospects lie about their true motives when a salesperson shows up? Do you know why a prospect gets excited about the presentation, only to disappear two weeks later? Do you know why some prospects simply cannot pull the trigger to buy? People who study this stuff get real good, real quick. They make a great deal of money because they are dialed into their profession at an entirely different level than their competitors.

Process thinking. This essential skill keeps you from spending too much time with the wrong people in the sales process. Time is an active asset, ticking away each day. Do you spend it talking with true prospects who understand and believe in your value, or with average prospects who have to be convinced of the value in your services?

Ideally, it would the former: potential clients who see your value. But that's not what usually happens. Because of insecurity about their own value, most salespeople will spend time with anyone who extends an invitation. Then, instead of telling the prospect that it doesn't appear to be a good fit, they continue trying to force a fit, ending with confusion, frustration, and possibly a small deal that was hardly worth the time.

When you understand up front what a good prospect is, how he thinks and acts, you will spend more time with the right people. Success is an inside job. By focusing on developing these five attributes, you will acquire the positive attitude and mental discipline necessary to be a high performing salesperson, and accomplish all you desire in the field of sales.

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Contact me at Tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.