Monday, August 14, 2017

The Big Sell: Experts Share Pitching Advice

table, meeting, office, planning, presentation, sales, sales pitch

Another day at UP Ayala Technohub, slaving for 8 hours. You have an idea brewing in your head. You also have a plan to improve your group’s communication system and project management style. But these powerful ideas or well-kept backup plans are just in your head, and won’t matter unless you share it with the group; most importantly, to your superior. Until then, it will just be a plan or idea that won’t be making the changes you envision for the company.
The aim is to have their approval. To hear that sweet sounding yes is a melody to the ears, which makes you fly high in the sky even if it means being buried in paperwork. Before that, you have to face your boss, the management or who ever it is you have to talk with to settle the proposal. Sometimes, it only takes one chance for the person or committees to decide your faith, so it’s better to ace it on the first try.
Few experts had a say on how to successfully present a pitch to a challenging audience. To show off your ideas without a hinge, read on to find what the experts had to say to amp your presentation.

John Rood of Next Step Test Preparation

John Rood suggests to lay out how managements should judge the project’s success quickly. What are the indicators that the project will be a success? Having a specific goal will help you set measures of success or key performance indicators (KPIs) early on. Step-wise goals or buildable goals are easier to digest than having a long-term goal. It also suggests that fewer risks are involved. Thus management is more accepting of the idea.

To reduce the risk of rejection, form alliances with those in the upper levels of the company who will approve the pitch. Test out the waters, talk with them to see what clicks and what doesn’t.  It will also help you improve and expand your idea. There will be instances when they will see the details you may have overlooked. The more feedbacks you get for your pitch, the better you can prepare for the actual and formal meeting.

Phil Chen of Systems Watch

It’s not enough to just have the proposal ready; it’s also important to prove you can handle it. They want to see a work ethic that can sustain the onset of the project throughout its growth. You have to show redeeming qualities - agility, thoughtfulness, and efficiency.
Remember that you still have current task and projects. Phil Chen advises preparing an outline that illustrates the order of your priorities. It will show you still have the time and resources to lead a new project. The outline is especially useful if you haven’t proven your leadership potential.

Brian Honigman of

Brian Honigman shares a piece of advice that isn’t often followed. Composing a polished plan shows the time a thought invested in it. It also shows you’ve reviewed potential problems along the way. It suggests you can take charge and lead the project which will help convince the management of the proposal.

Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentations

As much enthusiasm you show when presenting the project, prepare to defend your idea when objections arise. Being able to justify your proposal is particularly useful when negotiating with investors. You should not be swayed with counter-arguments no matter how logical they may seem. Withstand the onslaught of questions and prepare a counter-attack. 
Thus, when answering the management or investors’ queries, pay attention to the current inquiry only. Give a simple and straightforward answer. Avoid getting thrown off your train of thought by overthinking the panel’s questions.

Jyot Singh of RTS Labs

The benefits of the pitch should be clear - how will it add value to the company. Jyot Singh says the presentation should be directed to those benefits and the ways how it will be utilized by the audience of your presentation.
A presentation that states the advantages of the projects creates a positive mindset over the project proposal. With that, keep your winning statement simple.

Adam Stillman of SparkReel

Of course, create visual aids. Adam Stillman knows the importance of visual aids. Visuals are powerful; they help make the plan seem real and relatable. Visual aids also hold power regarding communication as the information comes much faster and lingers in the form of memory. 
When creating visuals, concentrate on the essentials. If it allows you to explain the project, return on investment and growth strategy for five minutes, then you’re good to go.

These experts know what they’re talking about, and you should too. When proposing an idea to top level management, remember to account for risks. The less risk involves, the higher the chance to get their approval. A clear-cut and carefully constructed plan will cover the basics. No matter how polished the proposal is, there will be details which aren’t acceptable to the audience. Hence, prepare to defend your ideas during the presentation. It means you can handle it the pressure and sustain the project.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Let's do the Sales Talk

Selling products and services are not as easy as what others think (or you thought it would be). Not all people will be easily convinced on why they should buy from you a house and lot in Quezon City, or purchase an item of furniture for their newly acquired apartment unit. Taking into account that the field of sales is challenging yet exciting, we know that all of us have certain areas for improvement. Salespeople would often argue that the person will buy if he or she is really interested. Well, it does have a point but what if that lead can be converted into sales with just a matter of proper and effective persuasion? This is where salespeople will come into the picture and use their “magic and tricks” on selling and marketing.

If you’re willing to take the challenge, continue reading and let’s do the sales talk:

Make them need and want what you’re selling. This is easier said than done but through some practice and proper customer engagement, you’d eventually make them want to buy. Just remember that not all people are easily persuaded or convinced, and there are times where you need to have the patience of a saint. Some things you need to remember at this point are:
  • Build rapport - before you go on with convincing, get to know your leads and customers first. Be aware of their background, why are they inquiring or interested and use that knowledge as a stepping stone to talk to them effectively.
  • Paint them a picture - visualize with them what would and not going to happen if they will purchase your item. Let them know what your product and service can do for them.
  • Highlight your brand’s advantages - if you know your market and competition, you should be able to pitch in that your brand is the best and they will save a lot. You know, people love “saving some money from buying.”

Be open and honest. Some of your clients might be opening up to you on why they are interested and why they are inquiring about this product or service. In return, you should also be open and honest about your deals and offers. Other salespeople tend to blanket some details and just tell the leads and customers the good things. Technically, they are not lying but try to put yourself in the customers’ shoes - does it feel good? We know that the answer is no. Besides, if you’d end up covering some truths and they found out that this is not what they are looking for, this problem will go back to you, and it will be a burden for you to take. Just be careful on which details are open for disclosure and not as some information are confidential.

Positive framing. You may know all the answers, but you should also know how to deliver it to your leads and customers. Similar to the previous point, you need to be open about the things your clients need to know. But to help you frame and deliver things well, here are some reminders: 
  • Never say “I don’t know” - remember that you are selling them and you need to convince them. How would you be able to do that if you don’t know the particulars and information of your products, services or company? Instead of saying “I don’t know,” you can tell them “I will get back to you on that” or “I will communicate with my colleagues/ manager/ supervisor as soon as possible to clarify some points regarding that.” But know that your leads and customers will also be fed up with your excuse, so you got to know what they need as quickly as possible  

  • Get that “can do” attitude - you can’t do their request? Tell them what you can offer on the other hand and say that you can do it as efficiently as what they wanted.
  • Drop the “unfortunately” - this is about positive framing, so you don’t need many negative words in your sales vocabulary. If your clients are looking for something you don’t have yet, a good alternative of “Unfortunately, we don’t have that” is “As of the moment, our company is taking that into consideration (or developing that option) and on the other hand, we have the following products and services that would fulfill your needs”.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

For Fresh Grads: Surviving the Outside World

Congratulations, fresh grad!

Hooray for the celebrations and treats after graduating in college - party in Tomas Morato, shopping in your favorite Ayala Mall, and going out of town with your closest friends. I understand you are still ecstatic with all the happenings and events, but you know that after a few weeks or months, you’ve got to wake up and go out of the bubble.

If you are someone who doesn’t need to go to work yet for some reasons like your family can sustain your living expenses, not being pressured to earn a living, then you can rest for now and chill as much as you want. But for those who need to start working ASAP and seem to be lost, nervous and scared, this is for you:

  • Calm down. Before you start retaliating and blabbering that adulting is so hard, try to calm down and observe things. You will learn so much about life outside the academe and realize how much (or less) you can do in this world. This time, your tasks and responsibilities are not for your classes, professors, and school, but for your family and yourself.

  • Enjoy the process. Job applications, interviews, endless waiting for the callback, getting employed for the first time, meeting your first-ever workmates, having some thoughts on resigning after a few weeks - enjoy all of it even if there are times you are about to break down. You’d get to know yourself better especially on how you handle pressure and changes. With all the things that are happening and going to happen, I must say you should fasten your seats and enjoy the ride.

  • Think of your future. Ever since a kid, you’ve been asked a lot of times what do you want to become when you grow up. In high school, others want to know (including yourself) what course you are going to take. For sure in college nearing graduation, you answered the question “So what’s your plan after?” couple of hundred of times. You came to the point where you just want to answer “I don’t know” because you are so tired and annoyed. But surprise! In job applications, you will be answering “How do you see yourself in the next five to ten years?” and other similar questions. But actually, you need to think about your plans and start acting on it sooner or later. It’s okay to be lost from time to time as self-discovery is a process. So don’t pressure yourself, okay?

  • Start (or continue) saving money. Just a practical reminder to each of us to save money. It’s not every day that you can rely to your parents or guardians for extra cash. Moreover, if you have plans like taking post grad and quite expensive vacations, you need to have your own money. If you think you are already financially ready and mentally prepared, you might also consider getting insurance and investment for your retirement or future use. Is it too much? Not really. You just don’t want to burden your future self or future kids on how you will be able to survive when you’re too old and weak to work.

  • Believe in yourself. This new ride for you might be a crazy and draggy one. But don’t forget to keep the faith and your hopes up. Just like how you made it in college, you’d also be fine, even if stressed, in the “outside world”. Remember that the most important person to trust you is you, yourself. There are times where you doubt your skills and abilities, but keep on working to be the best version of yourself and never stop trying, and soon the world will witness your greatness.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Are Condos Costly Or Not At All?

Some people are scared of buying a BGC condo for sale because they often think that buying and living in a condominium is a seriously expensive lifestyle. Is it, or is it all in our heads? The article will shed light on the most common misconceptions about the money involved in buying and maintain a condo. Notably, be reminded that a condo is not the building per se, but the type of ownership. When you buy a condo, you are actually paying for the unit in low-, mid- or high-rise building and the interest in common elements within the building.

Condominium presents itself as an easier way to access the housing market although, sometimes, it depends on the type of condo (luxury condos, for instance). First, DMCI condo ownership is not equal or close to home ownership. In the latter, you are free to change the interiors and its immediate exteriors. In the former, you need to consult the association or board first before making any physical changes.

Since the condo is a communal ownership, you need to pay a monthly association fee for the maintenance of common areas. The fee that unit owners or renters pay is collectively used in maintaining the building. Some of us think of the fees as an additional expense, but it is not. It is a monthly contribution for the building’s upkeep as well as the utilities and some amenities like cable and Wi-Fi. Imagine how much you have to pay if you have to pay for each monthly.

Be wary of condos that require high condo fees because these are indicative of poor financial management on the part of the association. Nonetheless, reasonable is a very subjective term; what’s reasonable for me may be absurd for you. Better ask the condo manager or association a breakdown of the fees, so you’d know what you are actually paying for.

Further, the monthly condo fee that you need to pay change yearly. This is because the board calculates the cost depending on the coming year’s projected cost. If there will be major repairs for the next year, expect higher monthly fees. Nevertheless, the additional amount must be justifiable and appropriate for what the condo building needs.

As a condo owner, you cannot and you should not escape the higher fees because of their impact in the future. If ever you decide to sell your unit, it would be difficult if the common areas are not well-maintained or if the floors and roofs are damaged all because the association has no funds to maintain these areas. This is because of unit owners who aren’t paying their monthly fees. The buyer will ask for a hefty discount which is often higher compared to the cost of the monthly fee and the cost of maintaining such areas. 

Some owners assume that condo fees cover everything. They don't. The entire building has to be maintained as well. So, condo associations schedule a regular assessment of the building to ensure and preserve its structural integrity. If in case, after the assessment, a major repair is required, the condo owners have to contribute for the repair. That is, if the association has no reserve fund for such.

Assessments are not an additional expense as well. These are conducted to ensure that the dwellers are safe and secure. You buy a condo because of convenience, security and amenities. If any of these is threatened, then the value of the building including your unit will decline. That’s how important assessments are.

Evidently, the misconceptions stem from unguided, misinformed expectations specifically about the responsibilities of the condo owners. Not to mention, several poorly managed condo associations eventually lead to more money issues. So, before jumping into buying a condo, make sure that you are 100% financially ready!

Friday, April 28, 2017

20 Inspiring Quotes From Home Designers

For some reasons, there will always be a profound feeling whenever we decorate our home. Perhaps, it is because of the positive vibe it gives whenever we get to improve the things at home. Always keep in mind that your home is a reflection of what and who you are. That means, if you do a minimalist design in your home, then you are most probably a simple person. Whether you are living in a condo BGC or any real estate property in the Philippines, there is no reason for you not to decorate your home.

Just as much as we love decorating, there are a lot of homeowners who do know what and what not to do with their home. Perhaps, they might be confused on what kind of design should they do that suit their style or theme of their home. So, to give you an idea, we list down some inspiring quotes from the home designers itself that can help you think or create your style of home decorations.

1. "A house is much more than a mere shelter – it should lift us emotionally and spiritually." - John Saladino

2."Have nothing in your home that you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

3. "One should never be the oldest thin in one's house." - Patsy Stone

4. "Have no fear of perfection – you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dali

5. "Make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible and then get on with living. there's more to life than decorating." - Albert Hadley

6. "All rooms ought to look as if they were lived in, and to have so to say, a friendly welcome ready for the incomer." - William Morris

7. "If you wait until you have enough money to decorate and make your home your own, it will never happen. If you wait until you can afford to buy everything new, you are missing the point. It is the old, the new, the hand-me-down, the collected, the worn but loved things in your home that make it your own." - Stacy Risenmay

8. "Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting that it really is." - Charles M. Schulz

9. "Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style." - Billy Baldwin

10." Design is coming to grips with one's real lifestyle. One's real place in the world. Rooms should not be put together for show but to nourish one's well-being." - Albert Hadley

11. "Decorating golden rule: Live with what you love." - Unknown

12. ‘Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams

13. "Home is the nicest word there is." - Laura Ingalls Wider

14. "Form follows function." - Louis Sullivan

15. "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution isn't beautiful, I know it is wrong." - Richard Buckminster Fuller

16. "All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the person in that space." - Philip Johnson

17."Simplicity is te ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo Da Vinci

18. "Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design." - Charles Eames

19. "The details are not the details. They make the design." - Charles Eames

20. "Minimalism is designing to allow the art, the books, the view, the people – whatever matters most to the inhabitant – to be the soul of the space – Deborah Berke

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Decluttering 101: What Do Experts Say About Decluttering at Home

There will always be a profound feeling when we have our home cleaned. Who would not want to clean their home, right? Even if we are so busy with our work or in school, we always find time to do all the household chores. Nobody wants to live a dirty and messy home. That is why we clean and we make sure that the environment is healthy enough for us to live. Whether you live at Sedona Parc or any real estate property in the Philippines, there is no reason for you not to declutter your home.

If you are wondering about what experts would say about decluttering, then we list down some quotes from them. Perhaps, it is in this way where you will be able to inspire and motivate yourself to declutter more.

1. "The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don't." - Joshua Becker

2. "Owning less is better than organizing more." - Joshua Becker

3. "Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination." - Christina Scalise

4. "Clear your stuff. Clear your mind." - Eric M. Riddle

5. "If someone doesn't life with you, neither should their stuff." - Monika Kristofferson

6. "Thre is an easy way of finding the job to be done today, just look around your environment; take note of the place that needs cleaning and the places that need decoration; do one at a time!" - Israelmore Ayivor

7. "Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire." - Wendel Berry

8. "By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past. If you just stow these things away in a draw or cardboard box, before you realize it, your past will become a weight that holds you back and keeps you from living in the here and now." - Marie Kondo

9. "Think twice before you buy. Decide before you purchase anything where you are going to keep it and what you are going to use it for. If your answers to either of these questions are vague, then you are about to purchase clutter. Desist from buying." - Karen Kingston

10. "When you live surrounded by clutter, it is impossible to have clarity about what you are doing in your life." - Karen Kingston

11. "The more things you own, the more they own you." - Unknown

12. "Clutter is anything that doesn't belong in a space – whether because it belongs elsewhere in your home, or it doesn't belong in your home any longer." - Chrissy Halton

13. Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for happiness in the future." - Wayne L. Misner

14. "'Later' is the best friend of clutter." - Peter Walsh

15. "Clear clutter – make space for you." - Magdelena Vandenberg

16. "Get rid of clutter, and you may just find it was blocking the door you've been looking for." - Katrina Mayer

17. "In a sense, clutter is the end result of procrastination." - Jeff Campbell

18. ‘Clutter is not just physical stuff; it's old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits." - Eleanor Brown

19. "You can't reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday's junk." - Louise Smith

20. "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy." - George Horace Lorimer

21. "The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are." - Mother Teresa

22. "Letting go becomes easier when you see not what you lose, but all that you gain, in creating space for something new." - Renate Vullings

23. "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." - Hans Hoffman

24. ‘You're the boss of clutter, not the other way around." - Monika Kristofferson

25. ‘Clutter is evidence of excess." - Cristin Frank

Friday, April 14, 2017

5 Hacks To Brighten Up Your Space At Home

"Often what's wrong with some modernist houses – they're kept vacuum-sealed all the way through. And then people wonder why they haven't any atmosphere." – John Stefanidis

There's nothing more frustrating than having a dull and lifeless home. Agree? If you think that you are not living in a satisfying lifestyle, then you better start to brighten up your space at home. Whether you're living in a condo Manilaor any properties in the Philippines, there is no reason for you not to achieve the right design for your home. And mind you, you will definitely have good vibes when you do.
However, considering the busy schedules that we have from work or school, we tend to forget how to brighten up our space. Sometimes, we even tolerate things that are cluttered in our rooms since we don't have enough time to clean up. Right? And if you are one of those people struggling on what and what not to do when it comes to decorating your space, then you might want to refer these tips below.
  1. Pick up fresh flowers

Whether you realize it or not, having flowers inside your home can brighten up the mood. If you feel like you need something that is fresh, then flowers are advisable for you to have. It doesn't just add beauty to your apartment, but it also has health benefits you can get when you have fresh flowers in your apartment. Moreover, if you want it to be more stylish, then you may choose flowers that are also appealing to the eyes. Perhaps, you can have a bouquet of flowers and put them in a stylish vase.
  1. Plant succulents

Aside from the flowers that you can have at home, you can also have succulents. It doesn't just look good on your apartments pace, but it is also beneficial to your health. Moreover, you definitely would want to have one in your home since it is pretty cheap, fun to put together, and it is also an adorable way to get some low-maintenance green outdoors.
  1. Find local produce

If you think that the things in your apartment are the only things that need a fresher look, then you better think again. This is also the time for you to go for cleaner and healthier lifestyle by buying and eating healthy foods. You can definitely check out your local farmers market or even groceries for a great deal of lovely and fresh food. Don't compromise your health with junk foods. Remember, the healthier you are, the brighter your lifestyle will be.
  1. Buy lamps or open the blinds

If you feel like your space is dark enough, then you have to purchase a lamp or open the blinds. Of course, you definitely don't want to live in a space where everything is dark, right? A good lighting is also important for you to consider to make sure that you can see clearly on the things around you. Moreover, this is also one way to protect your eyes from the dim light that you have in your apartment.
  1. Rotate your apartment's colors

One thing that can add life to your space is the choice of your color. If you have a darker shade of color at home, then you will most probably have a darker themed home design. However, if you are one of those people who wanted to brighten up their space, then you also have to make sure that you choose colors that are light. Well, you can also choose pastel color to have some accent on each of the design in your room.