If you are looking to add a bit of country to your home interior this spring, but don’t have a large budget, you will be happy to know that a few well-placed accents can go a long way. This article looks at the key ways in which you can create your own country home interior with a contemporary twist.Window TreatmentsOne of the easiest ways to achieve a cozy cottage feel is to change the window treatments. Try replacing a contemporary curtain with a sheer panel drape with a long, flowing valance on a wrought iron curtain pole. Country cottages bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, so forgo the blinds and heavy draperies to let the sunshine into your living area. Look for inexpensive wrought iron pieces to coordinate with the wrought iron curtain pole. A wrought iron candelabra is a great addition to a country sitting area.Décor and moreAnother quick and easy way to transform a room into a country space is to update the pillows on the settee. If your goal is to create a cozy cottage look, consider bold floral patterns with light colors and coordinating stripes or blocks.Look for inexpensive artwork at discount stores to replace older pieces that may not fit into the new look. Country framing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Simple frames made from old wood add a touch of whimsy.Walls and flooringConsider repainting walls if you currently have a dark color in place. Using light-colored settee covers can also brighten up the room. Country homes typically have light colors and hues of white scattered throughout the living space.If you have hardwood flooring covered by a modern rug, consider replacing the rug or doing away with the rug altogether. Browse flea markets or local artisans for area rugs with a shabby chic look.Bring the Outdoors InIf you have a garden, be sure to bring in a variety of cuttings to scatter around the room in vases. But don’t have to stop there. Bring some outdoor furniture into your living area as well. A worn rocking chair from out back can add country appeal to any room. Consider adding flower boxes to outside windows as well. You will enjoy watching bees and ladybugs work as you lounge inside. Another way to bring nature closer to you is to place a bird feeder near the window.
Technology-enabled solutions are intangible sales. People don’t buy the machine; they buy what it enables. Average sales people tend to perceive technology as a tangible, so they focus on the functionality. Exceptional sales people understand that customers only care about the results the technology enables, which is intangible. This difference in perception about the nature of technology is the fundamental factor in determining a sales person’s success.Technology is the actualization of abstract theories. The more theories that are actualized, the more powerful the technology is. For example, there is a computer chip in my car that makes me a better driver. The computer chip senses the car beginning to skid on a patch of ice much faster than I can. It automatically sends messages to the anti-lock brake system so the car responds to the changing road conditions before I am even aware there may be a problem. This simple application is the actualization of theories that span the disciplines of physics, mechanical engineering, human perception, and computer software. It would take a long time to explain how it all worked. As a car buyer, however, I only care about the fact that it makes me a safer driver.The more sophisticated the technology is, the greater the abstraction. Selling abstractions is more than just relating benefits. It is about linking the functionality of the technology to the desired end result, which is the intangible promise of the technology. I can only appreciate the value of the car’s computer controlled anti-locking device when I understand how it improves my driving. If the sales person just explains anti-locking brakes, I don’t perceive the benefit. If she tells me that I will be a better driver, but doesn’t explain how, then I won’t believe her. She must help me understand the relationship between the how the technology is applied and the results that are important to me before I will value the technology.Selling the value of your technology. The translation of abstract theory into useful applications that deliver strategic benefits is the essence of selling value. Value is created when the customer believes the technology solution will help them accomplish their objectives. To develop the customer’s conviction you must integrate their learning process with their decision-making process.The sales person must provide the customer with the right information at the right time. Furthermore, it must be done in a way that increases the customer’s perception of need, urgency to buy and appreciation of the value contribution of the solution.The information puzzle gets even more complex as we incorporate the relentless rate of change associated with any technology solution. As the technology evolves and its applications expand, it becomes practically impossible to stay current and informed about the solution. The body of information that the sales person draws upon to sell a technology solution is constantly evolving. Products mutate. New technologies replace old ones. Competitors’ products change. Markets accelerate. Each change has multiple implications for how customers buy and the best ways to sell the solution.Keeping current about all the factors that influence a technology sale is not easy. It is hard enough to keep track of the ever-changing information. The fact that you must synthesize it into strategically sequenced, customer learning experiences that build credibility and value exponentially increases its complexity. No wonder the sales superstars make so much money!
Some agencies specialise in only SEO or link building whereas other large consultancies can offer end-to-end packages from developing or redesigning your website to ongoing SEO maintenance. Here are five of the key SEO services that you should look for when evaluating online marketing agencies.Keyword researchCreating your keyword portfolio is one of the most important SEO services offered by agencies and the foundation of your online marketing campaign. This is best conducted by a professional trained in keyword research. A specialised SEO company or consultant will use different techniques to find the best keywords for your site. This may include client and customer feedback, keyword research tools, competitor analysis, social media and so on.SEO strategiesAn experienced SEO consultant will help you map out an SEO strategy (online and offline) that drives traffic to your site, increases the conversion rate and gives you the highest return on your investment. The keyword research (see above) and technical analysis of your site forms the basis for your campaigns so that a comprehensive marketing plan can be mapped out in order to start implementing the SEO activity.Link buildingWhen you are researching the SEO services that you require, ask the consultant or agency about link building campaigns. Search Engines see a back link to your site from other credible, trustworthy, authoritative and relative websites as a validation for your website. A professional SEO company should have developed a network of contacts, established relationships with webmasters and know how to find the best link building opportunities.SEO copywritingCopywriting is another of the SEO services that a larger agency may offer. Off page and on page optimisation is crucial to your SEO campaign but it’s not always the first click that you need to worry about, it’s the second one. The difference between a high or low bounce rates may come down to the quality of your SEO copywriting. An SEO company will help you find a balance between keyword-rich copy and engaging copy that encourages conversions.SEO web designThis can be one of the most vital elements of your campaign and yet one of the most neglected SEO services. With new websites, SEO consultants should ideally be consulted at the start of the process when you are deciding on a technical platform, a Content Management System (CMS), shopping cart software or other key design elements. Sadly choosing the wrong platform can have serious implications on your potential SEO success.When looking for an SEO company, it may be more cost-effective and more efficient to take a streamlined approach to your SEO activities and hire a full-service agency that can deliver a whole spectrum of SEO services. Some agencies may have web designers that can help create a beautiful website with all the SEO functionality you require, experienced link analysts developing link building campaigns and offer professional copywriting SEO services.