Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

POLL: Are You More Creative Alone or with Others?

Lifehacker recently asked this question and I was curious which way those in our profession leaned. So how about you? Are you more creative working alone, directly with others or just in the company of others? Feel free to share how your creative energy works in the comments. We’d all love to know!

PS: Remember, my holiday sale ends tomorrow (Friday). From now until 11:59pm Friday, you can SAVE 28% off everything in the Success Store. Simply enter coupon code thanks28 on checkout for instant savings!

Can I Pick Your Brain?

Many of you longtime readers may remember the year I decided to move the ACA Success Store to its own store-based platform. I thought it would make things nicer and easier for our customers.

It was a disaster.

People hated it and sales plummeted.

I only know anecdotally, but it appeared that people really didn’t like having to go through multiple clicks to browse the products available.

And they REALLY didn’t like having to create an account in order to purchase.

It didn’t make sense because having to create an account to make a purchase is common practice (e.g., clothing/retail stores, Amazon, etc.).

But it really does come down to knowing your audience and the specific industry/market you’re in, as well as the kind of products you’re offering. You can’t just blindly follow conventional (i.e., generic) best-practice advice because one size does not fit all. And as they say, test, test, test.

There’s a big difference between info/training products and, say, retail clothing.

What we found was that our Success Store customers prefer having ALL the products on one long page.

And once we reverted back to that, sales started coming back up.

So, what got me musing about all this is because I have a new product that I need to add to the store, which is going to add to the length of the page even more. And I wondered if there might be a better way to do this that would bring more ease to our customers without negatively disrupting sales.

Here’s what I’d like to know from you…

I was thinking that on the individual products, where the descriptions are really long, it might be useful to have just the basic description and purchase button and then a link to take those who want more info to a separate page for that item with the longer description.

If you were shopping, would that be helpful to your experience and make scanning/purchasing easier for you?

Or, would having to click through to a separate page for each individual product get tiring and annoying to you, and I should leave things as they are?

Lemme know. I would sure appreciate your insights and advice. Thank you!

PS: Here’s the Success Store page in question. Is it too long for you? What other suggestions do you have for improving the usability/readability of the page?

Just for Fun: What’s Your Biz Speed?

Here’s a little poll, just for fun…

I was reading something that got me musing about just how true “different strokes for different folks” is. The kind of biz environment and pace one person craves like chocoloate is often the next person’s idea of hell on earth, lol.

So what’s your preferred biz speed? How do you like things to grow? What kind kind of environment is most condusive to your creativity and ease?

Completely anonymous, but if you’d care to leave a comment, that would make things even more interesting!

(And yes, I purposely did not include anything in the middle of the road. We can ALL be “middle of the road” in some way or another, but that’s just not helpful or interesting. I want you to look and see which side of the fence you are usually more inclined to lean to).

POLL: Would you like more free time in your business and life?

I have a new class coming up in August on the topic of biz management and productivity. I’ve set up my business in a way that not only allows me to provide fantastic client support, but I always have time for my life. With rare exception, I’m never working like a slave everyday, I’m not scrambling to get things done or keep up with my workload, and I have a tremendous amount of time for my life, vastly more than I see most other people in our industry having. I make more money than 90% of those in our industry AND I’m not working with clients like a substitute employee to earn it.

So, this class is a way to share with others how I have things set up so that they, too, can have this kind of biz and lifestyle… so they are working to live rather than living to work.

As a follower of my blog, you know that I give a ton of information and mentoring away for free. So I’d like to ask you for a favor in return. Whether or not you plan to attend this class, I’d like to know if this class piques your interest or not and whether it’s a topic you are interested in.

This is a completely anonymous survey so I don’t know who answers what. However, if you wouldn’t mind sharing with me where the trouble spots are when it comes to productivity and managing your biz and client expectations and the like, it would be very helpful to me as well and I would very much appreciate your assistance (I won’t post your comments so you can share freely). πŸ™‚

Which Title Captures Your Attention Better?

I am just finishing up a new free tool for Administrative Consultants and so excited to share with you.

I’m a bit stuck on the title, however, and could really use your help.

Let me know which title captures your attention better in the poll below.

Or maybe you think neithere of them is good and have a better suggestion. If so, please do let me know in the comments.

Many thanks!


Dear Danielle: Client Wants to Do a Background Check on Me

Dear Danielle:

I have recently purchased a few of your items and love them. They have helped me tremendously! Thanks. πŸ™‚

I have a question: I have done a couple of consultations and the client has asked if they could run a background check because they will be disclosing some bank and financial information to me. I have no problem with them doing this and can’t blame them for asking; however, I was wondering if you had heard of a service where I could get the background check for myself and just be able to send it to the clients when they ask for it? The main reason for this is that in the same way that they don’t want to hand over their banking info to me, I do not want to hand over my SS#, birth date, home address, etc.

Great question and thanks so much for asking. I don’t have any recommendations for you when it comes to background checks. Obviously, it’s everyone’s personal choice, but I highly discourage allowing clients to do personal background checks. Even if they themselves have honest intentions and are not some kind of shady character, if their computer or systems or office security are compromised somehow, that information can get leaked out in all kind of ways through no fault of their own. Having been a private investigator in a former life, this is a really bad idea for all kinds of reasons.

Plus, it’s just the wrong mindset to cater to. If you were an employee they were considering hiring, it might be appropriate, but this is a business relationship, not an employment one. A background check also doesn’t guarantee that someone can be trusted. There simply has to be a certain level of trust extended to each other or there isn’t room to do business together.

You didn’t say what kind of work you will be doing for them, but generally, trust in business is something that grows and is earned in stages. With some exceptions, of course, it’s very often not necessary to need that kind of sensitive client data right off the bat. You can let the relationship grow naturally as you continue working together over those first months and getting to know each other. As they see things progress and they get more comfortable, they will know the right time to share that information if and when it’s needed.

I do want you to think about this from a different perspective. Have a conversation with the client. What might really be going on behind their request? Do they simply have trust issues beyond what is reasonable? Is there something they aren’t seeing or feeling from you that they need to in order to feel more trusting?

There are all kinds of ways you can help instill trust and credibility without submitting to background checks:

  • Put your name and face on your website. People connect with people, not anonymous, nameless, faceless entities. This is one of the most potent, instant trust and rapport builders you can employ!
  • Put an address on your website. Not your home address, but some kind of mailing address as well as an email and contact number. This satisfies an emotional (not logical) need people have to see that you can be contacted in the “real” world if need be. It just gives them added assurance. When you don’t provide that info, they feel there is something to distrust.
  • If you are in the U.S., get an EIN number from the IRS (this is so that you don’t have to provide your SSN when you are an unincorporated sole proprietor), and then provide new clients with a completed IRS Form W-9.
  • Put a copy of your business license/registration in PDF format so you can provide that to clients as well. This shows that you are credible, legitimately registered business.
  • Have errors and omissions (E & O) insurance and provide a PDF copy of your certificate to new clients.
  • Provide a values/promise statement on your website. Tell clients that you have a feedback process instituted in your business and will solicit their input at regular intervals throughout the relationship. Let them know if they are ever unhappy, you encourage and welcome their feedback and will do everything in your power to rectify any unsatisfactory performance.
  • If you belong to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have a spotless record, place your membership seal on your website (their code will link to your BBB profile where they can read your record for themselves).
  • Provide clients with testimonials on your website. Have a PDF list of clients who are happy to talk with your prospective clients about you and your work.

As you can see, there are all kinds of things you can and should be doing that will help new clients feel comfortable and safe with you. But do politely decline the background checks. It’s far too intrusive and just not the right place to start the relationship off.

Do you have others to add to the list? Please post in the comments!

POLL: Want Retainer Clients, But Have a Hard Time Getting Them?

So I have a new poll for all you in the administrative support business. I want to know if you love the idea of having retained clients (clients you provide ongoing support for who pay you a monthly fee in advance at the start of each month), but have a difficult time getting them to sign on.

For those of you who answer yes, please do share in the comment what difficulties you experience with this. (I’ve got something special for you coming up πŸ™‚

POLL: Do You Prefer Live Teleclasses or DIY eProducts?

So I have a new question for you… when it comes to paying for business/marketing learning and you can only do one or the other, which do you prefer: live teleclasses or self-paced do-it-yourself e-products (e.g., ebooks, videos, audio recordings)?

Also, what is the reason for your preference? Curious minds want to know! Please do contribute to the conversation in the comments. πŸ™‚