The average person sends 120 emails per day. That’s 120 opportunities to market yourself and your business in those individual emails you send, every single day!

A lot of people treat their email signatures like an afterthought, which makes for a real missed opportunity. Those signatures are a chance for you to make it clear who you are, make it easy for people to reach you, and give people a place to go to find out more — either about you, about your business, or about something you’re working on.

So if you’re just putting your name and a point or two of contact information in your signature, you’re not taking full advantage of the opportunity to connect and engage with the people you’re emailing. (Although you don’t want to go overboard, either. Jamming your signature full of links and information is just plain spammy and self-promotional.)

For those that still have a “Legal Disclaimer” in their signature – know this:

  • No one can enforce a contract sending you an email.
  • It’s logically freaky.
  • It prohibits its own reply.
  • It’s passive-aggressive.
  • It uses “please” to hide how offensive it is.

And most importantly – no one bothers to read them!

For the purpose of this of this blog I have conducted a study (yeah, Sol literally forced me to do this…), and over the last week updated my email signature with the following disclaimer:

This disclaimer exists to make this email appear more professional. This disclaimer shall not be construed as a guarantee of actual professionalism on the part of the sender. Any actual professionalism contained herein is purely coincidental and is in no way attributable to the presence of this disclaimer. While the sender of this email likes to think the professionalism with which he approaches his work speaks for itself, this disclaimer constitutes (i) begrudging acquiescence to the industry standard, or at least a superficial imitation thereof, and (ii) begrudging acceptance of the paradoxical reality that people expect to see, and yet do not read legal disclaimers. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this email, although the mutt next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you. (This disclaimer is part of a study I am conducting for my weekly blog to see if email disclaimers are read at all. If you have read this disclaimer please do drop me a line.)

I’m was actually disappointed that not even one person noticed my earnest efforts at humoring my email signature…

So, what does a great email signature look like? Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.
Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

P.S. For a short humorous video about what email would look like in real life – click HERE.

Check Your Email Signature

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Recently we discussed the purpose of the credit card CVV (security code).

This week we will discuss the purpose of AVS when processing a credit card transaction. The Address Verification System (AVS) is a system used to combat fraudulent activity by verifying the address of a person claiming to own a credit card. The system will check the billing address of the credit card provided by the user with the address on file at the credit card company.

Should I ask my clients for their credit card billing address?
The whole address – or just the zip code?
What about foreign cards with a strange zip code?

AVS verifies the numeric portions of a cardholder’s billing address. For example, if the address is 101 Main Street, Highland, CA 92346, AVS will check 101 and 92346.

If you are swiping credit cards then there is no need to verify the card billing address.

If you are processing credit cards in a non-face-to-face manner (phone, mail, or online) it is important to obtain and enter the card billing address for two reasons:

1. Preventing Fraud. Criminals using a stolen credit card will give their own address, that of an accomplice or a drop location — any address but that of the actual cardholder, if they even know it — to get their hands on the stolen goods. AVS is a proven deterrent to credit card fraud. If your terminal or gateway returns an “AVS Mismatch” result – take caution before proceeding with this transaction.

2. Processing Fees. A large majority of credit cards (i.e. most Visa cards) require AVS to be processed in order to qualify the transaction for the best processing rate. While there is usually a minimal fee for every AVS, the processing fee savings obtained almost always far outweigh the cost.

Note: To reduce processing costs all that’s necessary is to enter the card zip code. However for fraud prevention you will want to enter the street number and zip.

When it comes to foreign credit cards with a non-standard numeric zip code, it is important to note that not all foreign issuing banks participate in AVS. While most Canadian and some UK banks do participate, many others do not. To enter a foreign zip code you must select the correct “Country” for the system to accept the foreign zip code.

The threat of credit card fraud is very real. Be proactive and take the steps to reduce your exposure. Additionally, at Banquest we are always available to assist our merchants with setting up proper security procedures which is the first and best way to keep your credit card processing secure.

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

Address Verification Service

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You just got off the phone with a prospect, and it didn’t go great. Maybe you fumbled a demo in a competitive situation. Maybe you just didn’t connect. Or maybe your prospect was in a sour mood and was outright rude to you.

It’s okay to be upset. It’s a natural reaction — after all, you have high standards, and nobody wants to feel like they’ve screwed up at work. But a bad sales call can ruin your entire day if you let it, and you can’t afford for that to happen.

So how do you get yourself back into a positive mental space?

1) Get some distance (literally).

Recovering from a bad call is far easier if you physically leave your desk. Go for a walk or get a cup of coffee.

By removing yourself from the physical space in which an unpleasant or unsuccessful call happened, you’re sending a powerful message to your brain to reset. Come back mentally fresh and your next call will be better.

2) Give your mind a break.

If you don’t have time to take a full-fledged walk and have to stay at your desk, don’t dive right back into selling. Take two or three minutes to focus on a task completely unrelated to your job — watch a funny YouTube video, check social media, etc. The important thing is to focus on something other than sales, so you aren’t carrying any lingering emotions from your bad call into your next one.

Of course, there’s a caveat: confine your non-work activity to only a few minutes. A short break — not a 3 day vacation.

3) Focus on the next call.

Professional athletes often say that to bounce back from a bad game, they keep their focus on the next one. Of course, there are lessons to be learned from performance errors, but carrying baggage from past mistakes is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure.

A new call means a new prospect and a new opportunity. Remember that there’s nothing about your previous call that will affect the outcome of your next one, and start fresh.

4) Reflect on what went wrong.

We’ve all done something we wished we could take back, then spent hours or days obsessing over what went wrong. It’s only human.

It’s also not helpful. What’s done is done, and you can’t change it. The only productive thing you can do is try and learn something from the situation.

But not this instant.

Jot down some notes on what went wrong or set aside time to listen to a recording of your call if that option is available. Then, the next time you speak with your mentor or manager, seek constructive feedback. Avoid doing it too soon lest you end up venting your frustration at yourself or your prospect the entire time, but don’t wait too long — you might forget relevant details.

Resilience and grit are important traits for salespeople to possess. Everyone’s bound to make some mistakes on the job. What matters is how you recover. By turning a bad situation into a learning opportunity you prevent it from affecting future performance.

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

Moving on…

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Prospecting is a salesperson’s lifeblood. But it’s not easy to do well, and it’s not that easyto learn, either.

But don’t worry. The best prospectors each have their own special habits and routines. Work on these behaviors and you just might find yourself filling the top of your sales pipeline better and faster than you ever have.

1) They actually set aside time to prospect.
You know when you don’t do the dishes? It’s kind of an annoying chore despite it not being that hard. So you push it off just a little more each day, and before long you have a sink full of dirty china right before you have 10 guests coming over for a dinner party, when it’s too late.

Prospecting is an easy thing to neglect, and by the time you remember you haven’t done it — hello, empty pipeline! — it’ll take quite a while to get yourself back to where you should be.

That’s why the best reps make sure to set aside a block of time to prospect each day or week, and hold themselves accountable to doing it.

2) They don’t reinvent the wheel.
Sales is far from a volume game, but the reality is that you’re going to have to pick up the phone a certain number of times or send a certain number of emails to get the number of responses you need. Even in a perfect world, you’ll probably never have a 1:1 ratio of calls made to deals closed.

So you’ll have to do a good deal of prospecting to generate the pipeline you need. And that’s impossible if you try to develop some new system of prospecting each time you do it. The best prospectors develop an effective process that can be repeated at scale so they can prospect efficiently.

3) They use technology to their advantage.
We’re in the 21st century. More information is available to salespeople than ever before, and not using it to prospect is doing yourself a huge service. Great prospectors use every tool they have at their disposal to its fullest extent. Whether it’s knowing your CRM and marketing automation systems inside and out, using LinkedIn, Google Alerts, or other online tools, reps who excel at prospecting incorporate technology into every step of their routine.

4) They know how to balance quantity and quality.
Prospecting is partially a volume game and partially about the quality of leads you can source. It’s essential to be discerning enough that you’re not calling everybody — a waste of time — but fast enough that you don’t spend half your day trawling LinkedIn.

5) They don’t take meetings with just anybody.
While booking meetings is the ultimate goal of prospecting, you need to make sure they’re good meetings — otherwise it’s just a waste of your time. So be on the lookout for any red flags that signal that your buyer isn’t a good fit.

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

P.S. If you feel you have what it takes to be a successful salesperson and would like to join our winning sales team, please email your resume to

Habits of a Successful Salesperson

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