Here’s something you can try TODAY to create business.

Our old friend Dean Jackson shared this with me years ago, and it works like crazy!

The holidays are officially over…and everyone is back to work.

These natural breaks in the year are the perfect time to reconnect with people who
may have slipped through the cracks…or have been waiting to make a move or refinance.

Here’s how it works…

Gather up all the leads you generated from last year who did not buy or sell with you.

Anyone older than 60 or 90 days is perfect.

Look in your email inbox, online leads, notepads in your desk drawer…your sofa cushions
…in your car…anywhere you might find what you would consider “dead” leads.

Send them an email that simply says…
“Are you still looking for a house in Florida? “

Just put their name in the Subject line.

Don’t put any other explanation or extra words in the email.

You’re going to have to fight the temptation to “solve the mystery” by adding more to the email :)

It’s the simplicity, and the unsolved mystery that makes this work so well.

The best part about it is the way people feel compelled to respond.
Watch what happens.

It’s almost like you walked in to Starbucks and you see someone in line…
and you haven’t seen them in awhile.

It would be perfectly natural and conversational to ask “Are you still looking for a house in San Francisco?”
…and then you would wait for them to reply.

If you asked them, and just looked at them, it would be pretty awkward if they DIDN’T reply.

That’s kind of what’s happening here. We’re using email to start a conversation.

There’s plenty of time to carry on the conversation after they reply…but for right now…
we’re just looking to see who’s willing to engage in a dialogue.

Try it today and let us know what happens. It’s one of the most amazing magic tricks I know…
and I can’t wait to hear how it works for you.

Happy New Year!

John and Michael

PS – Thanks again to Dean for sharing this with me so I could share it with you.

 5 Secrets to Getting Organized

by Maria Gracia

Ready to get organized? If you just dive in without taking time to plan, you’ll likely get overwhelmed and the job won’t get done. Here are five simple secrets to make getting organized easier.

1. Get Motivated: Attitude is everything. If you say, “I can’t,” then there’s a good chance you won’t. However, if you say “I can,” there’s an excellent chance you will.

Take a few moments to think about how wonderful it’s going to be when you get that bedroom organized, or when you empty out that first box that has been sitting there for the past year. Dream about what you’re going to do with all the extra time you’re going to gain, simply by getting organized.

2. Set Goals: Make a list of all the things you want to organize, whether those items are your garage, your office, or your time. When you’re done with your list, choose ONE item on it. That is going to be your “major” goal.

Now, take that “major” goal, and break it down into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Those will be your mini-goals. One by one, you’re now going to achieve each of your mini- goals, until each one is completed. Once the final one is completed, you will have accomplished your major goal. Here’s an example:

Major goal: Organize the bathroom.

Mini-goal 1: Organize the medicine cabinet.

Mini-goal 2: Organize the cabinet under the sink.

Mini-goal 3: Weed out the magazine holder.

Mini-goal 4: Set up separate toiletry storage areas for each member of the family.

3. Establish Deadlines: “I’ll get to it, when I have time,” never works. You’re not going to have time, unless you schedule time. You should set a specific deadline for each of your mini-goals. Here’s an example:

Deadline for mini-goal 1: March 04

Deadline for mini-goal 2: March 11

Deadline for mini-goal 3: March 18

Deadline for mini-goal 4: March 25

4. Designate Rewards: In order to really get motivated, designate a reward for each mini-goal achieved by your specified deadline. It has to be something really enticing, that you will only give yourself WHEN you reach your goal. Your final mini-goal, the one that allows you to fully complete your major goal, should be the reward that most entices you. Here’s an example:

Reward for mini-goal1: Take a 15 minute nap in the backyard hammock.

Reward for mini-goal 2: Designate tomorrow as a “Chore Free” Day.

Reward for mini-goal 3: Listen to your favorite CD–all the way through.

Reward for mini-goal 4: Take yourself out for a nice lunch.

Post your goals, deadlines and pending rewards in a prominent place, where you’re sure to see them every day.

5. Apply Effective Organizational Systems: Ok, now you’re ready and it’s time to get started. Make sure you’ve determined what your best game plan is to easily achieve each goal.


First of all, Happy New Year Everyone! We hope you all had a terrific holiday season and are “tanned, rested and ready” to blow the doors off of your sales goals in 2014!

The start of a new year is a particularly important time for us as salespeople. We are full of new energy, optimism and hope, and it is important that we explode out of the starting blocks, radiating that positive energy and confidence.

In fact, do you know what the number one thing buyers look for in salespeople in the course of sizing up a potential purchase?

The answer is confidence. That’s right . . . buyers seek confidence, conviction and, on the contrary, are ultra–sensitive to any signal that we do not believe in our product, service or in a successful outcome for the buyer from the transaction.

And how do we build and radiate confidence? By knowing our product cold. By developing great answers to every key questions a prospect is likely to ask. By not talking too fast or being too glib. And by referring to actual success stories about other people who did similar transactions with us and had successful experiences and outcomes.

Remember, emotions are contagious and confidence is absolutely contagious. So as we move into this brand new year . . . concentrate on building up your confidence to its highest level ever and work on transferring that conviction in every way you can.

If you need help getting more done and making more money, we can help.  Just call me directly today at (650) 315-5968 and let’s discuss where you are, where you want to go, and how our Strategy and Accountability Program can help you.


You are 100 times more likely to connect with a lead if

you call within five minutes rather than 30 minutes!   

This groundbreaking statistic from a researcher at MIT* only proves the point many of us already know: internet leads are only as good as the speed with which we follow-up.

If you feel like you’re not getting any business from the leads you’re generating, or you’re concerned about the quality, here are five tips that might help you refine your follow-up program:

Tip 1: Act quickly:
Your prospects are busy and will move on quickly.  When prospects call, email or submit an online form, they are actively asking you to engage with them.  As mentioned, even a five-minute delay drastically reduces the chance you’ll turn that lead into a client.  In fact, for the vast majority, if you wait more than a day they’ll probably have forgotten they even contacted you.  It’s vital to pick up the phone whenever possible (of course, not when you’re with a client!).  If you’re worried that you don’t find out about incoming leads in time, have a system in place that automates your notification with text message alerts and responds to them as well.

Tip 2: Do Your Research before Responding:
We work in a busy, fast paced world, so look for solutions that let you provide personalized information – quickly and easily.  Hopefully your lead generation forms give you a good cross-section of information so you can begin a follow up call on the right foot.

Tip 3: Appreciate the Lead:
Not every lead is created equal, and not everyone is ready to transact today.  Be patient, and tailor your follow up, and you’ll find you’ll have more opportunities to connect with those internet buyers.  Some early stage leads take months to transact.  That is future business, if your follow up is consistent.

Tip 4: Use the Same Method of Contact:
This one is pretty simple.  If they emailed you, email them back.  Same goes for calls.  Some people just ‘don’t do email’ and want to talk to a live person.  These individuals usually have more specific questions, and have often done more research on the neighborhood.  Just remember; get back to them ASAP.

Tip 5: Leave Them with Something Useful:
They’ve reached out to you, isn’t there something you can send them?  This shouldn’t be promotional, but information.  When we follow up well, it is a service to our prospects – service they will thank us for through future transactions and referrals.

Remaining one step ahead of your competitors is essential to the success of any business, regardless of size or niche, due to the fierce competition evident in today’s crowded marketplaces.  Defining your USP or Unique Selling Proposition is a major part of this process, but for many small to medium enterprises simply identifying the essence of what makes their business stand above the crowd can be difficult, especially if you are just starting out.

Why is having a USP so Important?

As we’ve mentioned a USP puts your product or service ahead of the rest so you are able to attract the customers and clients your business deserves.  In addition to this, demonstrating a targeted USP is an essential aspect in successful business branding and demonstrates to your customers what makes your company special and the right choice for them.

Your USP should display key messages about your brand and in turn, allow your core demographic to meticulously organise your products or services into categories and rank them from there.  The clearer your USP is to the customer, the better your position will be within your target market.

Where to Begin When Defining Your USP

Your target audience plays a key role in interpreting and developing your USP.  Whilst it is advisable to define your USP and stick with it, it is important to acknowledge that any USP needs freshening up to stay in tune with their audience and it is recommended that your USP evolves as your business does.

Whether you are a start-up or an established business, getting started with defining your USP begins with your customers.  Understanding the people who buy your products, utilize your services or invest in your brand and their needs is essential if you are looking to build a memorable brand that is valuable to your audience.  By highlighting why your target audience may choose your business in particular, you can decipher what makes your company better than your competitors and use it to your advantage in upcoming marketing and advertising campaigns. Don’t be afraid to talk to your audience direct and ask them why they use you in particular and what others or your business may be lacking in the process.

Compare Yourself with Competitors

The next step in identifying and strengthening your USP is to use these points and compare yourself to your competitors.  Recognizing what needs your competitors cater for and giving yourself some constructive criticism can help you deliver a better product or service, even if you are in competition with market leaders that have bigger budgets than you.  Just because a rival company ranks higher or achieves better sales than you, this doesn’t mean they are delivering an unbeatable service.  Use your own business to build on your competitors’ weaknesses and learn from their strong points to gain competitive advantage, unlock new opportunities and emphasize your USP.

It’s not just your competitors that you can draw inspiration from, take a look at your wider market to highlight key trends and develop your USP further.

Positioning your Brand and its USP

By answering the following questions you be well on your way to defining your USP and the outcome with help you to convey key messages and position your brand in the wider marketplace.

Ask yourself…

  • Why should your customers believe in your brand, product or service?
  • What gives you the edge over your competitors?
  • How does your business stand out in the wider market?

By answering these three questions you should be able to make a series of strong statements about your brand and how it is unique.  If not, then it’s time to send your business model back to the drawing board!  These statements will form part of your key message, which can be used to communicate your USP via your marketing, branding and advertising strategies.  Every part of your business, from letterhead and brochures to your branded website and TV ad campaign, should clearly validate your USPs.

by Brittany Thorley

success key

 1. Welcome Email

Are you rolling out the red carpet for your new customers?  A recent study by Return Path found that 80% of companies now send out welcome emails, up from only 40% only a few years ago.

What to include in your welcome email:

  • What to expect.  Warmly welcome readers to your mailing list and set expectations immediately.  Let your readers know what you’ll share with them in your future emails, and how often.  For example, you may offer advice and how-to articles, as well as some promotional offers.  You may send bi-weekly, monthly, or another frequency.  Stay true to whatever you promise! 
  • A special offer.  Want a little more love? Give your new subscribers a discount, offer, or gift for simply being a subscriber.  Then, let your new subscribers know that as a subscriber, they’ll receive special email-only offers they can’t get anywhere else just by being on your list.  They’ll be far more likely to open your future messages for enticing discounts.

*Timeliness is key when sending a welcome email. You want to send it out to your new subscribers as soon as possible after they subscribe.

2.  Newsletter
Many of our customers ask us about the difference between an email promotion/campaign and an email newsletter.  The words are often used interchangeably, but an email promotion or campaign tends to communicate one single topic or idea, such as your current sale, or a new product, while an email newsletter often has multiple topics and tends to educate (vs. sell) and builds rapport with your readers.  Your newsletter should always offer readers valuable information.

What to include in your newsletter:

  • News.  Press releases, blog articles or other publications that will help your readers. (It’s a good idea to summarize longer articles in a few short sentences and create a call to action button for the reader to view the entire article on your website or blog.)
  • Upcoming events or webinars.  These may be events you’re hosting or participating in.  You may also announce speaking engagements such as interviews with your executives on radio shows, at college campuses and the like.
  • Important announcements.  Include improvements to your products or services, new management, or new business practices. (If you are letting your customers know you are responding to their feedback and improving something for them, that’s always great news!)
  • Ways to connect on social media.  Include social networks you’re actively engaged on and updating regularly, as this is added value for your followers.
  • Images.  Keep your newsletter interesting with images relating to your content.
  • Calls to actions.  Tell your readers what you want them to do with clear calls to action such asread morelearn more, and register now.  

Even though the word “newsletter” suggests a more lengthy communication, remember it’s still  an email amongst many others in the inbox!  Try to avoid including too much information and text in one email.  A good rule of thumb is no more than would fit on one page of a word document.  Because newsletters are more comprehensive, once or twice a month is typically a good practice, however, depending on your business, and how much content you produce, weekly might work as well.  

3. Promotional Emails
Everyday, most of us receive tons of emails from various companies and let’s be honest, most customers want to know “What’s in it for me?”.  If you don’t provide real value, it’s very easy for subscribers to click that little unsubscribe button! How can you help avoid that? Offer something valuable and unique…

What to include in your promotional emails:

  • A NEW offer. Emphasis on the word new.  If you offered 10 percent off all window frames last month, it’s old news this month!  If you do repeat a certain offer, don’t repeat it back-to-back or multiple times in a row (you’re readers will think you’re a one trick pony!).
  • A compelling offer.  Discounts are great, but does the discount you’re offering compel your readers to click through all the way to the shopping cart?  Try testing different offers to see which ones are the most effective. Enticing customers with specific products or services can be more effective than a set discount amount off all items or services.  This is especially true of seasonal items.
  • Clear calls to action.  Make it as easy as possible for the reader to get the promotion.  This may mean buttons leading to a shopping page on your website or links to pages with already inserted promo codes or registration forms.  Just make sure as few steps as possible are involved in going from reading your email to purchasing the product. Don’t make it hard to buy.

*Be cautious not to send promotional emails too often. Once every 2 weeks or once a month are good general practices.

By including these three types of emails in your email marketing plan, you can help keep your subscribers engaged, loyal and spending.  

Published on September 30th, 2013 | by Amanda Day


WorkSmartBeSmart/Smart Agent Privacy Policy

We do not share your personal information, email address, or any of the information you enter into WorkSmartBeSmart/Smart Agent with any other organization or individual.

The only people that have access to your data besides yourself (and anyone you give your login information to), will be WorkSmartBeSmart/Smart Agent technical personnel and/or persons that perform services for WorkSmartBeSmart/Smart Agent in connection with our business. There may be a rare occasion where we, or our service providers, need to review your data strictly for technical support purposes. In all cases your personal information, including your data is strictly confidential and never used for any purpose, and never shared with outside third parties.

We do not provide any information about our subscribers, customers or affiliates to any third party, except of course in the unusual event should we be required to do so by law. 

We do use cookies, but we do not tie the cookie to any personal information that you provide to us. We do not collect or combine any information that you provide to us with any other demographic information from any other sources. We do not use third party tracking services.

Policy Modifications 

This Privacy Policy is effective as of January 1, 2009.  We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time effective as of another date that will be posted here, so be sure to check back periodically. 

10 Tips To Improve Networking Skills

Business Management Daily

  1. Start with the people you al­­ready know.  Networking isn’t only about meeting new people. It’s also about strengthening relationships with people you already know.
  2. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t need to network.  You will need it at some point.
  3. Don’t force your business cards on people.  Offer your card only after you’ve had a conversation and asked for the other person’s card.
  4. Establish expectations.  Tell people when and how you’ll contact them, and follow through.
  5. Pose good questions.  Questions that don’t go straight to a person’s profession can make for deeper, more memorable connections.
  6. Create a connections calendar.  This helps you remember to keep in touch with people every month or so.
  7. Find out what others need.  Then try to help them get it by connecting them to people you know.
  8. Give before you receive.  Net­­work­­ing is a two-way street. Don’t ex­­­­pect something in return immediately.
  9. Ask yourself “Why should they care?”  This will help you come up with a way to describe yourself and what you do that will be interesting to others.
  10. Talk less than you listen.  You can’t learn about other people if you’re doing all of the talking.

Timeline Cover wsbs

by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

In the world of Time Management there are things said to us that we accept as truth and we act accordingly. The problem is sometimes they are not truths. They are lies and as we believe them, they waste our time.

Those who speak these lies to us are not bad people at all because you and I are among them. We all speak these untruths to one another from time to time. So let’s not wish harm and doom to the liars. Let’s avoid the time traps their lying may cause us.Here are the eleven biggest lies to shield yourself from.
1. “This will just take a minute.” Has anyone grabbed you with that line? Does it ever “just take a minute”? Rarely. What typically “just takes a minute”, generally consumes several minutes and more.Next time, when someone asks for your time and assures you,” This will just take a minute”, tell them, “You’re lying. You may not realize you’re lying, but you are. I’ll give you five minutes. You may begin now.”  
2. “I need this as soon as possible.” No you don’t. That’s a lie too. You need it by a certain date and time because you are going to do something with what I provide for you. And if you’re not going to do anything with what I provide for you, why am I doing it for you in the first place?Don’t lie to me. Tell me when I have to get it to you. Be specific. You and I probably have two difference dates in mind when we think in terms of “as soon as possible”.3. “I want this now.” I doubt it. In this 24/7/365 world, everyone is under a sense of artificial pressure to get it done “now” or worse,” yesterday”.

Things are generally not that urgent. Don’t get caught up in someone else’s urgent trivialities.

Call the liar to task. “I’m not sure I can get that done now. What if I got it to you one week from today?” Use an outside deadline to give yourself ample time to prevent getting into crisis management.

Oh, and if they reject that alternative, try three better dates for you. Why? Because they may keep lying to you.

4. “It’s not about the money.”  When it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

5. “This is the best (investment, business opportunity, book, movie, restaurant, boss, job, etc.) you’ll ever find.” Not true. There’s always something better. The best is yet to come.

6. “I can get this done in an hour.” It’s a fib. Ever notice how it almost always takes twice as long to get something done as what you thought it would? That’s because few of us have a very accurate internal clock to estimate the time required to complete most tasks.

7. “He’s a’ late’ person.” Most people who are “late” have a consistency about their behavior. My friend Dwayne is 20 minutes late all the time. If we need to meet for lunch tomorrow, it will take him 24 hours and twenty minutes to get there.
Dwayne is not “late”. He’s “On-time; 20 minutes later”.

8.”No Cost.” You don’t get “nothing for nothing”. Everything has a cost. It may not cost you your money but more often it will be your time and more of it than what you are getting in return for “no cost”.

9. “I’ll prove you’re wrong if it’s the last thing I do.” And it may well be. No one wants to be proven wrong. Everyone likes to be caught doing things “right”. Most, however, don’t mind being shown how to do things better.

10. “By the time I show him how to do it I could just as quickly have done it myself.”If it’s a one-time proposition this may be true. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend an hour to show someone how to do a task that takes only 10 minutes.

But if it’s a repetitive task, it’s a lie. If that one hour investment will save you 10 minutes every day, then in about a week you have your investment back and now you have a dividend of 10 extra minutes a day. What if you do that six different times? You get an extra hour in your day and 365 hours over the next year.

11. “This is going to be really hard.” Not true. Going through whatever you have to go through is almost never as difficult as you imagined it to be.

Mr. Smith, my high school principal, taught me that 95% of what we fear coming at us will never hit us. It will ditch itself before it ever reaches us. And as to the remaining 5%, God has given us the tools to deal with it.