DOW ELECTRONICS EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

For this week’s post, we are highlighting two of our very own DOW Electronics employees, Mitch Wyatt and Craig Parrot.  Read on to get the inside scoop on these Area Sales Representatives.

Mitch Wyatt, Area Sales Representative, Greensboro

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Years at DOW Electronics: 3

Favorite part about working at DOW Electronics: My favorite part is getting the opportunity to work with our dealers to help them improve and grow their business.  It is very rewarding when you see them succeed.

What are some of your favorite things to do: Run/Workout, go to the beach, watch/play sports of any kind, and spend time with my wife and friends

Favorite Sports Team: UNC Tarheels

Favorite Food: Spaghetti

Dream Car: Range Rover Sport

Favorite Movie: It’s a tie between Anchorman and Old School

What activities did you enjoy in high school: Playing football and basketball, and attempting to talk to girls.

If you could re-experience one thing in your life, what would that be: I would relive my four years of college again.  Maybe stretch it out to five this time around.

What is one thing you’ve done that was really scary: Cliff diving in Jamaica.

Craig Parrot, Area Sales Representative, Tampa

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Years at DOW Electronics: 15

Favorite Part about working at DOW Electronics: Besides working with great people both inside and out, I particularly enjoy watching my Retailers succeed with their business. I have always had the utmost respect for my Retailers, as they are the ones who carry the weight on their backs and carry all the risks associated with self-employment.  When they find success making these sacrifices, I always look forward to my next visit.

First Job: Crew Member at Arby’s

What are some of you favorite things to do: I enjoy playing sand volleyball, watching or listening to Tampa Bay Rays games, and cooking.

Favorite Sports Team: Tampa Bay Rays and the Buffalo Bills

Favorite Movie: The Butterfly Effect

Dream Car: Buick Grand National

Favorite Food: Anything Spanish

What activities did you enjoy in high school: Wrestling and Intramural sports

If you could re-experience one thing in your life, what would that be: Moving to Florida in 1998.  It was an exhilarating time in my life when I had the opportunity to make new friends, create new experiences and discover who I really was.

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THREE LINKEDIN FEATURES YOU SHOULD BE USING

Upon creating your LinkedIn account and looking around, it is not difficult to understand how you can feel overwhelmed and bombarded with a plethora of information and news.  However, once you get through all the noise, there are a few features you may want to think about enabling to enhance your LinkedIn page.

1. BLOG RSS FEED

With this feature, you are able to add your blog updates via an RSS feed.  This simple and easy to use tool allows you to promote your blog content to all visitors who visit your page.   Keep in mind that you will need to ensure you update your blog with fresh content regularly – an out-of-date and flat news feed will show that you haven’t put any effort into your blog, and will reduce your creditability.

To enable this feature, click the dropdown menu next to ‘’Admin Tools’’ for your page’s “Overview” tab.  You will then scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your blog’s RSS feed information.

2. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TAB

This feature offered by LinkedIn allows you to highlight and promote the products and services your company offers.  You can also use this same feature to advertise webinars, add videos, upload marketing and training materials and introduce new products and services.  Another beneficial feature of the Products and Services Tab is that it allows you to create up to 30 different landing pages to drive and target a specific audience.  You can create parameters based on the company size, job function, geography and more, which is perfect for those businesses who have different business segments marketed to different audiences.

Since this feature in more in depth, you can get more information on how to set up by accessing your LinkedIn account and visiting the Help Section.

3. RECOMMENDATIONS

One of the best ways to generate business, especially for the local retailer, is by recommendations.  You enable this feature in conjunction with your Products and Services Tab so that your customers now have the opportunity to recommend the products and services you offer to other LinkedIn users.  This will not only build your credibility, but also increase your LinkedIn following, in turn, making you the expert in your area.

Again, this feature is more in depth, so you can get more information on setting this up on your LinkedIn account by visiting the Help Section on LinkedIn.

There are a handful of useful features offered on LinkedIn, so take some time to sift through all the information and set up your account so it best promotes your business.  And, stay tuned for updates to the DOW Electronics LinkedIn page!

What features do you use on LinkedIn?  What works for your business?  Comment below with your suggestions.

5 WAYS TO PROMOTE COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORK WITHIN YOUR DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE

A happy office is more likely to be a productive office, and will increase employee satisfaction within their position.  However, interoffice competition and arguments are all too common in today’s workplace environment – with clashing personalities, opinions and preconceived notions, it’s not hard to understand why this frequently occurs.  Here are five easy ways to begin to promote communication and team work with in your office.

  1. Establish defined and clear-cut goals.  When you establish a set of goals for your department or office, your team members will know exactly what they are working towards.  Whether you want to increase sales by 10% or provide 100% customer satisfaction, having a common goal all employees are striving to meet will promote forward progress and camaraderie when the goal is finally met.
  2. Take time to listen to your team members by holding regular meetings.  Use the meetings to allow each employee to present the successes and failures associated with their daily duties with an uninterrupted voice, and truly listen to the information they introduce.  Your employees will not only feel more involved with the accomplishments of the business, they will also have an opportunity to ask for help, or for input from someone outside of the projects and responsibilities they manage.  This can lead to a better solution for everyone, including the clients you serve.  Additionally, require all participants to be involved with the meeting by bringing prepared information they have collected prior to the meeting.
  3. Encourage employees to share information with one another.  Two heads are better than one, and a working environment that supports a collective genius will deter an employee from withholding information for influence.  You can support this by setting aside time for cross-training employees, alternating roles and responsibilities of your employees or partnering employees to complete a project together.  Again, require participation from each employee, whether it be questions about the cross-training, or shared or equal responsibilities with group projects.  You will find that this will open the lines of communication between employees since they will have to initiate discussions on skills needed to complete the task or project.
  4. Reward your entire  team.  When your team works together  to complete a common goal, let them know!  It can be something small, such as donuts for breakfast, or pizza for lunch, but rewarding good behavior is the best way to ensure this same pattern will be followed in the future.
  5. Create bulletins to keep everyone updated on changes.  If your department sees a lot of changes from week to week, sending emails may not be the best way for your employees to keep track of all the updates.  Create a weekly, or monthly, bulletin that your employees can file and reference.  These bulletins can include changes in policies, guidelines, and requirements your employees will need to complete their job properly, as well as important notes from your meetings, and important dates, such as employee birthdays, anniversaries, and office closings.  Ensuring your employees are ‘in-the-know’ will make them feel included and will foster an open-door policy at work.

There are plenty of additional ways for you to cultivate open communication and teamwork within your office, whether it is planning out of work gatherings, or conducting team-building exercises.   Whatever you do, ensuring your staff enjoys working with one another will pay off in the long run.

What do you like to utilize for promoting teamwork at your business?  What have you tried that did not work?  We want to know, so comment below with your tips!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAMS

These days, customer loyalty and rewards programs are all the rage for all types of businesses.  From offering BOGO’s (buy one, get one free), free shipping and points for future items, these types of programs not only compensate your customer for purchasing products through you, they can also keep your customer base coming back for more and for a longer period of time.

However, many businesses fall flat with these types of programs by not planning and executing properly.  The bottom line is that you should look at this program as enhancing your customers’ experience and always strive to put their needs first.  Whether you start your own ‘VIP Club’ or ‘Rewards-style’ program, we’re here to help with our list of dos, don’ts and examples of how to start rewarding your customers today.

THE DO’S

  • Set parameters for your rewards based on what’s best for your business.  While for online companies, offering a free shipping reward is a great way to get people to order, this may not be your best reward if you have a substantial amount of foot traffic.  Additionally, set parameters based on how much a customer spends or how often they purchase, creating tiered levels of rewards, and giving your most loyal customers a special level of service.
  • Strive to build lasting relationships with your loyalty programs.  Engage your customers by giving them rewards they truly want, will use or will benefit from.
  • Think about your budget.  Starting a rewards program could get expensive if you don’t plan properly, so always track your budget on costs for the rewards.  This will allow you to calculate your Return on Investment to see which rewards work best, which don’t work and what you can change within your program to make it a better fit for you and your customers.
  • Track your customers’ purchasing habits.   By tracking what a customer purchases, you can offer them a reward that will truly help them.  For example, if they purchase two of a specific item at once, they get 50% off the third, or a discount on purchases of 10 or more of an item.  Additionally, if you see that a handful of customers purchase very little, offer a small discount to entice them to purchase more frequently.
  • Clearly state the parameters of your program to all customers and keep the process simple.  Make sure all users know how they obtain rewards or points by providing a handout of the guidelines.  Also, by creating a simple process for access to program rewards and account information, you are more like to run the program properly and have more users.
  • Partner with other businesses.  For example, if you hold an open-house event for VIP clients, partner with the catering service for discounts on your products and their services.

THE DON’TS

  • Don’t use a ‘one-size fits all’ model for your rewards program.  Tailor each reward or provide options that customers will find usable that way they will be happy with the reward they receive, and will be more likely to continue to purchase from you again.  Think outside the box, and keep in mind what will benefit your customer the most.
  • Don’t just give stuff away, or give your customer leftovers from an event.  They will not appreciate the reward, nor will they be enticed to purchase more.
  • Don’t make it difficult to sign up for your program.  Offering the ability to easily sign up by registering their email address with the first purchase is a quick way to get all of your customers started.
  • Don’t make rewards impossible to obtain.  If your customer has to spend $10,000 at your store to receive a $20.00 coupon, chances are you will never have anyone actually receive a reward, which completely defeats the purpose.  Think like PetCo – for every $100.00 you spend, you earn a $5.00 coupon to be used on anything at their store.  The reward level is easily reached, and the reward is completely fair for all users.

HOW TO START REWARDING:

Even with a small budget, here are some ways for you to start testing what loyalty program works best for you:

  • Celebrate with your customers by offering a small discount during the month of their birthday.
  • Offer additional services, such as product warranties, with little mark-up.
  • Reward referrals to your business by offering a coupon or discount.
  • Upgrade shipping with a specific purchase amount.
  • Offer your VIP customers a free preview night, or open house, in which they will be the first to see your new products.
  • Notify those in your rewards program of sales early so they can get a head start on shopping.
  • Have your customers create a ‘Wish List’ and when they reach a specific amount of purchases, you surprise them with a free gift.

Remember, the end goal of a loyalty program is to build a two-way relationship that benefits both users, so think about what your customers really want, and you’ll see the gains from increased sales and profits.

Have any questions about customer loyalty programs, or have any advice or ideas to share?  Comment below with your questions, or call 1.800.627.2920 or email adv@DOWElectronics.com to talk with our dedicated marketing team!