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Do you have a contact email address on your website? Most companies do. If so you’re most likely getting lots of unsolicited email or spam. Spammers use web crawlers, otherwise known as ‘spambots’ to crawl through websites, in much the same way as Google and other search engines, but with the malicious aim of harvesting unprotected email address and then adding them to their spamming lists.
I fell prey to this myself when I first had the Move Beyond website built back in 2003. Little did I know that having an email address on the site for potential clients to contact me would result in me receiving 500-600 spam emails a day!!! It did teach me a valuable lesson though and I’ve since learnt to ensure that my email address is always encrypted online.
These days you can easily disguise your email address using encryption or obfuscation tools. So if you have unencrypted email addresses on your website then I highly recommend you encrypt them as soon as possible. If like me you use WordPress as your website platform then I recommend this fantastic little plugin that I use called Email Encoder Bundle that encrypts all email addresses on your WordPress site automatically. You can get it here: www.wordpress.org/extend/plugins/email-encoder-bundle/
Alternatively you can use the encryption tool in the form below to encrypt your email address before placing it on any type of website.
Use this tool to encrypt your email address before posting it in a web page:
Simply enter your email address in the first box and enter the text you want displayed on your website in the display box
“Across corporate America, coaching sessions at many companies have become as routine for executives as budget forecasts and quota meetings.” (Investor’s Business Daily)
The benefits of coaching within organisations has long been established and are highlighted in a recent study conducted by Manchester Inc., which quantifies the business impact of external executive coaching. The study included 100 executives, mostly from Fortune 1000 companies. Organisations that provided coaching to their executives realised improvements in productivity, quality, organizational strength, customer service, and shareholder value. They received fewer customer complaints, and were more likely to retain executives who had been coached. In addition, the investment in providing coaching to its executives realised an average return on investment (ROI) of almost six times the cost of the coaching.
Benefits to companies that provided coaching to executives included – improvements in:
· Productivity (reported by 53% of executives)
· Quality (48%)
· Organizational strength (48%)
· Customer service (39%)
· Reducing customer complaints (34%)
· Retaining executives who received coaching (32%)
· Cost reductions (23%)
· Bottom-line profitability (22%)
Benefits to executives who received coaching included – improved:
· Working relationships with direct reports (reported by 77% of executives)
· Working relationships with immediate supervisors (71%)
· Teamwork (67%)
· Working relationships with peers (63%)
· Job satisfaction (61%)
· Conflict reduction (52%)
· Organizational commitment (44%)
· Working relationships with clients (37%)
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I was prompted to write this post after receiving an email newsletter from one of my close colleagues that began by asking a fatal question along the lines of:
“Are you are finding my ’insert subject of whatever you were writing about‘ tips useful?”
Now you might think that’s a quite innocent question and that it’s a good idea to get feedback from you audience, and on one level both are true. However, the problem lays in the underlying message in your question – which implies that you have some doubt about the content you’re sending out. This is what I refer to with my clients as an ‘unintended impact’.
Firstly, do you have some doubt? If so, then by all means seek feedback – but not globally from your whole audience – as this kind of question can undermine your credibility and create doubt in the minds of your audience about whether you really know what you’re talking about. Instead I’d suggest that you seek feedback from a few trusted colleagues (or clients) in your inner network who know their stuff, and see what advice the have. Or speak to a copywriter. That way you’re getting useful input from trusted sources and also ensuring your reputation and credibility remains intact with your audience. If you don’t have any doubt, then be more conscious of the language you use when communicating.
In the event that you do want to seek input from your audience, then it’s better to do it more explicitly. Send out a specific email asking them what their challenges are. Tell them that as a business you’re always looking for ways to add more value to your clients and subscribers and ask them what topics and support they’d really be interested in hearing/reading about. Again, no unintended impact and lot’s of useful information gleaned!
I notice similar unintended errors like this all the time when reading online content or out networking and meeting people in person. I frequently observe people promoting themselves and their business, yet at the same time apologising for themselves or their business in some way, or behaving/communicating in a way that implies that they don’t have total confidence in themselves or what they have to offer. They’re often unaware of it, yet it has a considerable impact and does them a great disservice . I’m sure you’ve noticed it from time to time to. Or even if you haven’t noticed that specifically you’ve walked away from a business conversation or communication with doubt in your mind about the person you’ve been engaging with. They might have even said all the right things, but something’s niggling at you that you can’t put your finger on. The sad thing is that when we do this, we rarely get feedback about how we’ve come across, the prospect will just go elsewhere.
Sometimes this happens as a result of an actual lack of confidence, other times is due to a genuine desire to provide valuable input, or some other equally innocent intention. Unfortunately it doesn’t really matter why it’s occurring, the impact is pretty much the same.
It’s natural that we all have doubts and good intentions, we’re all human after all. What’s important is being aware of how you’re coming across and ensuring that you’re always putting your best foot forward as much as possible. Use that trusted network to get feedback from and hash out anything you’re not 100% sure about, and be totally confident and consistent with the messages you’re putting out to your clients, prospects and your audience.
Remember what you say is important, but how you say it is even more important – the core message you’re sending out comes from a combination of both – but the latter always says more than the former!