When it comes to locating information online one site wins the popularity contest hands down (the proof: it processes more than 200 million search requests every day). But even it doesn't always deliver what you need -- stuff
that's hidden behind log-in screens, deep in databases, or buried in someone's blog; material stored in what experts call the "invisible" Web.
This month's tip describes one of the resources I look to in those situations, a lesser known tool for getting to all kinds of information on clients, prospects, target markets, technology, products, vendors -- you name it.
I hope you'll check it out.
If you have questions or comments about this material do not reply to this message, email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses sent to email@example.com will not reach me.
I'm also hoping you'll take a minute to consider how much you're investing in developing the skills you and your staff need to take your business to the next level.
Not only things like knowing how to navigate the Web to gather business intelligence, but being able to think both strategically and tactically, to systematically document and improve the key processes that drive your business, or to
implement approaches that reduce the time you lose to email and office administrivia. In other words, working smarter not harder to position yourself for even greater success.
I ask because while preparing my upcoming talk for this year's Million Dollar Round Table Annual Meeting I unearthed a startling statistic. MDRT's
2004 Cost of Doing Business survey revealed that on average, MDRT members consistently invested less in professional education than they spent on office supplies... and that between 2000 and 2003 the dollars spent on education
actually declined over 25%.
If you're ready to take your business and your team to the next level of success call or email me. Discovering how easy it can be to be more productive with the tools you already own is the single best investment you can make in achieving
Find Useful Web Content Faster with A9
Let's play word association. When I say, "Web search," what's the first thing that comes to mind?
Google? I thought so. The company's done a masterful job of making its sites the first (and often only) stop for millions of people going online to gather information. Tough to beat their simplicity and accuracy.
But what do you do on those occasions when Google doesn't give you the information you're looking for?
Chapter 3 of
Winning Clients in a Wired World devotes a whole section to answering that question. "Beyond Google" highlights a handful of other great resources worth considering including
C|net's Search, and
Now here's another one you can add to your list:
A9 from Amazon.
What makes A9 so special? Scope and flexibility. A9 lets you create your own personal pool of search sites from a (growing) list of over 400 engines -- and then choose which of those sites you want to search at any given time. I
love that its list of options includes three great sites you've read about in past issues of this newsletter:
About (August 2002),
June 2005 issue), and
Zoominfo (highlighted in
What all that means is that when you're looking for information on a particular person or company, or some other topic of interest you can go to one place and search across multiple sources simultaneously -- picking and choosing the
particular sites you want to use. Not a replacement for Google (or whatever you use) but a specialized tool than you can draw on when you need it.
One of the other features I like about A9 is that it can keep a history of your search requests and a diary of your comments about things you find… so that if someone on your team does some research and you want to review the notes they
took along the way about what they found, you can do so.
Access to those features requires that you open your own account with A9 (it won't cost you anything). Once you're set up you can get to your information from any computer with an Internet connection). There's also a toolbar that puts many
of A9's best features right in your browser window no matter what site you're visiting (...similar to Google's
Toolbar which I'll be reviewing again in a Tip later this year).
Bottom line: I've found A9 to be a terrific timesaver and research tool. I think you will too.
Make Sure This Newsletter Reaches You
The best way to ensure that future Tips messages reach you without being filtered or blocked is to add the address they originate from, firstname.lastname@example.org, to your Address Book. Be sure to label it "Kip's Tips - No
Reply" because messages sent to that address never reach me.
If you have a corporate email address, I encourage you to pass the email address above onto your IT help desk so they can add it to your company's approved sender list as well.
Finally, please take a minute to
review and update your contact information on file in case any of it has changed since you first signed up.
Ways We Can Help You Improve Results
One-on-One and Team Coaching
Ever hear of Hank Haney or Tony Roche?
Probably not... unless you closely follow professional golf and tennis.
Haney is Tiger Woods' coach; Roche, Roger Federer's.
And why exactly would two world-class athletes, the very best at what they do, work with a coach? Simple, they want to get better. And they recognize that continuing, hands-on assistance with identifying and implementing improvement
strategies is the best way to ensure continued success.
How about you? Do you have a coach? Someone you can turn to for advice and guidance on how to improve your game?
If not, maybe it's time you did. My program could be just the help you're looking for.
Each engagement starts by developing a very clear picture of your goals and objectives, business structure, markets served, clientele sought, team strengths and weaknesses, technology and other resources you own. Then working together we
map out an action plan for getting you from where you are to where you want to be, laying out specific milestones by which we can measure success.
We don't just talk, we roll up our sleeves to address specific objectives. Big ones like developing a better profile of your top clients, expanding (or consolidating) your base of accounts, and increasing assets; and little ones like
eliminating unnecessary expenses, automating routine tasks, and taking control of your email inbox. We develop practical ways of achieving those results (through smarter use of people, process, and personal technology) and focus wherever
possible on executing those strategies using resources you already own.
We also draw on a variety of proprietary tools – forms, worksheets, databases, and online conferencing resources (all available at
http://gregory-group.webexone.com) – designed to help you achieve that elusive next level of success.
Sessions run roughly an hour and are conducted weekly… all in the comfort and convenience of your office (which means everyone on your team can participate... and there's no travel expense, time lost in traffic, or nights spent in a
"bootcamp" hotel room).
The cost? Just $3000 for a full day's worth (eight hours) of consulting and coaching time that you can access for as little as 15 minutes at a time.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level
email or call me at 202.364.6913 and let's visit.
If you're serious about implementing improvements contact me now and let's develop a plan for accelerating your success. The kind of results you're seeking don't happen accidentally.
(If you want to get started on developing your business improvement plan immediately, download the
Checklist of Challenges and
Self-Assessment Questionnaire from the Winning Clients Web site. Together those worksheets will help you define your goals and identify specific areas you want to address... and give me useful insight into what you want to accomplish
should we work together.)
Keynote, Breakout, and Workshop Speaking
Whew! It's been a busy spring. This month alone had me in Orlando, Ohio, and Ontario speaking with advisors on ways to increase productivity and profit with tools they already own (one of my favorite topics!).
And at the end of next week I'm on to San Diego for the MDRT meeting I mentioned earlier. If you're attending please stop by and say hi (and if anyone you know is going, please encourage them to sit in on my presentation Tuesday June 13 at
Next month, I'll share some audience feedback with you as well as a few of my own observations on the challenges and opportunities advisors are facing.
Meanwhile please keep me in mind if you're involved in booking or recommending speakers for national or chapter events at AICPA, FPA, NAIFA, NAPFA, the Society for Financial Service Professionals, or any other industry group. My sessions
offer the kind of practical, innovative, take-it-back-to-the-office-and-put-it-to-work-immediately value attendees are looking for... useful content that will save them time, increase their income, and improve their effectiveness.
Or perhaps you work for a product or service provider and you're currently planning a national sales meeting, due diligence road show, or sales force training calendar. Let me show you how to increase your meeting ROI by delivering
tangible, value-added content that draws advisors closer to your firm and helps both you and them do more business.
email or call me at 202.364.6913 to explore how I'll assist you in getting more mileage from your event. I'd be happy to schedule a webinar with your and your colleagues to see and hear my material firsthand.
Until next time wishing you all the best,
The Gregory Group: Teaching Clients to Leverage Their Time, Talent, and Technology to Increase Productivity and Profit
Don't forget, for questions or comments about this message email me at
email@example.com. Replies to this message will not reach me.
© 2006 Kip Gregory. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or republishing this content either electronically or in print without prior permission is prohibited.