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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thrive in Any Economy---Here's How

By Terry L. Brock

Unless you’ve been living on Neptune, you know that many are talking about a slow-down in the economy, “tough times ahead” and some even using the R-word---Recession. We have seen these come and go for centuries. How do we deal with this one and what can you do in your business to thrive---no matter what happens?

It is not a mystery. You’ll be able to survive and thrive if you apply basic principles of success. The laws of success don’t change based on what the Federal Reserve does to the money supply. The laws of success don’t change because of tax laws. And, as much as politicians this year would like us to believe they can control it all, the laws of success don’t change based on what political actions.

The key to thriving anywhere at anytime is really quite simple. It is not easy, but it is something that those less successful will shrug off saying “Oh, that is no big deal.” However, those that are successful hear it, pay attention and take appropriate actions.

The most important step to thrive in any economy is to make yourself indispensable to people who can help you. In business, this means that you become the “must-have” provider of solutions, products and services that simply can’t be eliminated by those wonderful people who pay your bills. Whether you call them customers, clients, member or some other term, you can survive if you strengthen that umbilical chord between you and your buyers.

But how do we do that in today’s world? I’ve talked about these steps before but with the current economic situation it makes even more sense to accentuate these and share these principles with others.

Here are some tactics your and your people can implement to make yourself indispensable:

Study What They Need
. Too many businesses run into problems with “We think…” marketing. Those unsuccessful people are often well-meaning. They sit in a conference room, come up with brilliant (at least they think they are brilliant) ideas on how to market and sell to buyers. Successful people ask the right questions of real buyers. They listen to the answers buyers give them. Successful people also develop a sort of “sixth sense” to “listen between the lines” and hear what buyers are saying---even when they are not saying it.

Study The Macro Environment. Learn what is going on that is affecting not only your business but also the business of your customers. What challenges are they facing in the economy? What trends are likely to affect them? Successful people understand how economic trends affect their own buyers and businesses.

Work Harder In Hard Times. It takes hard work to get ahead. That means going the extra mile and helping clients who are also going through harder times. This will help you become a better person. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Kick yourself in the butt! Get moving and don’t tolerate anything less than excellence in your own personal behavior. By “work harder” I mean study more, learn valuable skills the market wants, provide value for clients where they consider it value.

Look For New Markets. Sometimes, the difficult times provide a wonderful opportunity to see new options that we wouldn’t consider otherwise. Think globally. With technologies today you can deal with customers in other countries much easier than ever. Find those areas and industries that aren’t going through the hard times you might be experiencing.

Challenging times open lots of opportunities for other ventures and options. Unsuccessful people complain and blame. Successful people see what is happening, prepare to take advantage of the situation and thrive on it by becoming indispensable to others. Become the “go to” person for those wonderful buyers.

In doing this, you’ll be successful no matter what the economy does.

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mind-Stretching and Productivity-Boosting Technology

By Terry L. Brock

Enhancing productivity is what much of the technology revolution is about. When you can find the right tools to boost your productivity in business you gain a competitive advantage. When you can find tools that also stretch your mind, you have a viable advantage that leapfrogs over the competition.

Here are some tools that can help in both areas. When you watch these videos, you’ll get to see them in action. This is where it really matters.

Lenovo Laptops – X61 And T61

Lenovo has some laptops which continue to dazzle and provide a solid competitive advantage. You’ll find the new X61 to be very lightweight (less than 4 lbs.) and powerful. It comes with 3 USB ports, one IEEE1394, (Firewire) connector, a DVD drive, VGA output (for those PowerPoint presentations) and more.

The keyboard feels very good. As I worked with one I found it comfortable and easy for typing. The hard drive can come in sizes up to 256GB at speeds of 5400 or 7200.

See the video of this at: .

(Lenovo,, $1,499 and up, depending on configuration)

Franklin Speaking Spelling Bee, SSB-210

Franklin Electronics has produced a number of small, portable devices for translating, dictionaries and other uses. Now they have a new device that is designed for children ages 9-13 to learn spelling better.

The system is designed around having fun and learning to spell. For helping your kids or children that you know and love, this is a great gift from you and great tool for them.

The company embraces the idea that learning should be fun. They blend this into the SSB-210 which teaches children spelling while having fun.

Not only children in that age bracket but anyone who wants to learn more about spelling and wants to stretch their mind can benefit from this tool. Check out the video and you’ll see how it works in practice.

You can see the video at:

(, Speaking Spelling Bee, SSB-210, $99.99)

Headphone For Business Communication – Able Planet

Able Planet is a company that started as a hearing-aid company and extended that knowledge and expertise into high-quality headphones for business and consumers. I have used their Clear Harmony headphones on airplanes, in noisy environments and just around my condo and love them!

Now the company has some smaller headphones that are designed for use in offices over phones or VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). This would be a great tool for communications over Skype, the popular service for free talking.

The headphones stand out from the competition in their use of the patented LINX AUDIO technology. This technology works with harmonics to cancel sounds which would otherwise be present. In a noisy convention environment I found that the headphones cut out the roar of the crowd while still allowing me to hear the person next to me talking. When combined with listening to music or instructional audio these headphones can’t be beat.

With the over-the-head microphone, you can use these in office communication knowing that you will hear the best possible audio and the other person will be able to hear you as clearly as possible. This makes for better communication and enhances Relationship Marketing. See the video at:

(Able Planet,, $99-$199)

Spracht Speaker Phone

Mobile or cell phones are becoming the most popular way to communicate. When you need to share a conversation with several others, you might try to use the speakerphone built into some units. However, the quality is not always as clear and understandable as it could be.

Spracht has a speaker phone that enables you to use conference calling for several people in the room over your mobile phone. You don’t have to plug in wires since it uses the popular Bluetooth interface. The unit I received, the Aura Mobile BT™ MCP-2014 pad, came with electrical charging as well as a car cigarette-lighter charger. The sounds are good and eliminate problems of driving and communicating over a cell phone (still, pay attention to the road!!).

Because it is lightweight and very powerful, this is a tool for the traveling executive or salesperson who needs to stay in touch and doesn’t want to compromise quality. You can see the video at: .

(Aura Mobile BT™ MCP-2014pad$129.95pad, )

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Transcribe Voice Mail, Save on International Calls and Send Notes to Your Computer From Paper

Technology to Transcribe Voice Mail, Save on International Calls and Send Notes to Your Computer From Paper

By Terry L. Brock

Technology can make your life easier and help you to connect with people more---if you use the right technologies. Here are three tools which can help you boost your productivity, save money but more importantly, help you build relationships for a profitable business.

Transcribe Voice Mail With SimulScribe

Voice mail is nice to collect messages when you can’t talk on the phone. However, if you get way too many voice mail messages (don’t we all?) it would be nice to have a faster way to process them separating the urgent from the “call later” batch.

A service called SimulScribe is available which takes your voice mail messages and transcribes them automatically. Voice recognition technology has increased in effectiveness to the point where such a product is now practical. You have the transcript of the messages sent to you via email. Since most of us can read faster than we can listen, this is a great tool to increase your productivity while zeroing in on those business relationships which are most important.

The service ranges in cost from $10/month to $30/month depending on your needs. Watch a video to learn more about the service and how it can help you at


Make International Calls From Your Cell Phone
For 2 Cents/Minute

Business today is international. If you aren’t making calls internationally now you will be soon. If the cost is prohibitively high, you are naturally inclined to reduce the number. This is a mistake since creating relationships in marketing and business requires contact. If you can connect with people in a favorable way more often, you have a much better chance of attaining profitable business relationships.

Efonica is a service which provides you the ability to call a US-based number on your cell phone then dial interanationl numbers for rates starting at 2 cents per minute. Thie other day I had to make a quick call to the UK and the charge for a 2 minute call was just less than $4.00. Ouch! Now, with Efonica I should be able to save a lot on each call, thus I’ll be willing to make more calls that way, thus increasing by business opportunities in the UK. With the US dollar at a bargain for UK customers, this is a highly valuable service right now.

You can learn more about what Efonica has now and what they are planning for the next few months thorugh the video interview I had with Matt Rosen, the CEO of Efonica. To go to watch this video.


Moble Note Taker Ideal For Meetings, Classroom, Seminars And More

A tablet PC is good for taking notes, writing, drawing charts and graphs and more. Today, a more portable (about 2 ounces) and less expensive (less than $100) solution is available from YIFANG Digital based in Shenzhen, China.

It is a device called the Mobile Note Taker and it gives you the ability to take notes on regular paper using their pen and their small device (about the size of a pack of Tic Tacs). The device can hold over 100 A4 size papers. So, for the American 8.5 X 11 inch standard paper, it will easily hold 100+ pages on the capture device. You can then transfer the pages to your computer.

You can also refer to a given page if you have a multi-page series of notes from a given business meeting or lecture.

For those important meetings with important people, this is a great way to remember what transpired. For phone calls, it can be a business-saver. For lectures, it enhances your learning.

Check out the video for this one at and see how it works in practical application. This is a tool worth investigating for learning and building relationships in business.

(Mobile Note Taker,, Suggested Retail Price $89.00)

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

SimulScribe for Transcribing Voice Mail

Voice mail messages are critical for business today. They increase the Relationship Marketing that we all need. Yet, while they are important, they can take a long time to listen to. If you have many voice mail messages, your time is eaten up cutting through them all.

Enter SimulScribe. This service provides a transcript of your voice messages along with the sound (as a WAV file). Watch this video and learn about what can be done with it and how you can boost your productivity with this tool.

Produced by Terry Brock

Mobile Note Taker from YiFang Digital

Mobile Note Taker

Here's a great tool you can use from YiFang Digital, based in Shenzhen, China. This tool allows you to take notes on regular paper and create a JPG file, send them as an email and show information like you would with a tablet PC.

Watch this video and learn about this cool tool.

Terry L. Brock

Thursday, January 10, 2008

DYMO File, Phonecasting and Samsung SSD

CES 2008 Shows Products
For Competitive Business Advantage

DATELINE: Las Vegas, Nevada, Consumer Electronics Show I’m here at the annual electronics-fest or as I like to call it, the Land of Gizmos, Gadgets and Geeks Galore! This year I wanted to find some particularly useful business tools for you amidst all the consumer gadgets and, as my grandmother used to call them, “what nots.”

Well, this year I was able to find some gems that you can use to increase your competitive advantage in business. You’ll be able to read about them here and, through the wonders of technology, watch some videos of them as well---but more on that later.

Here are a few of the products I encountered which can help you in business.

DYMO File To Organize Your Office

If your office is like those of most small businesses, you have a lot of paper that needs to be organized. Even with the much-touted “paperless office” talk of years ago we still have lots of paper. Keeping it organized is the challenge. DYMO has a new product called the DYMO File which gives you the ability to barcode each project or paper and have it filed in a specific place for later retrieval when needed.

Here’s how it can work for you: Let’s say you have a collection of papers all related to one client. With DYMO File, you enter some basic information about the client, the papers, the projects of whatever you need. The product then produces a barcode label, which can be printed on their DYMO labeler or on your regular desktop printer. You then attach the barcode label to the first page in the stack of papers.

These papers are scanned and stored on your computer. Once scanned, the system takes over and helps you keep track of where they are on your computer, on your company server or elsewhere. This eliminates that “Where are those danged papers for the Jones account?” drama that can happen in a small business office.

In the video which you can watch at, you’ll see how this works from barcode production to scanning. The practical benefit is that you’ll be able to locate information which relates to a client or project on your computer. This means salespeople in the field can access it from the company server. It can be located by others wherever they happen to be.

This can effectively help eliminate lost documents in your office. Your people (and you) will be able to locate the right document at the right time. Particular benefits can accrue to those in fields such as Legal, Medical, Real Estate, Sales and more. Find out more information at

Phonecasting Vs. Podcasting

Podcasting is a way to communicate your messages, as an audio file, across the Internet much like radio stations do. It is a great way to send out information to a lot of people.

However, it has been rather complicated to produce. Now with a service called Phonecasting, you can pick up the phone, call a number for producing a phonecast and create a file that can be heard over the Internet by 1 or 1 million people. And the best part about it is that it is free (at least for now).

I had the chance to interview Michael Sharp, the CEO of Phonecasting and he shared with me how this tool can help businesses get their message out to the world. You can use it for discussing what buyers should know before they purchase items in your field. You can share current trends. Keep the information relevant and powerfully compelling, not a sales pitch, for best results.

Check out the video at and their website at for more information on this free (for now) service that can help catapult your business ahead of the competition.

Solid State Drives – Changing The Way You Hard Drive

A new technology has emerged and is growing rapidly for storage on laptop computers, camcorders, cameras and more devices. It is called Sold State Drives or SSD and it is a drive with no moving parts. What this means to you, as a mobile professional, is that you won’t have to worry about dropping the hard drive and losing all its contents. It is a Flash Drive, much like those wonderful USB drives we see---just much larger in storage capacity.

SSD provides longer life because it doesn’t wear down parts. It also uses less battery power. This means that it will not only be green-friendly (popular in today’s world) but it gives you more power for a longer time on your computer equipment.

Samsung is leading the way in this with their new 128GB drive which will be available later this year. Because it can fit in either the traditional 1.8” or 2.5” hard drives, it means that form factor is irrelevant with SSD. You will have more storage ability than ever. Michael Yang, Flash Marketing Manager at Samsung told me that they are increasing the amount of storage available by a factor of 100% each year. This has enormous opportunities for mobile professionals to carry more information with less risk. Today the costs are higher for SSD than the traditional hard drives by about 30-40%. However, that cost is expected to decline as demand increases and production gears up stronger.

Keep an eye out for this as you shop for your next computer. It could be the solution you need to save energy, extend hard drive life and be more productive.

Here’s the link to see the video:

All of these technologies help to increase your productivity and build more relationships. Using technology like I’ve mentioned here helps build relationships and keep them growing. Embrace the technology to help your customers achieve their goals.

Remember to visit to see the videos and learn more.

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Samsung's SSD discussed with Michael Yang

Samsung is leading in Flash Drive development with the announcement of a new 128GB hard drive. This is after having a 64GB drive last year. We're seeing a doubling in capacity almost every year with SSD, the Solid State Drives.

I interviewed Michael Yang at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, 2008. Listen to what he has to say about this powerful technology that will change the way you use your hard drive.

First, here's the link directly over to YouTube:

and I brought the video over here for you to watch as well. Enjoy!

Copyright (c) 2008, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved

DYMO File - Organize Your Office

Here's a video interview from the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In this video, I talk with Tom Stearns, the Director of Marketing for CardScan. Tom demonstrates exactly how you can generate a bar code for paper, then scan it and register it in your computer. Never lose a document again! Watch this and learn how you can expand your relationships and your Relationship Marketing through proper organization.
Produced by Terry L. Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Copyright (C) 2008, All rights reserved

Monday, January 07, 2008

Podcasting --- via Phone with Phonecasting

If you're considering getting into the world of Podcasting, here is a technology---web-based for you---- that makes it as easy as picking up the phone and making a call. Watch this video and discover how you can send your message to the world through.... Phonecasting.

Terry Brock - sign up to receive business-building marketing alerts through Achievement Update, Terry's Ezine and Blog.

CardScan and Relationship Marketing

Here's a demo of a feature within CardScan that you'll want to know about. This can save you lots of time and effort as you enter new contacts. It is all about building relationships and Relationship Marketing. This is what I call R-Commerce, not the E-Commerce with Electronics but the R-Commerce, Relationships.

Watch this video I just got at the Consumer Electronics Show with Tom Stearns, Director of Marketing at CardScan. You'll enjoy the possibilities with your own work.

Value of Social Networking

It is that time of year!  The Consumer Electronic Show is underway in Las Vegas, Nevada and you are in for a treat.  I'm roaming around with camcorder in hand to help you find things that are going to be helpful in your business and personal life.  Check back often to see what is available and how you can use not only some of the latest tools but some of the latest concepts to boost your business and add to the bottom line. 

First, here's a video interview with Rich Oppenheim about the benefits of social networking.  Rich is a CPA and business coach who has heoped many people to achieve success.  Watch this short video and learn about the advantages of using social media in your work.