IN THIS ISSUE
ASI Welcomes Clients to Cleveland
Benefits of VCKweb.NET Unveiled at Users Seminar
ASI Users Seminar a Great Place to Network
Don't Take It Personally: How to Accept - and Benefit - from Criticism
Tana's Tech Tip
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Tana's Tech Tip
Getting a Clean Start
If you're thinking of upgrading to VCK-SQL, now is the time to run the VCK System Integrity Reports. Even if you are not upgrading to VCK-SQL, this is an important exercise to reveal discrepancies such as customers with incomplete Retention and/or Service Rates. You may also discover boxes assigned a media type but scanned to a location assigned to a different media type.
These reports help keep your system ‘clean' and help your business run efficiently.
You will find these reports in: VCK / Administration / System Integrity Reports.
By running these reports now , you'll ensure a faster conversion process in your new VCK-SQL and data that is clean and discrepancy-free.
Register for ASI WebShare Webinars
WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions. Visit our Online Learning Center for details of upcoming WebShare webinar learning opportunities!
PRISM/NAID Joint European Conference
Sept. 27-29 , 2010
Westin Athens, Astir Palace Beach Resort
November 3-5, 2010
November 7-8, 2010
San Francisco, CA
December 1-3, 2010
PRISM Fundamentals of Records Center Management
December 8-9, 2010
ASI Learning Center
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THE 411 ON ASI
Please send any payments, hardware and
other correspondence to:
Andrews Software, Inc.
W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141
ASI Welcomes Clients to Cleveland
Scott Bidwell, President/COO
Last month's column, "Face Time vs. Facebook" discussed the value of in-person interaction vs. online communication. As I pointed out, there are pros and cons for both. We wrapped up the ASI Users Seminar earlier this month and it reinforced my opinion that you just can't beat the energy and sense of community that is created when you bring people together in person for a common goal. The goal in this case was to help ASI clients expand their knowledge of ASI software solutions, as well as important industry information. Likewise, we wanted records center and shredding owners/operators to bring forward their ideas to one another and to the ASI Team. By all accounts, we accomplished these goals.
While attendee feedback is that all the sessions were informative and helpful, a couple of ASI software sessions stood out for records centers. These included the session on the new VCK-SQL data import tool as well as the soon-to-be-released new ASI Mobile for records centers. The Data Center Data Protection Inc. owner/operator Tim Goodwin shared his experiences using VVK and VVKweb.NET for his vault operation, which was also well received by attendees.
On the shredding side, attendees were particularly interested in ASI's Veri-Shred integration with UPS's Roadnet Anywhere routing application and its potential impact on their operations. Says Lloyd Williams of ShredAll, "As you know I'm a big fan of Veri-Shred and I think it will be great going forwards for Andrews."
For both records and shredding, there was an in-depth session on administrative reports, which included an overview of ASI's environmental reports to help customers with their go green initiatives.
Sessions such as Tim's where ASI customers provide their roadmap for business success add significantly to the value of the Users Seminar. Attendees appreciate sessions such as our “Now I Know What I Didn't Know” shredding panel because the panelists covered such a wide range of topics from sales to operations, to technology and chain of custody. As one attendee said, “This session was a real eye-opener for me because it highlighted some potential concerns that I hadn't taken into account. Now that I'm aware of these, I know that it will save my operation valuable time and dollars.”
On the note of business development, Joe Incarnato, Metropolitan Archives, shared his unique personal story about starting his business and gaining the attention and a visit from President Barack Obama.
Ray Barry once again provided an engaging and very informative session on growing your business through networking and referrals which was geared toward sales and operations for records centers and shredding companies alike. I think we all managed to learn a little more about insurance and regulations impacting our respective businesses from presentations that were done by Jim Booth, from PRISM International and Brian Jungeberg, from Oswald Companies..
“Really enjoyed this year's Seminar and I can't wait to see what you guys develop next for my business,” says one attendee.
I'd like to thank all of our guest speakers as well as the ASI Team for their time and seemingly inexhaustible energy as we put together this year's event. As we all know, it is the people that make the company and I think ASI is comprised of great people.
As for what's to come? Be sure to keep reading the ASI Archive, where we like to share this sort of information and join us for the next ASI Users Seminar!
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Benefits of VCKweb.NET Unveiled at Users Seminar
If you missed the Users Seminar, you missed many informative educational sessions , including the unveiling of VCKweb.NET, ASI's newest addition to its suite of software solutions developed to interface seamlessly with VCK-SQL. It is similar to InfoKeeper in that it is an online records inventory management tool providing a records center's customers the ability to enter data, request boxes and files, perform refiles and permanent withdrawals, as well as request cartons to be destroyed that have met their retention period. It does offer a few points of differentiation, however.
ASI Support Specialist Tana McAtee outlined these differences during the session, noting that VCKweb.NET differs most significantly from InfoKeeper in that VCKweb.NET is hosted by the records center – not by ASI. Client access to their account information is accomplished by accessing the VCK-SQL database via the Internet. File and carton information are added directly to VCK-SQL. With InfoKeeper, data is replicated between VCK-SQL and InfoKeeper and updated through a synchronization process. VCKweb.NET also delivers ease of reporting with a simple Excel export for immediate viewing and printing.
Of course, security is a concern when hosting data for online access. VCKweb.NET puts these concerns to rest, employing multiple measures for controlled access to critical information. Not only is it important that security protect against unwanted access from an outside workstation, it is also necessary to control access within the organization. VCKweb.NET neatly manages this with Group Security. The client administrator controls user access, creates and controls groups who have access to departmental information specific to that group, ensuring confidentiality. The client administrator is also able to create departmental-specific data entry and search and query templates for cartons and files.
Because it is coupled with VCK-SQL, VCKweb.NET is not compatible with VCK. It should also be mentioned that the introduction of VCKweb.NET does not mean InfoKeeper is going away. Existing ASI records center clients who operate InfoKeeper report that they are able to be more responsive to customer requests at a lower cost of service per customer. They also say that their customers prefer managing their account data online and having direct access to their data. VCKweb.NET will build upon this level of customer service and satisfaction.VCKweb.NET simply provides records centers with more options to better service the needs of their clients in terms of online access. ASI will continue to host InfoKeeper, records centers can host VCKweb.NET, or a combination of both may be the ideal solution.
Contact ASI today at Sales@AndrewsSoftware.com . An ASI Sales Associate can discuss hardware requirements, accessbility and other important considerations to be taken into account when determining if VCKweb.NET fits your business goals.
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ASI Users Seminar A Great Place to Network
This week I was invited by the great folks at Andrews Software to speak at their 2010 Users Seminar. I know what you're thinking: “What in the world does Ray know about software?” Well, not much….but enough to be dangerous I guess!
The good news is that I was not asked to talk about the intricacies of software. I was asked to help the Andrews Software clients learn how to network more effectively and generate more referrals in their respective markets. My topic of “Keys to Networking Effectively and Generating Referrals” had nothing to do with their software but it had everything to do with their clients.
The Users Seminar agenda also included sessions covering legislation, insurance, sales and marketing (me), and oh yeah…software. This is evidence to me that ASI truly sees its role as being a resource for its clients. By including sessions such as mine and the others that are not directly related to software, demonstrates that ASI takes an active interest and a vital role in helping to grow their clients' records management and destruction businesses. Also, anytime there is a gathering of “Shred-Heads” and “Box-Heads”, it's always a great place to network and learn from one other. Sometimes you can glean as much knowledge from the other attendees as you can from the sessions at conferences and seminars.
If you missed the ASI Users Seminar, or you were there and want a little review on the topic of networking effectively, here are the highlights:
- In networking, don't have a “what's in it for me attitude.”
- Invest 99% of the conversation talking about the other person you meet.
- Speak and write as often as possible to become a “perceived expert” in your market and industry.
- Have a message that applies to 100% of your market (resist the urge to talk about your company at first).
- Ask the right questions to bring out know, like, and trust feelings first.
- Remember the best way to get referrals is to give referrals!
- Give without expectation of getting anything back and without keeping score.
- The Rule of Reciprocation works better than any referral incentive program!
If you would like more information on this topic or are interested in getting the “6 Must -Ask Networking Questions for Your Next Networking Event," email me at email@example.com.
Until then, I hope to see you at the next ASI Users Seminar in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio!
Ray Barry is president of Total Training Services headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
He and his team
specialize in sales and marketing training, organizational development, and executive education services that are tailored to your business, your challenges, and your people.
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Don't Take It Personally:
How to Accept - and Benefit - from Criticism
Nobody likes to be criticized. When the complaint is coming from a client or customer, however, criticisms can actually be your best friend.
Whether they're about you, your company or your product, constructive criticism can be a powerful opportunity for you to improve your sales technique, close more deals -- and increase your revenues.
The key is to not respond defensively or angrily. Most sales people -- like most people period -- get their dander up the moment anyone says anything even remotely negative. They get defensive, angry or, in the worst-case scenario, they look for ways to retaliate either overtly or coercively.
The following four-step process can help you learn how to take criticism well, and even begin to use it to enhance your client relationships.
Step 1: Thank the client for their feedback.
Try saying something like "thanks for bringing this to my attention, I appreciate the opportunity you've given me to improve (the level of service, my responsiveness, etc)."
Step 2: Ask questions.
People love to teach others what to do. So involve your customer in the solution by asking them what suggestions they have that might help you improve.
Asking questions will allow you and your client to have a constructive dialogue around the issue at hand. Who knows, the client may even make a suggestion you never thought of.
Step 3: Listen.
Your client is entitled to their opinion. So whatever they have to say -- hear them out.
Listen to what is being said, process it, reflect on it and then use it to improve. Try taking notes to show that what they're saying is important to you. If your client feels you're taking their opinion seriously, they'll be less likely to get angry and more willing to work with you to reach a resolution.
If you listen with the intent to improve, you'll have an even better chance of understanding their point of view. Use the listening techniques you've developed as a sales professional to ask probing questions or ask for examples. And remember: let the client do at least 70 per cent of the talking.
At the end of the conversation, summarize what they've said to show them that you understand. Then ask for one more opinion: what they think you should do to improve.
Step 4: Commit to improve.
Finally, always let the customer know that you appreciate their opinions and suggestions -- and that you will be taking concrete steps to improve. You can even go so far as to ask whether they'd like you to check in with them again in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, don't turn your back on what they've said or try to forget about it. Spend some time looking for any validity in the criticism, and perhaps share the feedback with someone you can trust to tell you the truth. This will also give you a chance to look at the criticism from a neutral perspective.
One last thought: I've seen far too many people pull their ads, cancel programs, postpone events or ruin otherwise profitable relationships just because somebody got offended. So whatever you do -- don't ever take criticism personally.
I know this can be hard to do, especially when it's coming from someone you like (or someone who signs your paychecks). The fact of the matter is, if you're not offending at least one person, you're probably not pushing hard enough.
The reality is you may make two to three per cent of your clients uncomfortable. That's okay, because you weren't going to sell to them anyway. The thing to remember is that the other 97 per cent of your clients really want to see your personality, your style and your communication reflected in your work. If you try to make everyone happy, the only thing you can be certain of is becoming a bland commodity that no one will be particularly excited about.
Only you can give other people permission to make you feel bad. Interpreting criticism as a subjective opinion with a solution instead of a personal rebuke will help you grow, build better relationships and, ultimately, become more successful.
So take the opinions and criticism of others seriously, not personally. Use what they say to create an action plan to upgrade your performance, both personally and professionally.
And don't worry about being perfect. As the Bard once said -- to thine own self be true. Be your best not for your boss, your customers or even your family. Be your best for you.
The above article is reprinted from the online magazine, connectIT.
Colleen Francis is President of Engage Selling Solutions. Engage Selling produces measurable and lasting results by delivering practical and challenging programs focused on developing potential in Sales, Customer Service, Sales Management and Leadership and Company Reputation. Whether it's good economy or bad, government or private sector sales, we get the job done. We get the best. For more information about Engage Selling speaking programs, training, consulting or mentoring please contact us at 613-730-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org . www.engageselling.com .
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