recommendations http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14550/all en-US Best Money Tips: Money Recommendations For Every Age http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-money-recommendations-for-every-age <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-money-recommendations-for-every-age" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-5256832-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on money recommendations for every age, knowing when it's time to quit your job, and mistakes renters make.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/05/top-ten-money-recommendations-for-every-age.html">Top Ten Money Recommendations For Every Age</a> &mdash; It is important to reduce your debt and automate your finances. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/quit-your-job/">How to Know It's Time to Quit Your Job</a> &mdash; If you are concerned about the company you work for, it may be time to quit your job. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetblonde.com/2014/05/20/make-5-renter-mistakes/">Do You Make These 5 Renter Mistakes?</a> &mdash; Do you rent? If so, don't make the mistake of not reading the lease thoroughly and knowing your tenant rights. [Budget Blonde]</p> <p><a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/top-cities-to-retire-in/">The Top 10 Cities That Your Financial Advisor Approves You To Retire In</a> &mdash; Chances are your financial advisor would approve your decision to retire in Austin or Nashville. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/blog/planning/banking-tips-for-20-somethings-0514/">Banking Tips for 20-Somethings</a> &mdash; 20-somethings would be wise to remember to limit their transfers and save! [MintLife]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://couplemoney.com/money-questions/saving-money-on-your-prescriptions/">Saving Money on Your Prescriptions</a> &mdash; Save money on your prescriptions by going generic and shopping around for the best price. [Couple Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/fifteen-blogging-tips-to-make-you-an-awesome-blogger/">Fifteen blogging tips to make you an awesome blogger</a> &mdash; If you want to be an awesome blogger, work out a problem that many people share. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/What-Makes-Successful-People-Different-34815938">9 Ways Highly Successful People Think Differently From Everyone Else</a> &mdash; Successful people tend to stick to an agenda and find the right questions. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/14-ways-to-inspire-friendly-competition-in-sports">14 Ways to Inspire Friendly Competition in Sports</a> &mdash; To inspire friendly competition in sports, make sure the players respect their opponents. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/disability-insurance-for-the-self-employed-2/">What You Need to Know About Disability Insurance for the Self-Employed</a> &mdash; Disability insurance is one of the best ways to insure your income. [PT Money]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-money-recommendations-for-every-age">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-audiobooks-about-money-you-need-to-hear">5 Audiobooks About Money You Need to Hear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-oprah-winfrey">The 3 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Oprah Winfrey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-finance-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Finance Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips money recommendations Wed, 21 May 2014 09:00:34 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1140060 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Great Job References http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-great-job-references" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thumbs up for reference.jpg" alt="thumbs up" title="thumbs up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;ve had interviews with a great company, and now the hiring manager has asked for references from former bosses. Who do you choose? How do you ask? What info should you pass along? Here&rsquo;s the scoop from a real-life job seeker who has landed two jobs in the past few years, plus insights from my work with a recruiter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter</a>)</p> <h3>Who You Should Ask</h3> <p>Think about your past jobs and direct supervisors. Write down names and gather contact information, including phone numbers. From the comprehensive list, choose those who will speak highly of you and have these characteristics:</p> <ul> <li>Your work reflected positively on her performance&nbsp;and your contributions elevated her standing in the company; you may have been instrumental in launching a new product line that led to her promotion, executed a project that resulted in numerous accolades, or simply made her day-to-day work life easier because she could count on you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>He regularly makes presentations to customers or top-level officials. As a result, he can articulate ideas to decision-makers, easily respond to objections, and influence people in making decisions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>She has changed jobs or career paths since you both worked together. As such, she understands the challenges of searching for a new position and may give extra effort in serving as your reference.</li> </ul> <p>Finally, when compiling the final list of references, try to find bosses who have personalities that are different from each other. This approach shows that you work effectively with many types of people and increases the odds that one may connect especially well with the hiring manager.</p> <h3>How You Should Get in Touch</h3> <p>Make a phone call to get in touch with your references. Quickly assess each supervisor's availability and willingness to serve as a reference.</p> <p>An email exchange is generally not as effective as a call because of the time involved in writing and formulating thoughtful messages. If the reference has questions that you did not anticipate, you can respond immediately in a phone conversation. Follow up by email to send supplementary information if you'd like (such as a job description), but ideally cover key points in a phone call.</p> <p>If the hiring manager is serious about getting you onboard soon, he will be making calls very quickly, so briefing your references should be done as quickly as possible.</p> <h3>What You Should Tell Your References</h3> <p>Cover these items in your phone call:</p> <ul> <li>The responsibilities of the position and your role in the company as you envision it, explained in terms that the reference understands based on his experience and knowledge<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What you&rsquo;ve been doing since you last spoke with your former boss</li> </ul> <p>Be brief but thorough. Respect the time of your references, as you are asking them to do extra work outside of their day-to-day routines.</p> <h3>When Non-Boss References Are Needed</h3> <p>Hiring managers may ask to speak with former direct supervisors only, depending on their company's hiring protocol. But many decision-makers are also interested in hearing from customers, vendors, and coworkers. Some potential employers may even prefer talking with non-supervisors because bosses offer a limited perspective; those who have worked alongside of you may have more astute insights. Even though these relationships may be less formal, take the time to contact them just as you would a past supervisor.</p> <p>These reference checks may cover this type of information:</p> <ul> <li>Professional strengths<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Contributions that are memorable<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reliability in terms of work habits and attendance (even for management candidates)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ability to get along with people without sacrificing the ability to make tough decisions and get things done<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Domain knowledge that allows you to be successful without having to be micromanaged</li> </ul> <p>Based on conversations with my recruiter friend, consistency of comments is perhaps the most important element of the reference-check process. Ideally, how you have presented yourself to a potential employer matches what former <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-bug-your-boss-for-more-money-and-get-it">bosses</a> and colleagues say about you.</p> <h3>How Recommendations Fit With References</h3> <p>When I think of references, I also think of recommendations on LinkedIn and letters of recommendation. These complement rather than substitute for job references.</p> <p>Along with a brief explanation of how the letter-writer knows you, the best recommendations include:</p> <ul> <li>Clear description of your unique value and strengths</li> <li>Example of a contribution and its context, which illustrates your value and strengths</li> </ul> <p>Giving references is often the last step in landing a job. At this point, you may think of reference checks as a formality. But until you have the offer in hand, keep your effort level high so that you can have the best possible references. Spend some time thinking about who to ask, getting in touch as soon as you can, and preparing them to share great things about you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-entry-level-jobs-with-surprisingly-high-salaries">12 Entry Level Jobs With Surprisingly High Salaries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-credit-score-affects-your-job-search">Here&#039;s How Your Credit Score Affects Your Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-a-good-first-impression-at-your-next-job-interview">13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting communication job references recommendations Wed, 12 Oct 2011 10:36:27 +0000 Julie Rains 736878 at http://www.wisebread.com Increase Sales by Narrowing Customer Choices http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/increase-sales-by-narrowing-customer-choices <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/increase-sales-by-narrowing-customer-choices" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/increase-sales-by-narrowing-customer-choices</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/increase-sales-by-narrowing-customer-choices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000005703601Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In an ever-growing field of choices courtesy of the long tail of inventory and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/how-sales-has-changed-in-the-information-age-1">loads of information</a>, how does the customer choose? Or, rather, how do you help the customer narrow down choices and make a decision?</p> <p>During a recent shopping excursion at a brick-and-mortar location, I noticed that a specialty retailer adopted what I considered an online model of filtering and refining choices for its customers.</p> <p>The selling technique looks something like this:</p> <ul> <li>Here&rsquo;s what we have</li> <li>Here&rsquo;s where you can find ______ (fill-in-the-blank product category)</li> <li>Here&rsquo;s what is on sale</li> <li>Here&rsquo;s what is popular</li> <li>Keep looking and you&rsquo;ll find what you want (or leave without buying)</li> </ul> <p>Such tactics are easy to implement but not helpful for time-pressed and information-overwhelmed customers. Fortunately, many traditional and online businesses offer vastly better ways of guiding customers through the purchase decision-making process.</p> <p><strong>Allow Customers to Specify Product Attributes</strong></p> <p>Product-selection navigation tools allow online shoppers to filter choices based on a hierarchy of attributes, so that the list of suitable items progressively narrows to a manageable number. Very often, this technique works beautifully. The customer finds a handful of items that fit her criteria; from this list, she makes a purchase decision.</p> <p>Many times, though, the buyer discovers that there is not an exact match between her requirements and the product offerings. Progressive refinement yields zero results rather than the optimal solution. So, she must reconsider. Her next steps are to prioritize requirements, predict which attributes can be found in a single product, and keep searching or, eventually, stop trying.</p> <p>An even better way to narrow choices is to allow the customer to specify multiple desired attributes simultaneously and continuously select and deselect criteria without having to restart the narrowing-of-choices process over and over again. In a recent visit to Zappos.com, I discovered <a target="_blank" href="http://blogs.zappos.com/blogs/technology/navwow-multi-select">NavWow</a>, a filtering method that offers a more fluid selection process, rather than a linear drill-down approach that guides customers through the navigation of choices.</p> <p>The online seller has also expanded its list of attributes from standard criteria such as size and price to characteristics such as &ldquo;Performance&rdquo; and &ldquo;Personality.&rdquo; (Note that NavWow is still under development and available only to randomly selected customers).</p> <p><strong>Be Flexible with Recommendations</strong></p> <p>The formulaic approach of matching customer requirements with appropriate products is useful but limited in its effectiveness for customers who have difficulty defining and articulating needs.</p> <p>For example, not too long ago, my husband and I were shopping for a new washing machine. We were debating the relative merits of high-efficiency performance, front-loading design, and large-size capacity. As we wandered the aisles of the big-box store, sorting through our options, we overheard a sales associate mention a key benefit of the larger machines: these models could readily handle oversized bedspreads (a situation I had struggled with in the past). This nugget of information &ndash; absent from the retailer&rsquo;s website and excluded from the comprehensive list of benefits associated with product features &ndash; helped us make our decision.</p> <p>So, first recognize that customers need your expertise. Then, be flexible as customers share priorities and then reprioritize their requirements based on your insights.</p> <p>You can guide the filtering and refining of choices using these methods:</p> <ul> <li>Clarify what anticipated end-uses are reasonable and which are not;</li> <li>Explain which attributes are critical and which are convenience- and fashion-oriented;</li> <li>Present features that boost performance;</li> <li>Gently correct false assumptions customers may have about the value of certain attributes or the likelihood of certain occurrences that may impact their decisions;</li> <li>Share real-world experiences on practical applications.</li> <li>Use Customer Information to Guide the Narrowing Process</li> </ul> <p>Online businesses in particular make recommendations based on several things, including:</p> <ul> <li>customer profiles;</li> <li>past purchases;</li> <li>purchases of those who bought similar items to the ones viewed or purchased;</li> <li>decisions made by those in similar demographic pools.</li> </ul> <p>These techniques can yield spot-on suggestions or irrelevant results. Netflix&rsquo;s system of recommending titles based on viewing history and customer ratings can be insightful.</p> <p>But things can go wrong. To give me ideas on titles to consider on a Saturday night, for example, Netflix revealed that those in my city were viewing an X-rated movie. While interesting, this information did not help me find a suitable movie for my family.</p> <p><strong>Carry the Right Inventory</strong></p> <p>The benefit of long tail inventory (that is, deep and broad product offerings for niche markets) is the availability of items to suit the needs and preferences of an increasingly diverse base of customers. The downside is the difficulty in discovering the perfectly-matched product in a vast sea of inventory.</p> <p>To offer the right choices to customers, do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Decide what market segments your business serves and define each type of customer among these segments;</li> <li>Figure out what these customers expect in terms of product design, performance, features, fashion, and cost;</li> <li>Know the <a target="_blank" href="http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/07/articulating-your-preferred-use-case.html">preferred use case</a> of your product lines;</li> <li>Learn what influences the purchase decisions of your customers (which may be based on product reviews, recommendations from social and professional networks, desire to have newest innovations, etc.);</li> <li>Stay on top of industry trends, new product offerings, value-added features, etc.</li> <li>Merchandise your product line to resonate with your customer. That is, filter and refine choices for customers <i>before</i> they visit your website or brick-and-mortar store.</li> </ul> <p>Offering everything can mean that your customer may never decide. Let your expertise refine choices for your customers. After all, they&rsquo;re coming to you for information about what to purchase, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/increase-sales-by-narrowing-customer-choices">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-half-price-flights-and-free-hotels">How to Sign Up for Half-Price Flights and Free Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-oh-where-are-my-worms-be-on-your-toes-when-ordering-from-small-web-businesses">Where Oh Where Are My Worms? Be On Your Toes When Ordering From Small Web Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center choice customer choice customer service marketing merchandising recommendations small business Fri, 26 Aug 2011 20:40:25 +0000 Julie Rains 667155 at http://www.wisebread.com