Author: dbfnetwork

How To Charge What You Are Worth As A Creative Professional

If you are having difficulty knowing what to charge, then check out your competition and find out what they?re doing. Find out if they post prices or fees on their website or if they have “packages” or deals. Do they have payment options?
While you are researching, keep in mind just because your competition is charging one way it is not necessarily how you should be charging.

One of my clients is a business and life coach. Most coaches charge for a set number of scheduled phone meetings, which seems to be a standard for “the coaching industry,” but that doesn?t mean it?s the best way.

I encourage my clients to charge fees that match who their clients are and what they are trying to accomplish. It?s very refreshing to do what works for you and not necessarily follow the “industry standard.” If you don?t feel comfortable with the way your industry charges, by all means change it. Just because the industry?s doing it doesn?t mean that it?s right.

Another client of mine, Shelly, is a wedding planner. When we first began working together she had three “wedding packages” because that?s what “everyone else does.” She ran into problems with pricing because most of her potential clients didn?t fit into the standard package and therefore Shelly had a long list of “upgrades” and additional items. She also had to charge more for weddings above a certain number of guests and weddings with over a specific number of attendants in the wedding party.

Potential clients became fixated on the package fees and felt ripped off when Shelly began adding additional charges all over the place. The packages were supposed to make things easier for Shelly?s, but they actually created more problems than they solved.

Shelly was so relieved when she realized she didn?t have to use the standard pricing packages most wedding planners used. She never felt good about them, but didn?t trust her own instincts on how to charge. We worked on making a pricing structure that wasn?t based on hours or packages but on the value to the client. She was able to quickly raise her fees and increase her client base simply based on her fee changes.

Are you charging your clients based on the value you are providing them or based on the “industry standard”? Is the industry standard an effective way to charge or is just what everyone else is doing?

Take a good look at the way you set your fees and handle client charges. Is it right for you?

Wonderful Customer Service in A Recession

There’s little question you feel the the stress. The world is struggling out of a recession. The markets violently reel on an almost daily basis. And your employees feel the stress too. A recent study found that 40% of American workers are indifferent about their jobs. Workplace morale is lower than at any point in modern American history. Employees have had benefits slashed, wages cut, and 401ks unmatched. They’re doing the work of at least one or two former colleagues who were either not replaced during the recession or just plain laid off. And yet, in the midst of all this drama, managers are trying to further differentiate themselves from the competition. They have to slice through the low morale, terrified customers and drab economic climate and still manage to do two things: 1) get more business, 2) retain current business. How are you going to do that? You have to manage the only thing you can manage: customer service. The Truth Customer service will differentiate you from the competition in any economic climate. However, right now, that difference is more obvious. The recession-it’s horror and aftermath-has exposed the companies that have poor customer service and spotlighted those that have legendary customer service. The difference between the customer service haves and have-nots is greater than ever. An article in a 2009 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek points this out: “If anything, the tough economy has made starker the difference between companies that put customers first and those that sacrifice loyalty for short-term gain. In this year’s J.D. than half of the top 25 brands [ranked by customer service] showed improved customer service scores from last year. Among the bottom 25…scores mostly fell.” Additional studies show that companies with high levels of customer service during the recession lost less revenue (or actually gained more revenue), than the companies that have traditionally low customer service reputations or rankings. The recession has made the customer service rich, richer; and the customer service poor, poorer. It has made customer service more important than ever. The Specifics Customer service is the ‘big thing’ that can make you different. How do you begin to improve your customer interactions right now? 1) Attitude – This is the most important part of excellent customer service. Every executive, manager, and front-line employee must have an attitude of ‘owning’ every problem. Every problem. You must personally follow the problem through to the end. You must realize that helping your member is your first job (even if your official title is teller, customer service manager or janitor). Your job is to help your member. Period. 2) It Is Your Job – If you’re a front-line employee or a manager and somehow you get a call about an IT or a technical issue, your first reaction is, ‘this isn’t my job.’ After all, you don’t know anything about the question they’re asking. Heck, you don’t even know what half the words mean in the question they’re asking. This isn’t your job. Wrong. Helping them is your job! So help them. If you can’t fix the problem, find someone who can as quickly and efficiently as possible. 3) Focus On the ‘Can’ Not the ‘Can’t’ – Never ever, ever say ‘I can’t,’ or ‘I’m not allowed.’ Who cares if it’s against policy to waive a fee or process the transaction the way they want it processed? Focus on how you can help the customer. Get creative; go talk to a manager, make an exception if possible, make phone calls to business partners to help them, even to competitors if you have to-whoever! Help them no matter what! 4) Warm Transfer v. Cold Transfer -Here’s what we mean. Have you ever called a business to explain a situation/problem, you explain it once, and they transfer you? ‘I’m gonna transfer you to Frank.’ Frank picks up the phone and you have to explain who you are and why you’re calling all over again. And if that person still can’t help transfer you; and the process of repetition and explanation and frustration repeats itself. That is a cold transfer. And it’s a major problem. A warm transfer goes like this: you call to explain a situation/problem. You explain it and the employee says ‘I’m going to transfer you to Frank, she’ll be able to help you.’ But instead of pushing transfer and forgetting you, this rep calls Frank herself, with you on the line, and explains to Frank what you’ve just told her. She does the work for you, so you don’t have to explain everything 47 times. That is customer service. 5) Dealing with a Frustrated or Upset Customer – If a member gets upset, diffuse the anger. Listen to them. Don’t argue. Resist the urge to justify and defend your business, colleagues or employees. Avoid using words and phrases like ‘but’ and ‘no’ and ‘I can’t.’ Show empathy by using phrases like ‘I understand how you feel, I’d be frustrated too if…’ or ‘I’m really sorry this happened, I can fix it…’ Above all, show them that you care. They need to see that you are sincerely on your side and you are trying to help them. 6) Employee Accountability and Learning – We talked earlier about low morale among American workers. Most workplaces in America have at least one or two indifferent employees. What can you do to fix that problem? We’ve written about this before at length, but here’s the gist: create a workplace culture of learning and growing. Sure, you can try gimmicks like parties and gift cards. That will work temporarily. But any morale boost that comes from a fun party won’t last. You must create a culture of learning (or pay everybody a boatload more money). You must provide opportunities for your employees to learn and grow. Provide training and opportunities to practice customer service and sales skills; and hold them accountable for what they learn. Manage What You Can Manage It costs 4 to 5 times as much to bring in a new customer then it does to keep an existing one. What’s the best way to retain your members? You guessed it! Customer service! You can’t merely ‘hope’ for loyalty. You have to ensure loyalty. You simply cannot afford to go out and replace members you have lost. You need to keep the ones you have. And the only way to generate customer loyalty is through customer service.

10 Easy Selling Techniques

There are many opinions about salesmanship and every company has their own idea of the perfect techniques to use. However, the truth is that there are so many different ways to sell a product that not any one way is right. Instead, each salesperson must find methods that work for him or her. Here are some basic ideas that every salesperson should remember. 1. Know your prospect – It’s important to become acquainted with the customer before selling him a product. By taking the time to observe them and getting to know them better, you will ease their minds. 2. Focus on why they should buy – Find out what they want before attempting to make a sale on just anything. You can then have the advantage of explaining why your product will meet their needs. 3. Sell the benefits, not the product – Salespeople often feel the need to use high-pressure tactics to sell when sometimes the customer is not yet ready to buy. A salesperson needs to let the customer find the benefits of buying a particular product. 4. Never rush the sale or customer – Some people need some time to think about what they really want to do. A rushed customer will feel that you are not truly interested in their needs but are only trying to make a sale. Give the customer time to consider what he wants to do. 5. Know your products – You should know the products of your company very well. You can only sell them a product when you are made aware of their needs. 6. Follow through with promises – If you tell a customer that you are going to do something, then do it. Customers need to see you as being ethical and trustworthy, particularly as you represent your company. 7. Don’t use pressure – Most people won’t tolerate a pushy salesperson. Don’t allow yourself to become a high-pressure salesperson. Rather, let it be their decision, taking as long as they need. 8. Be honest – No one can know all of the answers. If you find that you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, then ask someone else for assistance. The customer is going to be far more impressed with getting good help rather than someone pretending to know all the answers. 9. Encourage them to act – It’s okay to make logical suggestions to customers. However, it’s important to feel out the situation because if you come on too strong, they will walk away. 10. Always be considerate – We’ve all heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” In order to keep customers happy, it’s best to at least let them think that they got their own way. Becoming a good salesperson takes time. You wil gain experience from your mistakes and learn how to deal with people throughout the day while making sales. Take one day at a time, not becoming discouraged because you will learn how to be a better salesperson!

Ideal Gifts For Adventure Loving Persons

In the world of hectic routines and daily stress people seek refreshment to revitalise their body and mind. Gift experience could be a great way to add zest in life. The gift experiences are adventurous and frolicsome. You could easily find experiences suitable to your passion.

The popular experiences are categorised as- driving, flying, music and singing, falconry, husky experiences and cookery. Driving experiences allows a person to drive and take lessons on classy and world class cars. A well-trained instructor will give all the information making you acquainted with the control panels and skills of driving the cars. Some of the cars available in these experiences are: classic cars, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, American Hummer etc. The participants can drive few laps the car he desires and fulfil his wishes. Flying experiences takes the participants high up in the air. This fantastic experience enables the participants to enjoy the aerial view of major cities and incredible countryside views. For example: the Dambusters Helicopter Tour takes you across some locations which have historical significance along with sightseeing.

For a chocoholic or food connoisseur, the delightful food smoking day or chocolate delight workshop experience is a wonderful gift. These gift experiences let the participants taste and enjoy some luscious food. Participants can also carry the stuff home. All the guidance and lessons are bestowed by professionals in a friendly atmosphere. Many a gift is weather dependent and it is advisable to the participants to call the weather line before leaving to the venue.

Gift experiences can be purchased as vouchers. The vouchers are issued with ten months validity period. Participants can book your experience by following the instructions given in the voucher. Upon arrival the participants are given a warm welcome. These gift experience vouchers can be considered as gift on all occasions, such as- Christmas, Anniversary, Birthdays, Valentine, wedding etc. The experience gifts are perfect to treat self or someone close to heart.

3 Hot Tips For Building Trust And Increasing Sales!

How many times has it happened to you? You walk through the doors of a place of busineess and here he comes – perfectly groomed with a smile planted across his face in greeting. Within two minutes he has talked non-stop and promised you everything, including the stars if you purchase his project. You lift and eyebrow, and think to yourself… “Yeah, right!”

The distrust between consumer and salesman is a longstanding feeling. After all, you know they are wanting to make a buck off your purchase. Sure, you don’t mind them making a few dollars… everybody has to make a living… but heck, it would be nice if they were at least a little concerned about what your needs are too!

Let’s face it… customers aren’t likely to buy from you unless they feel confident that you will deliver. There are a few easy steps that you can take to give them the confidence they need to take the plunge.

  1. Let Previous Customers Make The Claim
    The proof is in the pudding… No one can say that you deliver and make good on your promises like a satisfied customer. It pays to use customer testimonials. Now, we’re not talking about blindly pasting testimonials everywhere… a little business sense and organization will be helpful in making the most of them.

Choose testimonials that are exact and talk about specific aspects of your business. “Thank you so much for your hard work!” is wonderful, but “Thank you for spending 2 hours with me yesterday. Your personal attention is greatly appreciated.” says a lot more. Yeah, the reader knows that you are willing to take whatever time it takes to help them through the purchasing process.

Be sure to get your customer’s permission to use their testimonial as part of your advertising campaign. While you’re at it, get as much personal information about them as you can. Their occupation, city, etc., create a more realistic appeal to their testimony.

  1. Be Specific In Your Claims
    Specific claims are more believable than vague, generic brags. Order today! It’s Fast, Easy and Cheap! Sounds much better when you say… Order Today! Take 2 Minutes to Fill Out Our 7 Step Order Form and Save 20% on Your Purchase!

Specific numbers don’t always come out even. In fact, readers tend to believe numbers that have decimals are more accurate than whole numbers… even if the real number is exactly a whole number!

  1. Be Realistic
    Don’t alienate customers with claims that sound too good to be true. Yeah, we all know the old saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Unrealistic claims steal your credibility and leave the customers with a raised eyebrow.

Think of it this way… what if you do understate the benefits? When your customer finds out the truth, he’ll just be that much more satisfied! Marketers suggest that you under promise and over deliver to create the greatest customer satisfaction.

Customers who believe in you aren’t afraid to buy from you. That means higher sales numbers and greater profit.

I Have Been Covering Basketball Lately

In fact I am not really doing the stuff that people are asking me to do, the web site that wanted me to write for them was only interested in stuff like you would read on TMZ. They wanted me to hire a girl from an escort service in Utah County and get her involved in a person that they believed was vulnerable to her charms. Of course just about any of us who are heterosexual would be vulnerable to a girl like this one. I remember the story about Jared Kushner’s father and his uncle. The uncle had snitched on his father so he aimed a high priced call girl at her, videotaped it and then sent the tape to his sister who was married to the snitch. It is not like a normal red blooded American boy is going to run away from a girl who looks like she may have jumped out of the centerfold of a men’s magazine.

Of course I was almost tempted to just take their money and tell them that the scheme had not worked. I was wondering how they would tell that what I had told them was not true. In fact I thought about paying the girl to do what I wanted her to do, which would have been a lot more fun. What they wanted me to do was probably some sort of felony and since you would do it for the purpose of creating some sensational story, then it is a felony where you could be telling the police to come and look at you in the hopes of locking you up for ten to twenty years. I certainly never even considered doing it for a whole list of reasons, most of which involved not needing to give my money to lawyers.

Escorts Just Want to Have Fun

The best Las Vegas escorts are the ones that are willing to have a little fun. I’ve gone through my fair share of escort services, and some of the escorts really know how to have a good time. I’m the kind of person who likes to dance whenever I go out. I’ll find the nearest club and dance the night away, coming home the next day at the crack of dawn. The last escort I went out with dance with me for hours, and she was really getting into the music. She had a lot of energy and every time the song changed, she could keep up with it.

Of course, dancing isn’t the only thing I do when I go out with an escort. All of the dancing that we do makes us hungry, so we get dinner or breakfast, depending on how long we’ve been out. Continue reading

What It Takes to Choose the Best Exterior Doors Toronto


Whenever you are driving around your area of residence looking at the homes you pass by, one of the main things you see are the exterior doors. Entry doors are the first elements people see whenever they come to your home, and that is why they are known as first impression creators. These doors speak volumes of information about your home style, aesthetic, and architectural design. Therefore, they set the pace of what people think about your home.

However, with myriad options of entry doors, choosing a particular style over the other can be daunting, especially for first-time homeowners. Do you need an aesthetically appealing wooden door?  Strong and plain steel door or you want a fibreglass door with wooden appeal and long durability? All that can be confusing. To make the right decision, you need to work with an expert in entry doors replacement. He will be able to advise you accordingly concerning different entry doors in Toronto. That is what you need to select the best door. See more details here.

  1. What Matches Your Home? 

When choosing exterior doors for your home, you should know what matches your home. You should think about the entire design of your house when replacing your windows and doors. For instance, if you are living in Victorian styled-home steel or modern door or window will feel out of place. Some houses are considered artifacts; thus, if a window is broken or a door needs replacement, you can make plans to get a relic that complements with your entry. Some houses sit on areas that must have specific designs; thus, when replacing a window or door ensure that you use materials similar in materials and design as the old ones.  

  1. Your Budget

It is vital to work within your budget limits, before buying materials for exterior doors Toronto ensure that you have calculated the cost of the materials as well as the labour. If you are planning on upgrading the look of your doors or windows to a more expensive ones experts advise you to save money in advance to cater for the new home improvements.

  1. Take into Consideration Your Personal Preference

Take your personal preference when choosing exterior doors Toronto for your house, after all, you will be living in the house. Choose something that you will still love even in the next 50 years. A door or window should speak about your personality as you can express what you love and who you are through a house design.

  1. Consider the Door and Window Material

Most exterior doors are made of wood, steel fiberglass, aluminium, vinyl, and glass.  Wooden materials are very versatile as you can get some that look modern rustic, light, or dark depending on your preference. However, wooden materials are susceptible to weather thus should be replaced regularly. Steel and vinyl, on the other hand, are weather-resistant but will not look as aesthetic as the wood doors. Glass doors will let in natural light but are likely to let in the air thus increasing your energy bills.

Importance of a Criminal Lawyer Toronto in Criminal Harassment Charges

According to Section 264 of Canada’ Criminal Code, criminal harassment is one of the offences that are often the resultant of former domestic relationships or forceful initiation of romantic relationship by a person. Other than that, frequent disputes between co-workers, neighbors or business associates may lead to criminal offence. Even, some individuals may be accused of criminal harassment if their behavior is not good with others as well. What else is important to consider while declaring someone accused of criminal offence? Let’s find out:

Actions Leading to Criminal Harassment

Under Section 264 of Canada’s Criminal Code, following actions may cause the person to face criminal offence charges and call a criminal lawyer Toronto to handle them:

  • Following someone from one place to the other 
  • Repetitive communication with someone directly or indirectly
  • Watching or besetting the dwelling place where someone works, lives, happens to be or carries on business
  • Initiating threatening actions for a person

Actions Transforming into Criminal Harassment

The above mentioned conducts do not constitute to criminal harassment until these 4 factors are present:

  1. Feeling of harassment by the complainant
  2. The person doesn’t know that his/her conduct was wilfully or recklessly harassing the complainant
  3. The complainant doesn’t feel safe
  4. He/she feels reasonably fearful

Ways to Defend Criminal Harassment 

The first and foremost thing is to appoint the Crown Attorney to oversee the burden of proving the elements of criminal offence. In some cases, identity of the accused may become an issue where it’s a bit difficult to point out the person engaged in the harassing behaviour. Once it is clear, the Crown Attorney would be in a position to prove that the complainant felt harassed by the conduct. 

So, to be clear, the criminal harassment offence is defended in accordance with:

  1. The accused was reckless or unaware of the behaviour of the complainant, thereby affecting his/her safety.
  2. The complainant’s fear for safety isn’t reasonable in any circumstances. So, while considering whether the person feels fearful or not, the judge will then examine the circumstances based on specific conduct affecting his/her safety. 

Here, the thing to mention is that criminal harassment is, unfortunately, not considered as an offence for which, the Crown Attorney has to prove intentions and deliberate actions of harassment. Rather, they only have to prove recklessness conduct towards another person. Though, it’s necessary to look at the facts associated with the defence of honest mistake. When stuck in such situation, the person has to prove that he/she was sure about not causing any harm or harassment to the complainant. Make sure that the surrounding factors are also in favour so that the judge and declare actions as mistaken and honest belief. 

Criminal Harassment Penalty

Based on a summary from a criminal lawyer Toronto, criminal harassment forces the person to face 6 months jail penalty or a $1,000 fine or sometimes, both. However, if the Attorney works on indictment, then penalty may last for 10 years of imprisonment. 

Oakville Windows And Doors: What You Should Ask During Consultation

Oakville Windows And Doors: What You Should Ask During Consultation


There are so many Oakville windows and doors companies that provide various products. The many products produced by these companies can confuse you when choosing replacements for your windows and doors. So, arranging a consultation appointment is a great way for you to get to know the doors and windows suppliers and narrow down the options you have. Click here to see more. The kind of decisions you make determines whether your project will run smoothly or it will drag.

Therefore, when you get an opportunity to talk to your windows and doors supplier, you should know the type of questions you are going to ask. So here are the best questions you ought to ask the Oakville windows and doors consultant.

  1. Ask About How the Doors and Windows Operate.

You need to ask the product consultant to explain about the product they are offering. You need that information to weigh whether the product offers the properties you are looking for. Though there is a general sense that window is a window, there is also a sense that dictates that some windows offer more properties than others and therefore are preferable.

You need to know whether the Oakville windows and doors offer enough security, ventilation, energy efficiency and safety. From here you will be able to choose a window style that satisfies your requirements.

  1. Ask About the Hidden Costs.

Many people forget this when asking questions about window replacement Oakville. However, it is important to know whether there are any hidden costs before signing the contract. If they are, you may want to know what additional services will be offered. Normally, these costs are usually added where the installer cannot ascertain the door or window condition. These cases are rampant in bay and bow windows where there is rotten wood and need to be replaced. Other additional costs may involve the re-installation of shutters and blinds.

  1. Ask About Planning of The Project.

You should inquire to know how long the entire project will take. Oakville windows and doors replacement are a significant one-time project, and you want to make sure everything is carried out satisfactorily. Usually, the window replacement Oakville process will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks. So, contractors who may promise you one week to complete the work might be defrauding you.

  1. Ask About Exterior and Interior Finishes.

The probability is that if you want to replace your windows, there is already the existing exterior and interior décor. Choosing appropriate finishes is essential both for maintaining the décor of the design and improving the performance. If you are doing a full-frame installation, that comes with its vinyl brickmould that acts as an aesthetic border and barrier to weather elements. If it doesn’t come with it, then installers will need to use aluminium cladding. This will lead to more costs, and that is why you need to ask this question.