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Influencing buyers before the sale

Research from the Corporate Executive Board has found that 60 per cent of the sales cycle is over before a buyer even talks to your salesperson.

Consultant Drew McLellan says this means buyers are being influenced by your existing customers, a customer who left and is now dealing with your competitors, your vendors, your website, or review sites. What can you do, he asks, to influence those influencers? Drew's Marketing Minute

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Thought for the day

For software world, coding is literacy

Reading and writing have been the ways we have shared ideas, and thus the kernels of literacy. But high-tech executive Penny Herscher suggests that in a world of software, coding is the new literacy. The Grassy Road

Be alert to colour blindness

Many companies have corporate performance scorecards with results shown in red, yellow, and green (like traffic lights) to show what they should be alarmed, cautionary, or unconcerned about.

But Dave Paradi, a presentations expert based in Mississauga, Ont., warns that one in 10 Caucasian males will have trouble because of red-green-yellow blindness. He suggests using the first letter of the colour (R, Y, or G) in a contrasting text colour so everyone is clear on the indicator. Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Tips

Saving Power Points in old file format

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Tech writer Lincoln Spector notes that problems can occur when you create PowerPoint presentations in the new .pptx format and then it won't open when using someone else's computer with an older form of PowerPoint. So get in the habit of saving your presentations in the old .ppt file format. PCWorld.com

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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