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We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!




This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Vincenzo's website on a computer monitor

 

About

Vincenzo’s is owned and operated by brothers Tony and Carmine Caccioppoli, 2nd generation Caccioppolis in Canada, since 1967. Located at the Bauer Building, corner of Allen and Caroline Streets in Waterloo, Ontario.

 

A specialty food store offering over 500 cheeses, deli meats, sandwiches, hot food, cafe and thousands of grocery items from around the world.

 

Packed with an enticing variety of products – many of which are locally-sourced and many that are imported from Europe and elsewhere across the globe.

 

Vincenzo's Main Contact: Carmine Caccioppoli

 

Visit Vincenzo's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

When we first decided to redesign our website a while back, we went looking for something not only that looked clean and professional, but which also offered flexibility and control for us to do most of our own inputting and updates.

 

We also needed something that our users could easily shop for groceries or order sandwiches and lunch online.   

 

REM’S Webwizard was exactly what we were looking for. It offered us the flexibility to do most of our own inputting and updates and was very easy to use. We recently just launched our 3rd Major Update with REM.

 

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

We have worked with REM for over 12 years and find them very knowledgeable and accommodating to all our specific needs.

 

During the pandemic they were very responsive in designing for us quick tools to aid with the influx of online shopping. Rob and his team did a great job in resolving any issues we had during this time.


We are very happy with the relationship with have with him and his team.

 

 

 

We have worked with REM for over 12 years and find them very knowledgeable and accommodating to all our specific needs.

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: [email protected]utions.com

Support: [email protected]

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Illustration of a mailbox coming out of a cellphone

 

Email marketing is an attractive, simple, and effective strategy for entrepreneurs to grow their business, sell a product or service, or connect with their customers in a genuine way. Not only is it relatively low cost, but it is simple to create in a short lead time (we’ve all been there!), the results are easy to measure and the impact it can have on your engagement with your customers is tangible. All of this, of course, if done well.

 

Through our research, we learned that 61% of consumers prefer to be contacted through email, that 99% of users check their email every day and that for every $1 spent, email marketing has an ROI of $42. Those are promising numbers!

 

A successful email marketing campaign includes planning, audience segmentation, personalization, and a strong call to action. Above all, the most essential thing is that a genuine connection needs to be made between the sender and the receiver. It is through relatable, thoughtful, and valuable content that your emails will be opened and engaged with time and time again. Otherwise, you can risk your carefully crafted email ending up in the spam folder, or worse, unsubscribed from.

 

To prevent that from happening, below are ten tried-and-true ways to genuinely stand out in your customers’ inboxes.

 

1. Create relatable content

 

A powerful and impactful email campaign goes beyond numbers (though measuring those is certainly important) and aims to add value to the customer. It is often forgotten that customers do not owe anyone their attention — it is earned.

 

“Permission is earned through quality content and offers, genuine interest in and deep understanding of consumer preferences/needs, and a consistent track record that builds trust. Keep the trust, keep the permission, keep the customer. It’s not just the volume or brilliance of content that matters, it’s how that content relates to them. If content is not relevant, it’s nothing more than a waste of your time and a reason for the consumer to take away permission for ongoing interaction with you.” explains Ted Rubin.

 

Relatable content depends on who your audience is and what they deem valuable. If your brand promotes selling sustainable products, one way to empower and educate customers is to provide them with further information or research about climate change and why their purchase would make a difference. If you are a lifestyle YouTuber and your brand focuses on motherhood and home living, one way to provide value would be to showcase time-saving hacks or meal-planning ideas. In short, anything that you share with your audience that could better their livelihood, empower them to make a change, save them time or money, or simply provide them with comfort or wisdom is relatable and valuable in their eyes.

 

2. Keep subject lines short

The purpose of the subject line is to grab the customer’s attention. Email subject lines will get cut off if they are too long, particularly on mobile devices. We know that 46% of opened emails happen on mobile devices, so using short subject lines with fewer than 50 characters ensures that people scanning their emails will open yours. Also, stay away from clickbait titles. Not only will it leave a sour aftertaste in your customers' mouths, but it will also dilute your credibility as a brand.

 

3. Use a reputable email provider

Using a less reputable email marketing campaign provider will hinder your chances of landing in your customers’ inboxes. Do your research before committing to one platform. REM offers a newsletter module, and our designers can create a beautiful newsletter template for you. Speak to your REM Customer Success Team member and ask them for more information on setting up your newsletter.

 

4. Find the right time to send out your emails

The best time to send emails depends on your audience. According to aggregate data, the most likely times for customers to open emails are 10:00am on Tuesdays and 3:00pm on Thursdays. Emails sent at these times will likely deliver results. For optimal results, however, you need to study your specific email lists and campaign analytics. Segment the lists into subgroups of customers based on feedback and interactions with your content. This primary research should drive your email timing, not general industry data.

 

5. Personalize emails through market segmentation

Unlike traditional advertising, email marketing reaches its audience every time. In fact, 99% of consumers check their email every day. This allows the perfect opportunity to create a genuine connection with your audience through market segmentation. In other words, you can tailor your message for each target audience.

 

Say you’re selling apartment units in a condo building. By separating your audience into buyers, investors and realtors, you can reach each audience and provide them with clear, valuable information that is pertinent to their area of interest.

 

Another common way to do this is by age group. We know that different generations intake information differently. Ivan Veta, SEO specialist at Scopic Software, found this to be a helpful method for his clients, as it allowed them to switch up their strategies according to generational marketing preferences.

 

“Our learnings thus far have concluded that millennials react positively to campaigns that contain infographics,” said Veta, whereas “Gen X and baby boomers readers tend to click on action buttons to read more about a certain topic.”

 

By personalizing emails through market segmentation, you’re providing tangible value to each audience and connecting with them in a way that is genuine and thoughtful.

 

6. Understand the 3 Rs of email marketing

On any given day, a customer’s inbox is flooded with emails, promotions, sales, or inquiries. Consider their activities across all social media platforms and you can see how easy it is for someone to experience content fatigue. A customer’s attention is their most asset and yet it is pulled into hundreds of different directions daily — often before they’ve even had their first cup of coffee!

 

Because of this, Alice Elliott warns digital marketers and entrepreneurs to understand the 3 Rs of email marketing — content must be researched, relevant and relatable.

 

Rather than relying on algorithms or automated systems, she encouraged entrepreneurs to do the hard work of collecting email addresses that are a suitable match for their brand. While the fishnet approach works for certain brands, it is more valuable in the long run to create a curated list of loyal customers.

 

Once you’ve gathered a curated list of email addresses, ensure that your product, service, or content is relevant to this list. The journey between your content and the “unsubscribe” button truly lies in the relevance of the content.

 

Lastly, avoid the “spray and pray” approach to email marketing. Rather than throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks with the customers, focus that attention on writing a considerate, relevant, and valuable campaign.

 

7. Offer valuable solutions

For your email marketing campaign to have any true impact on the customer, it must offer some valuable solution to their pain point. Whether it is offering your decluttering services to an overtired mother who simply lacks the time to tackle that area of their home or providing a discount code to your audience for an upcoming sale, finding ways to offer value goes a long way with your customers.

 

8. Be authentic

In a world consumed by filters and smoke and mirrors, it is beyond refreshing to interact with an individual or a brand that is unapologetic in their values, beliefs, or morals. That authenticity is what draws like-minded people together, builds brand loyalty, creates community and a feeling of belonging, and converts leads into customers. Best of all, it is in an authentic and genuine way.

 

9. Include a call to action

With all this focus on getting the customer’s attention, it’s easy to forget the initial intention of the email. Are you reminding them that they have an item in their cart? Alerting them of a sale? Promoting a new product? A clever subject line may improve your open rate, but to increase engagement, you must increase your click-through rate or the percentage of subscribers following email links to your webpage. This is where you’ll need a call to action (CTA).

 

Developing a call to action can be as simple as including a direct request. “You can’t expect your audience to guess what you want them to do next,” said Kendra Jones, a PR and marketing strategist specializing in influencer marketing. “Placing concise calls to action, such as ‘Click here to download your free guide,’ that are hyperlinked to the opt-in increased my click-through rate by 18%.”

 

10. Optimize for mobile

Since 70% of emails are opened on a mobile device, and your CTAs all lead back to your site, mobile optimization is crucial.

 

Here’s what mobile-optimized looks like:

  • All relevant text can be read from a single screen without having to pan
  • The email and landing page load quickly
  • There are clear, tap-able buttons
  • Font type, size, and color are easy on the eyes

 

Email marketing is a valuable tool to connect with your customers in a genuine way and stand out in their inbox among the influx of content competing for their attention. If done right, email marketing can convert leads into lifetime customers. It can provide education, entertainment, value, and solutions. Before you send out your next email marketing campaign, make sure you pull up this blog post to double-check that you’ve accomplished all ten recommendations before hitting “send”.

 

Speak with your REM Customer Success Team or Sales Rep for more information about setting up your own newsletter and start reaping the benefits of great email marketing.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Illustration of computer with error messages and problems

 

Imagine this: you’ve spent countless hours and a good chunk of money designing a custom website. You’ve thought about every small detail. You’ve mapped out how the user will interact with your website. You’ve written a thoughtful, clear, and conversion-driven copy. You’ve chosen between dozens of fonts, images and designs and you’ve arranged them just so. You’ve integrated third-party plugins to track analytics, capture emails and take care of back-end details. Now, you publish.

 

Your website crashes before it even has a chance to shine. Well, it turns out you are not alone in this situation.

 

According to the Third Parties chapter of their 2021 Web Almanac report, “a staggering 94.4% of mobile sites and 94.1% of desktop sites use at least one third-party resource.” They also found out that “45.9% of requests on mobile and 45.1% of requests on desktop are third-party requests.”

 

Your website may be using more third-party services than you realize. These services use requests to external hosts (servers you have no control over) to deliver JavaScript framework libraries, custom fonts, advertising content, marketing analytics trackers, and more. These third-party resources load in your visitor’s browser while your web page is loading, even if your visitors don’t realize it. They may be critical to the site functionality, or they have been added as an afterthought, but all of them can potentially affect how your users interact with your website and the overall functionality of the site.

 

You may have a lean, agile, responsive site design only to find it gradually loaded down with more and more “extras” that although were designed to enhance the back-end experience and analytics, often hinder functionality.

 

Recent research finds that third-party plugins could be hindering your website’s performance more than helping it. In this blog post we will be exploring five reasons why plugins hurt your website’s performance and a simple, integrated solution — go custom. After all, a custom website deserves custom solutions.

 

1. Third-party plugins cause conflict

A main cause of errors on your website is conflicts between two or more WordPress plugins that you may have installed. A conflict happens when two plugins are trying to accomplish the same thing in the same way, which causes one or both of them to malfunction. Third-party plugins are a major source of security vulnerabilities and website performance bottlenecks.

 

A perfect example of this is the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin version 19.7 was discovered to contain a conflict with other plugins which resulted in websites experiencing fatal errors. To make matters worse, this is the third time this year that this has happened.

 

To find a solution to this problem, WordPress recently announced a proposal to take a more proactive approach toward third-party plugins to improve security and site performance. What is being discussed is a plugin checker that will make sure that plugins are following best practices.

 

"While there are fewer infrastructure requirements for plugins than there are for themes, there are certainly some requirements that are worth verifying, and in any case, checking against security and performance best practices in plugins would be just as essential as it is in themes. However, as of today, there is no corresponding plugin checker” explained the team at WordPress.

 

One of the main problems is that there is a multitude of plugins available created to boost website performance, track SEO, user activity, etc. The intent is a good one. However, because of the large number of plugins available, multiple are used on websites simultaneously, making it hard to know which combination of them is creating conflict with each other or with the website’s custom coding. Another issue is the need to periodically update plugins, which again opens the door to possible conflict and website malfunctioning.

 

Many of our customers come to us with this exact issue, beyond frustrated and unsure of what to do next. We have transitioned each one of them to our custom-built CMS, [email protected], and have taken the reigns on managing all development and updates in-house, eliminating the need for third-party vendors. Our customers have realized the benefit of having a stable and custom solution to their problem, ensuring that their website is performing optimally, and not needing to compromise on any key features. Not only has this saved them time and money, but it has also ensured that no customers were lost because of their website’s lack of performance.

 

2. Some themes are incompatible with third-party plugins

The reality is this — plugins are built by various developers. This means that sometimes a website theme will be incompatible with a certain plugin. Although the plugin itself might have dozens of features, if one or two of those features don’t work properly with your theme, your website will not function well. You could try and troubleshoot each individual plugin, but that is a time-consuming and often fruitless task. Surely not how you want to spend your working hours!

 

3. Third-party plugins can be discontinued without notice

One of the most concerning aspects of using a third-party plugin is that at any moment it could be discontinued. This would mean that you are essentially left to your own devices to troubleshoot the issue, find which plugin has been discontinued, search for an adequate replacement and then hope that the one you chose does not conflict with your custom-built theme. It’s truly a hassle and a real way to lose time, money and potential customers. There is ample uncertainty in our world, but this is one that is truly avoidable.

 

4. Third-party plugins can slow down your website

Few things are more frustrating to a user than a sluggish or non-responsive website. The culprit for this is often the number of third-party plugins running on your website simultaneously. The reality is that any plugin that loads resources (such as JavaScript or CSS files) will slow down your website. Consider that you’re usually running multiple at once, and your website could be experiencing some real fatigue and performance issues. One temporary solution for this would be to become selective about which plugins are essential to your website and eliminate the rest. Unfortunately, this does not solve the rest of the problems we have covered in this blog post. The wise solution would be to allow a professional team of website developers to handle the functionality of your website, to ensure that you are not spending your time down the rabbit hole and potentially losing customers in the process.

 

5. Unexpected costs can arise

Developers earn an income by providing a free service for a limited or trial amount of time, and then charging the user once that time is up. In most cases, third-party plugins operate the same way. Most developers offer a free trial for up to a year and provide ample support during this time. After that period, however, you may have to pay to continue using the plugin or try to find support elsewhere. Additionally, some developers will charge customers for continued updates to their plugins. This can be a major issue because WordPress tends to change its core code often to improve performance and security. Outdated plugins can conflict with the new version of WordPress and cause issues on your site.

 

We believe a strong case can be made for the fact that third-party plugins can wreak havoc on your custom-built website, costing you time, and money and potentially losing customers. Finding where the conflict is between your theme and the plugin (and which plugin at that!) can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. With constantly changing and evolving plugins, updates to both the plugin and WordPress as a platform, unexpected website crashes and unexpected costs, this can be a frustrating experience at best.

 

There is a better way. At REM Web Solutions, we have removed the guesswork from the situation and have created a custom CMS, [email protected] Because of the nature of our work, we handle all the development and updates in-house, eliminating the need for third-party vendors. This stable and reliable solution can allow you to breathe easier knowing that your website is performing optimally, your users will convert to customers because of the fluid navigation, and no more time and money is spent troubleshooting an endless problem.

 

As we said, your custom website deserves a custom solution.

 

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This is a headshot of Rob Matlow.

Hands holding poppy flowers

 

On this day, November 11, we remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for this country.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Illustration of man holding a pen looking at a computer and paper

 

Professional writing is something we all do dozens of times a day; but how much thought do we really give it? The way we write in a professional setting sets the tone for not only our selves but the company we represent. If we have spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or are simply too wordy that can make a negative impression on those we are communicating with.

 

Everything we write in our day to day working lives, from emails to social media posts all reflect upon us and our companies. Therefore, we need to make sure we are coming across as best we can. Writing matters, and many people have trouble remembering how much it can impact us. Writing is how we tell stories, make deals, convey history; it is the fundamental for human communication. Writing in the workplace or in a business setting is no exception.

 

Marketing Materials

Marketing Materials covers a wide range of writing tasks: from sales copy on websites to social media posts to blogs on your own website. Marketing is the first thing a prospective client or the general public will see of your company, so you need to make sure it is well received. If your copy is riddled with spelling errors or typos it sends a bad message.

 

First you need to look at your general advertising copy: Newspapers, billboards, websites, etc. Figure out the message you are trying to send and who you want to see it. Make sure it is easy to read from far away or in small print text. Avoiding errors will help with this, it will allow your potential clients to read it easier.

 

You also need to consider visual aids. If you are worried about not being able to fully get your point across without having one large text block, consider pictures. Using visual aids such as graphs or photos of your product can help people better understand what you are trying to say without having to read as much.

 

Next, look at your social media posts: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Even though this may seem as a more casual setting or form of advertising, it still matters. Social media these days reaches a massive audience base and can spread your message further than you originally thought.

 

Posts can be shared and sent to others across different platforms, so you need to be careful with what you say. Anytime you are posting anything you are representing your company. Your opinion has no place in the work environment and so it should not have a place on the company social media. Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure errors all also matter, so make sure to triple check before posting.

 

Finally, look at personal marketing: Networking, your personal website, client communications, etc. Most people do not think of any of these as marketing, however, when it comes to the professional world, everything is marketing. Anything you say or do regarding your company can have a big impact. If you are making a blog post for your companies' website, you need to make sure that you have no mistakes. The smallest mistake in your writing can defer potential clients.

Marketing is the first look a potential client or the general public has at your company. You need to make sure that from the very start your company comes across as professional.

 

Proposals

Business proposals are everything when it comes to first contact. Whether you are sending one to your boss for a new project or to a new client; they are the first point of contact people will get from you. You need to make sure that you are coming across professionally, clearly, and to the point. There are a few things you need to be thinking about when writing a proposal:

 

  1. What is your purpose? Think about what you are trying to achieve by sending this proposal and make sure that is your soul focus and topic point.
  2. Who is your audience? Is it your boss? Is it a new client? Your audience matters as you need to know who you are talking to. If you are writing for your boss, you do not need to explain every facet of the company and its policies. However, if you are writing to a first-time client who knows nothing about what the company does or how they run things, you may need to explain more.
  3. Stick to the point. Do not go off on tangents. You do not need to be talking about everything all at once, all that does is confuse the reader and deter them from wanting to read more.
  4. Use active writing. What that means is do not sound passive. If you are hovering around a point or avoiding getting straight to the point, it can come off as too passive. Now I am not saying go out and tell your boss or client what to do and when to do it as if you are in charge. But what I am saying is you should be straightforward. You do not want to come off as if you do not know what you are talking about.
  5. Avoid text blocks. Whenever possible, avoid long overly wordy text blocks. No one wants to read a three-page proposal with no breaks. They will get bored or lost and give up reading it all together. Keep your paragraphs, if possible, between 3-5 sentences and break up big groups of text with new headers.

 

Your proposals are very important, and they can make or break a potential new deal with a client or cost you that promotion. Be careful with what you say and how you say it. Most importantly make sure you are considering all these points when writing.

 

Emails

I am sure anyone reading this has written at least a handful of emails throughout their lives. Emails are the foundation that keeps businesses going. It is how everyone in the professional world communicates, whether it is with clients or your boss or your colleagues. However, not everyone thinks of emails as business writing, but it is.

 

Sending emails may seem a boring mundane task you have got to do a hundred times throughout the day, but they are everything. Most people will quickly type out an email and send it off without giving it another thought. The way you write emails can make or break your entire professional career. Clients and your boss will forever remember if you have typos or grammatical errors in your emails constantly.

 

It has been proven that people are less likely to want to continue to work with or in the future with a company that sends poorly written emails. Granted one or two occasional mistakes is simply just human error and most people will ignore it. However, constant and unchecked mistakes is seen as lazy and unprofessional and can cause major issues for you in the future.

When writing emails, make sure to proofread them. Now yes, I understand that most of you are very busy at work and many of you have better things to do with your time than re-read an email. However, it will help you immensely in the long run.

 

Once you do it a few times it will feel routine and less like a burden or extra task you must do. It will also allow you to go back and fix any mistakes you may have made before sending it and potentially coming across as unprofessional to a new client. There are reason teachers tried to engrain it into us all throughout school, it works, and it helps.

 

Internal Communications

Internal communication may be the last thing you think of when needing to sound professional, but everything counts. Internal communication in this sense refers to communication throughout a company with other employees, whether that be your boss, colleague, or subordinate. When you are speaking, or in this case writing emails or likewise you need to sound professional and like you deserve to be there.

 

Writing in the workplace or professional setting is like proving you know what you are talking about. Everything in the way you present yourself matters in a professional setting. You would not show up to work in your pajamas, in the same way you need to make sure you are communicating properly.

 

Poor writing cannot only affect your performance, but the performance of the people you work with. If you are not clear in what you are saying or make mistakes and do not correct them, it can affect everyone else around you. For example: if you are emailing your partner on a project at work and tell them that “79% of clients reach out for future projects” when you actually meant “97% of clients reach out for future projects”, that can greatly affect not only you but your partner as well. Simple mistakes can make or break your career, so you need to be careful.

 

The way you talk to anyone, whether it be a client, your boss, or a colleague matters. You need to make sure you are writing everything from emails to proposals correctly and clearly.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Illustration of truck and storefront in a cellphone

 

Most people during the pandemic and with this new age of technology have shifted to online sales; our sales team at REM is no exception. We here at REM have adjusted our sales and outlook on the industry as the state of world of communications has been changing over the past 3 years.

 

Online sales have always been a thing in the business world, but never have we been this reliant on them. Now that we are coming to the end of the pandemic some sales are moving back to in-person, but most are staying online as everyone has grown accustomed to them.

 

Here at REM, we like to focus on a few main points when it comes to online sales and making sure our clients have the best experience possible. This way we can ensure each one of current and future clients is well taken care of.

 

Communication

Communication is the foundation for a great relationship with clients. Moving to online sales has come with a new set of challenges when it comes to communications. However, we have adapted to move forward as smoothly as possible.

 

Being hands on with communication is a major part of sales. Communication online is very different than communication in-person. Long pauses, exaggerated expressions, verbal ticks, and rambling all come across worse over a call or video chat. Small mistakes in verbiage and the way you speak can easily be fixed in person but over video call it can come off as unrehearsed or as a bigger mistake than it was. Being clear in communication helps immensely when it comes to online sales.

 

Clearly communicating what you are trying to sell your client on is also a major point. When you are talking to a client in person you must explain everything in detail. However, with online sales you can provide visual aids and occasional demonstrations. This allows us to communicate better with our clients and allow them to fully understand what we are trying to sell them on.

 

Here at REM, we have a very hands-on support and sales team, eager to help whenever needed. Communication has always been our top priority when it comes to client relations. Because everything we do is done here in house, it makes it very easy for us communicate easily and clearly with our clients regarding any questions they may have.

 

Flexibility

Flexibility is a key skill when it comes to sales; being able to change your pitch and approach depending on the response you get from a client is very important. Sales has always been a back and forth, a conversation between two people. So, when that conversation has a distance barrier placed in the middle it makes it a little harder to have.

 

Being able to change on the spot depending on your client is extremely important. Moving to online meetings has come with a new set of challenges that need to be adapted for. Technology is not always easy, and clients are not always as well versed with it as you may be, so be prepared to change your approach depending on them. Some people may also not be as receptive to online meetings as others, be able to change your approach depending on how the client is responding and your call will go much easier.

 

Changing meeting times is also something one needs to be on the lookout for. With in-person everyone made sure to plan their days very specifically around meetings, especially if it meant having to travel. However, with online becoming more common place it is easier for people to go over time in meetings or to double book themselves. Be flexible and understanding when it comes to having to change times.

 

At REM, our sales and support team are happy to be flexible to fit what you need. We are happy switch meeting times with enough notice and change up our pitch if it is not working.

 

Customization

Most sales representatives will customize their sales pitches depending on their client. Customization is a major player in sales and making sure that you can sell to everyone, and anyone, is the key to success. Being able to customize how you sell is a great skill to have and will help you further your sales career.

 

Not only is customizing your pitch important, but also being able to customize your product. Allowing clients to feel as though they have control over the product or service they are purchasing, and their sales experience is key. If your client feels like they have no choice in their sales experience or in the product they are purchasing, they are less likely to want to go back to the company. Now granted, not all products are customizable, and most clients are aware of that, but a sales pitch can always be changed.

 

Clients know when a pitch is rehearsed and can tell if you are just reading off a script. Change it up, make it feel like you have personally designed your pitch for the person you are specifically speaking to. Being able to improvise is also a big help. Your client's mood and approach may change while you are in a meeting, so be prepared to switch it up on the spot. The last thing you want is for your client to lose interest halfway through your meeting and get bored.

 

At REM, we care about our clients and their experience, so our sales and support team has learned to adapt. We make sure that each client feels like they are well taken care of by the best of the best. Due to the nature of the service, we provide here at REM, we can make sure the client has full customization over their website. This allows us to continue to provide the best service we can for our clients. If they are unhappy with something we are always happy to change it until they are.

 

Rapport

Building rapport with a client is one of the most important things when it comes to sales. Something to remember is that with long standing clients you are not just talking to them once or twice, but constantly. Making sure that you build up that rapport with them is key, it makes them feel like you care and not just because you want their sale.

 

Sharing jokes, talking about pets or kids, and talking about hobbies are things that can help you build up a relationship or a rapport with your client. Now yes, most of your time talking to a client should be focused on business, but, if they start talking about their kids do not cut them off. People love talking about themselves, and yes that does sound bad, but it is true. Allowing your client to talk a little bit more about themselves and their lives makes them feel like you care about them and will make them want to come back.

 

Building a rapport also helps you as well. Rapport with client does not just make them feel more comfortable but it can also help you. The better you know a client the easier it is to have future conversations with them and the easier it is to gear your pitches towards them. If you know how someone will react you are able to change how you act around them accordingly. The better you know a client the easier it will be to sell to them in the future.

 

Not only will it help you sell to them better, but it may get you personally more sales. If a client likes you specifically, they may request you time and time again as they work more with you company. They may also recommend not only your company but you to others they know, bringing in more business with your name attached.

 

Due to REM’s smaller size, we can have more personal one-on-one relationships with our clients. This allows us to make sure each client's needs are met. It also allows our sales and support team to better adapt to our clients as they know them more personally.

 

Once your company moves to a customer-focused sales approach, your staff will realise that it’s all about building relationships with your clients. They will stop focusing on pressing the sale and worrying about their commissions or close-rates and they will start to enjoy spending time with potential clients.

 

Professionalism

Moving to online has also come with working from home more, so maintaining a professional appearance has become more of a challenge. Making sure you appear at your best will affect your sales. It is also no longer just about how you look but how you background looks.

 

In the business world there is a certain dress code most companies prefer you to uphold. But, as people began working from home more, the dress code went out the window. However, if you have a meeting with a client you cannot show up wearing your pajamas or comfy clothes, you still need to look like a working professional. Make sure your hair is done and clean, you have on a good shirt and tie or anything else that suits you. Your appearance affects the appearance of the company, so make sure you look the part.

 

These days, since most people are still working from home or do a hybrid, not only do you yourself need to look good but your background does as well. Now most people do not have the time, money, or space to re-arrange their entire house to make sure they have a clean and clear working space.

 

However, you can limit the amount of unprofessional or distracting items in the background. That means removing most media posters, distracting knick-knacks, anything that can make noise, and if possible, keeping kids and pets away from working areas. The last thing you want during a virtual meeting is for your client to get distracted by a poster you have on the wall behind you or get upset because your cat keeps walking across your keyboard.

 

Take advantage of the latest technology and put in a virtual background to hide your office space if you can’t make it look professional. REM sales staff use the same branded virtual background to make sure our potential clients get a consistent experience regardless of who they are speaking to on the sales team.

 

At REM we have moved to a hybrid style of working, meaning our support and sales team works both in the office and from their homes. Due to this we make sure that even when they are working from home, they uphold the highest level of professionalism to ensure the best experience for our clients, both current and future.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Illustration concept of a business man starting a maze

 

In a post-pandemic marketplace, small businesses are feeling the pressure of different risks more than they ever have before. It’s necessary to be aware of what these risks are, and how to face them in today’s world.

 

Examples of challenges faced by businesses today:

  1. Rising costs
  2. Cybersecurity failure
  3. IT infrastructure breakdown
  4. Debt crises
  5. Livelihood crises
  6. Climate action failure
  7. Digital inequality
  8. Adverse tech advances
  9. Social cohesion erosion
  10. Digital power concentration

 

Small businesses and the post-pandemic world

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and are responsible for creating the vast majority of jobs. Unfortunately, world events have led to a slowdown in the growth of small businesses, and we urgently need to do everything we can to help them recover.

 

A slowdown in the growth of small businesses shows the world that we are still in the middle of an ever-changing market landscape.

 

Survival tips for small businesses

If you're a small business owner, you know that there are a lot of challenges that come with running a small business. One of the most important things you can do is try to survive and thrive in a challenging economy while being prepared for the common threats faced by businesses today.

 

Here are some survival tips for small businesses to help you succeed:

 

1. Plan for the future

One of the best things you can do for your small business is to plan for the future. Make sure you have a long-term strategy and account for everything from increasing sales to mitigating economic downturns. This will help you avoid making rash decisions that could hamper your business.

 

2. Increase sales

One of the best ways to survive in a challenging economy is to increase sales. This means finding new ways to market your business and attract more customers. You can also try out new product ideas or services to see if they can increase your transactions.

 

3. Stay agile

Another key survival tip for small businesses is to stay agile. This means being able to shift your business model quickly and respond to changing market conditions. This is essential if you want to keep up with the competition.

 

4. Monitor expenses

An important step for small businesses is to monitor expenses and make sure you aren’t overspending. See where you can cut costs and scale back so you aren’t spending above your means and have money saved should you need to use it in an emergency. 

 

It's important that you don’t cut money from critical expenses that help you acquire more clients or generate more revenue. For example, if you’re struggling for sales, the worst thing you can do is cut your marketing budget back and then get even less customers.

 

If you are worried that you are spending too much money on wasted services you aren’t using, you can speak to your service provider to see where you can cut back.

 

5. Invest in pandemic preparedness and surveillance measures

Plan your business around the pandemic. This includes anticipating possible changing restrictions on travel and trade, stocking up on essential supplies, and developing a plan to keep your employees safe and healthy.

 

6. Stay informed

Keep up with the latest updates on the pandemic and world issues, and stay up-to-date on regulatory changes. This will help you plan what to do if local or global events affect your business.

 

7. Build relationships with other businesses

Network with other businesses in your sector, and build a support system to help you weather the storm.

 

8. Stay positive

Having a positive attitude during turbulent times can help your business push through challenging times. Remember, anything can happen during the times we live in, but with a reasonable level of preparedness, your business can handle pretty much anything.

 


 

Conclusion:

There seems to be a never-ending list of different challenges being faced by businesses today that just keep growing. The important takeaway is to remain adaptable, informed, and prepared, so your business’ health remains strong.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Man working and eating lunch on his office desk

 

Why do some workers insist on sticking to their desks for lunch? There are a few different reasons why some workers insist on sticking to their desks for lunch.

 

  • For one, some people may feel less productive if they're not physically sitting at their desk.
  • Additionally, many workers feel that it's important not to take their time eating lunch to avoid getting behind on their work.
  • Or maybe they feel peer-pressure or pressure from higher ups to work through their lunch breaks.
  • Lastly, some people may feel uncomfortable being unproductive during a lunch break.

 

The benefits of taking a break

There are many benefits to taking a break, both mental and physical. Mentally, taking a break allows you to recharge your batteries and clear your head. This can help you come up with new ideas or solve problems more easily. Physically, taking a break can help you to relieve stress and improve your mood. By taking a break you can also avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed, which can lead to better work quality and longer-term success.

 

The consequences of staying at your desk

Some workers insist on sticking to their desks for lunch, but that's a mistake. Staring at a computer all afternoon is no way to kick off a productive day. Instead, take a break and venture outside for some fresh air. You'll be more focused when you return to work, and you'll have prevented yourself from getting groggy and experiencing mood swings.

 

The effects of skipping lunch

The Effects of Skipping Lunch can be devastating. When you don't make the time for lunch, you’re more likely to feel tired and have lower energy. This can lead to decreased motivation, crashes when mentally challenging tasks are put in front of you, and cravings for unhealthy foods. All of these can lead to health issues down the road.

 

How to make time for lunch

If you're looking for a way to relax and de-stress during the workweek, consider taking a lunch break. Studies have shown that taking a break, even for just 20 minutes, can help to reduce stress, restore focus, and increase productivity. There are plenty of ways to take a relaxing lunch, whether you choose to stay in the office or enjoy a bite out in the city.

 

Ideas for a relaxing lunch:

 

1. Take a walk.

One of the best ways to relax and destress is to get outside and take a walk. Not only will this give your brain a break, but it will also help to improve your mood. However, be sure to avoid sidewalks that are busy with traffic, as this can increase your stress levels.

 

2. Have a picnic.

Another great way to relax and destress is to have a picnic in your backyard or on a nature trail. Not only will this give you plenty of space to stretch out, but it will also allow you to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Just be sure to bring the essentials, like food and drinks, and sunscreen.

 

Conclusion:

Lunch breaks should be prioritized at all businesses for employees. There should never be so much pressure that workers are unable to take the time to pull away and eat a meal during a long workday. Although it can be a difficult mindset to get into, taking a break to allow yourself to recharge for the day is healthy and should be encouraged.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Woman holding a store's Open sign

 

Small businesses can involve a lot of complicated elements that make it difficult to see success. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re staying on top of all the elements that make a store operate with as few setbacks as possible.

 

Read the tips and tricks below to help make your store thrive!

 

1. Get to know your customers

One of the most important aspects of business ownership and management is understanding your customer base. This is a necessary point to be mindful of since you will want to identify with your clients who hold a genuine interest in the products and services you have to offer.

 

Connecting on a personal level with your customers will help you strategize more effective ways to gauge their interests and to improve your selling methods and products.

 

  • Phone calls
  • Face-to-face interactions
  • Video calls
  • Multiple customer contact points through surveys, customer service, and events.

 

Building meaningful relationships with your clients that place value on their feedback and experiences will help you serve them more effectively.

 

2. Stay organized

Organization is key to ensuring that your business operates smoothly and productively. Proper time management, streamlined documentation, automating tasks can help significantly with maintaining good structure.

 

Some key points to keep in mind with organization:

  • Set and hold deadlines – Manage administrative tasks by utilizing project management software.
  • Plan, plan, plan – You should be planning as much as possible with things like social media campaigns and email marketing. Use social media scheduling software, email marketing automation to help follow up with new leads. Communicate with your team using Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. to keep up with daily tasks and necessities.
  • Keep records of business-related finances – Make sure you’re staying on top of your finances. Stay on top of every copy of invoices and receipts related to every transaction for bookkeeping and tax purposes.

 

3. Be flexible when you can

Flexibility is an important quality to embody as a business. It will help you navigate changing market conditions, unexpected problems, and deal with situations that you haven’t planned for. Be receptive to your data and lean into it, and don’t be afraid to alter your course of action if it’s not what you originally expected.

 

Take customer opinions and feedback seriously, and don’t allow your own perceptions to weigh you down and prevent you from making the right decisions for your business.

 

4. Add personal touches

Small businesses have an advantage in terms of being able to offer more personal touches than a typical big-box business. Especially if you have a smaller team, including things like personal thank-you notes, simple gifts, and offering freebies in exchange for reviews can go a long way.

 

5. Automate what you can

With repeatable tasks: choose to automate them. This will not only save you time, but it will help prevent things from falling through the cracks. Utilize accounting software to automate daily bookkeeping, follow-up on abandoned shopping carts with automated emails to customers, automate payroll in Excel, and create a chatbot to answer customer questions and respond to queries outside of business hours.

 

6. Make your website great

Websites are often the first impression people will have your business, so it’s crucial to make sure it’s great. Along with visual appeal, websites should be easy to navigate, uncluttered, and efficient to use.

 

The design should be simple and clean, and make sure your branding is consistent. Have a section that clearly outlines your brand’s values and mission, use helpful descriptions and high-quality images, and highlight key features.

 


 

Speak with your REM Sales Rep to discuss how we can build you a professional business website that not only looks great but is also user-friendly so potential customers can get the info they need quickly.

 


 

7. Craft unique content

Set your business apart from your competition with unique content that’s specific to your company. The content your business chooses to post will help make a positive impression on your current and prospective customers.

 

8. Review your costs

Cost control is crucial in keeping your business afloat and running smoothly. Look at budget variances and aim to streamline your expenses. Compare expenditures in your budget to see what matches up, and where your estimates might be off. Looking at areas where you can cut down on spending can be hugely helpful in being as budget conscious as possible.

 

9. Invest in data analytics

Data analytics – web analytics, social media, and financial analytics – are necessary to evaluate and fully understand as a business owner. This data is essential in understanding the health of your website, customer behaviours, and seeing what social media platforms and methods work best for you.

 

10. Cut down on distractions

It can be easy to become hung up on small, unnecessary details that distract you from larger priorities. Make the most out of project management software and don’t try to do everything for everyone all the time.

 

To maximize your productivity, experts recommend working in one hour time blocks with 15-minute breaks in between. If you’re looking for a good time management system, take a look at the pomodoro technique.

 

11. Make customer support a priority

The customer experience can often rival the products you sell in terms of importance. Make it simple for customers to get ahold of someone through social media, email, or messaging apps. Your business should be accessible, and you should be actively listening to pain points to better investigate problems and find solutions.

 

12. Look into your competitors

Critically evaluating your competition can be very beneficial in assessing aspects that may work well for your business, as well as what their weaknesses are. Look out for a digital marketing strategy and their target audience.

 

13. Build up a strong niche

Specialization can become your best friend as a small business, especially if you can offer a service or product that no one else can. This will help you push the value in your business and better define a target market.

 

14. Keep up with marketing trends

Marketing trends change and fluctuate all the time, so it’s important for you to keep up with them. Staying on top of current content trends are helpful in ensuring that your business doesn’t fall behind on social media platforms. You want to stay current and relevant, and that means regularly monitoring marketing trends.

 


 

If you need help with getting noticed online speak to our Marketing Director. REM offers several marketing services to help get you more visitors and clients. Sit down for a free, no-obligation digital marketing conversation today.

 


 

15. Build up a strong team

The people behind your business can help make or break it. Recruit people who genuinely care about your business.

 

16. Be passionate about what you do

Passion is one of the most imperative aspects of running a business. If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be able to better showcase your investment and belief in the products you sell to your customers, encouraging them to purchase them. Don’t lose sight of why you started your business and what it means to you.

 

17. Encourage customers to engage on social media

Encourage your customer base to engage with your business on and off social media. For example, if possible, have an aesthetically pleasing area in your physical storefront that you can use to encourage visitors to take photos and post on Instagram with a business-specific hashtag. Additionally, push your customers to interact with your posts on social media by liking and sharing your posts.

 

18. Generate interest with special offers

If you offer your consumer base special offers like discounts, freebies, and small gifts with specific purchase amounts, you’ll be able to entice buyers into choosing your business.

 

19. Think about strategic partnerships

Seeking out strategic partnerships can be incredibly beneficial for a small business. You can build a stronger reputation, increase word-of-mouth marketing, and reach new audiences faster.

 

20. Have fun

Through all this advice, remember to not always take things too seriously. Operating a business should be a rewarding experience. You should be able to channel your passion and dedicate your time to something you really love.

 

Conclusion:

Running a business can be challenging, but if you apply some of these tips and tricks to your plans, it should make the process go more smoothly.

 

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A bunch of pumpkins and fall-related items on a table

 

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from all of us at REM!

 

Just a reminder that our office will be closed on Monday, October 10 and will reopen on Tuesday, October 11.

 

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