We will be closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. As always, the emergency support line will be open.

BTS Newsletter: Happy Holidays from BTS!

BTS Technologies Newsletter for December 2014

Happy Holidays from Everyone at BTS Technologies!

Speaking of the holidays, will your company need any
for company luncheons, closings, etc. this holiday season?
If so, contact BTS Service as soon as possible!
In many cases we can record, activate, and deactivate your greetings for you.
Or, we can help you do it yourself.
Call BTS Service at (205) 290-8301 or email service@askbts.com today!

Technology at a Glance

No Surprises
– Brian Wakefield

No Surprises

This may be a simple phrase, but as a business strategy it has far-reaching implications. We adopted this approach many years ago, and by extension it has affected almost every portion of our business. We use this as a guiding principle in our interactions with our prospects, with our customers, with our suppliers, and with our coworkers.

To achieve this, we have to operate in a manner where we can be upfront and honest about what we provide, how much it will cost, and how we are going to take care of our partners. Over the years I have come to understand that a good portion of companies do not operate in an open manner such as this. It's not that they are bad companies, or bad people; they just believe they cannot be open in this manner and still compete in their marketplace. They feel the need to adopt strategies such as "loss leader pricing" to attract customers so they can then make money after the initial sale. They cut their prices to the point that they feel they cannot stand behind their products when things go badly. They feel the need to point fingers when things go awry to avoid taking responsibility. And, to a great degree, I understand why they feel this way. We lose a good number of potential sales because the prospect chooses to go with a company whose pricing seems, and in most cases turns out to be, too good to be true.

With that said, I still firmly believe our strategy is the best way to do business. If we lose a sale, it is our fault. We obviously did not do a good job of becoming a trusted advisor to our partner. We did poorly at getting the prospect to understand the difference between a low "price" and the total "cost" of ownership for a particular technology. Somehow we were not able to differentiate how we take care of our partners and the way a lot of other companies operate. We try our best, but we are not perfect.

I believe in our strategy because I have seen it at work. Over the year,s we have developed strong, long-term relationships with a lot of our customers and suppliers. We have a stable workforce consisting of high-quality people. As the manager of the Operations Department, I have the freedom to "do the right thing" when dealing with our clients. I count it as a privilege that I get to stand behind our products and promises.

We get the opportunity to get beyond the standard vendor/customer relationship and truly try to help the customer use technology to impact their business. It can be tough because of the ingrained image people have about how business gets done, but when we get to truly partner with our clients it can make a big difference in their, and our, company.

Personality Profiles
– William Wentowski

SV9100 System

Last newsletter I touched on referral groups and what they can do to improve your sales pipeline. If you didn't read that article or lost our newsletter in your pile of emails, please contact someone at BTS and ask for another copy. This quarter and right before the holidays I am going to talk about personality types.

Anyone seriously reading this is probably groaning and saying to himself, "William, I need something that will actually help me close business, not new age psychology!" Well, I am going to trot an oft-used cliché: THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET IN SALES. If there were some magic way to guarantee 100% close rates, I wouldn't be writing these segments. As is, how we interact with the prospect and future customer is more important than the product or service we sell.

At BTS Technologies we utilize the DISC Personality Profile. Your company may use something like Meyers-Briggs or any number of tests, but the end goal is the same; through the test, you can better understand yourself and how you need to act with different people. Veteran salespeople know that they don't get along with every potential customer, and more often than not, it is a personality conflict!

The 4 major personality types (and people are typically a blend of these) are:

  • Dominant
  • Influential
  • Supportive
  • Compliant

These categories represent everything from your demanding, short-attention- spanned Donald Trump to a caring, compassionate and patient Mother Teresa. How you interact with each is different and may not be something you are entirely comfortable with based off of where you fall in the categories.

A prime example is the interaction between an accountant (more of a compliant type) and an entrepreneur (dominant in style). Accountants are, typically, very by the book and like to have lots of detail to make a decision. Entrepreneurs are known, and stereotyped, as making quick, impulsive decisions with very little information. A meeting between the two will have a lot of friction because the entrepreneur will become bored and want to move on to other things, while the accountant will be frustrated and feel like he is not receiving the appropriate amount of attention (he isn't).

If you are still reading this, you probably aren't a dominant type personality. Dominant personalities would have bailed out after the first paragraph and moved on to something with more bullet points and bolded quotes. There is nothing wrong with this. It just displays that a methodical approach to dealing with the personality will not work. You will bore them.

The summation of all this is that you need to sell according to the Platinum Rule. The golden rule is "treat other the way you want to be treated." The platinum rule is "treat people the way they want to be treated." Don't bore the boss with details, and don't be flippant with the accountant and in a hurry to move on. This is too high an overview to grasp the full concept, and I don't want to waste your time. If you would like to discuss this more, please feel free to contact me at williamw@askbts.com, or call 205-290-8460, and I will be happy to talk about it or set up a time where we, or even your entire sales staff, can go over this.


BTS Announces Cisco Meraki Partnership
– Brian Wakefield

Cisco Meraki

BTS has signed an agreement to represent Cisco Meraki Cloud Managed Networking. Cisco Meraki is a cloud-managed networking solution providing wireless, switching, security, WAN optimization, and Morbile Device Management (MDM) which is centrally managed over the web. This innovative approach increases IT efficiency through manageability, scalability, and cost savings. Using Cisco Meraki, we can now bring the advantages of the cloud to a customer's infrastructure to address new and emerging IT challenges.

If you would like to learn more, please contact BTS and we will have one of our technical advisors talk to you about the advantages of the Cisco Meraki line. If you think the product may be a good fit for your organization but would like to learn more, Cisco Meraki hosts regular webinars to discuss the product in more depth. These webinars include a live demo of this cloud-management platform, and you can receive a free Meraki wireless access point for attending. Sign up for a webinar.

Free AP Eligibility: To be eligible for a free access point, participant must be an IT professional. Existing Meraki customers are not eligible. Limit of one free AP per company.


Telephone Tips

Telephone Tips

Group Listen on an NEC Phone System

If you have an NEC IPK, IPK II, SV8100, or SV9100 phone system, you have the ability to play a conversation through your telephone speaker while you are using the handset. This allows a third party to hear both sides of the conversation through the phone's speaker while you alone converse with the second party using the handset. Group Listen can be a wonderful training tool for sales and support personnel.

To use Group Listen, just follow these steps:

  1. While on a call using your handset, press your Speaker key. The other party's voice will start to play through both your handset and your phone speaker.
  2. To cancel Group Listen, press your Speaker key again. The other party's voice will no longer be played through the speaker.

Telephone Tips

ScreenDial with Zultys MXIE

How frustrating is it to locate a number online or in a document, only to forget it in the few seconds it takes to turn to your telephone? If you are using the Zultys MXIE client, you need never encounter this problem again! Just follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the phone number you wish to call. The number can be in virtually any application—a Word document, an email, your Customer Relationship Management software, Internet Explorer, and so on.
  2. Press CTRL + F12 on your keyboard. The number will dial out.

If you would like to press something other than CTRL + F12 to dial the numbers you highlight, follow these steps to make the programming change:

  1. Click File on your MXIE screen.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Click Keyboard Shortcuts under Application.
  4. Delete CTRL + F12 in the space beneath "Keyboard shortcut to place voice call to selected number (ScreenDial)."
  5. Enter the shortcut you wish to use.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click OK.

Who is Your Director of First Impressions?

HELLO my name is: Lasting First Impression

According to Chris Young, founder of the North Dakota-based Rainmaker Group, a more appropriate title for a company's receptionist or operator might be "Director of First Impressions." Mr. Young created this title to underscore the vital role this employee plays as a company's first representative to the public. The experience a caller or visitor to your company has with the Director of First Impressions will absolutely influence, if not determine, his or her perception of the company as a whole. That single brief initial interaction, whether it occurs face to face or via telephone, can decide whether a potential customer or partner chooses to continue dealing with your company or decides to go with one of your competitors. As the catchphrase goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression… so why not ensure that the first impression your company makes is a great one?

Who is your company's Director of First Impressions? Let's think in terms of telephone interactions. Is there a single individual who answers calls to your company, thus holding the privilege and responsibility of being the literal voice of your company? If so, what is that person like? Is he professional, pleasant, and articulate? Is she empathetic and eager to help? Is he knowledgeable about both the organization of the company and on the ins and outs of the phone system he is using? The telephone is one of this person's most important tools, so it is vital that he or she knows how to use it. How do you feel when you call a business and are accidentally hung up on or transferred to the wrong person? Even a simple glitch like that can lead to your potential best customer to move on to the next number on his list.

Or, are there several people who may answer the phone and thus share the power to make that all-important first impression? If so, do all of these people share the same positive attributes mentioned above? Have they all received training to ensure that every caller has the same experience of excellence, no matter who answers the phone?

Or, your Director of First Impressions may come in the form of an Auto Attendant, either full time or part time. What do your company's recorded greetings sound like? Is the voice that callers hear clear, upbeat, and businesslike, yet friendly? Is the appropriate greeting playing at the appropriate time—on hours, off hours, lunchtime, company meeting, holidays? Is the most important information given at the beginning of the greeting? Is the greeting of an appropriate length, and are the options given clear and easy to understand? Everyone has encountered an Auto Attendant that makes them want to just hang up in frustration. Don't let that be even a single caller's experience with yours!

BTS can help your company to make a stellar first impression on everyone who calls you. If you are interested, contact us about Director of First Impressions training, Auto Attendant design and implementation, and more.


Data Tips

12 Nifty Shortcuts for Microsoft Outlook Email

E-Mail button
To do this… Press…
Open a blank email Ctrl + N
Send an email Alt + S
Open a received email Ctrl + O
Reply to an email Ctrl + R
Reply All to an email Ctrl + Shift + R
Forward an email Ctrl + F
Forward as attachment Ctrl + Alt + F
Delete an email Ctrl + D
Check spelling F7 (with message open)
Mark as read Ctrl + Q
Mark as unread Ctrl + U
Print an email Ctrl + P

Make a habit of locking your computer whenever you leave your workstation.

Is there anyone at your company who would pull a prank like this? There is a certain someone at BTS who shall remain nameless (but whose initials are J. W.) who would find this completely hilarious. Of course, this type of trick is harmless compared to the damage someone can really do if you leave your computer unprotected. Don't take a chance—lock your computer!

End User Training Opportunities

End User Training Opportunities

Upcoming Webinars and Onsite Training
– Kim Reynolds

At BTS, we know that any technology is only as good as your ability to use it. To this end, we offer webinars on all manner of products to help our customers get the most out of their technology investments. Please note that htese webinars are always free of charge to our contract customers!

January 6, 2015 Navigating the ShoreTel Voice Mail Menu
January 27, 2015 Conference Calling on an NEC System
February 10, 2015 Zultys MXIE: Call, Instant Message, Email, or Fax with a Click!
February 24, 2015 Simple Tips for Sounding Your Best on the Phone
March 10, 2015 Call Transfer vs. Park and Page
March 24, 2015 The Effective Phone Call

If you would like to suggest a topic for one of our future scheduled webinars, let us know!

Please keep in mind that BTS also offers both web-based and on-site training on an as-needed basis. Whether you need to familiarize a new employee with your phone system, would like a quick refresher class for current employees, or need pointers on a specific topic, BTS is happy to help. Please email kimr@askbts.com to discuss or to schedule a training session specifically tailored to your needs.

You Need to Know!

Mark Rhodes

BTS Employee Achievements

Congratulations to Mark Rhodes, Project Manager!

We would like to congratulate Project Manager Mark Rhodes for passing his PMP examination on December 11, 2014. Mark has been studying for this certification administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) for over five months. The PMP or Project Management Professional certification is intended to educate Project Managers in the processes of project management to improve the success rate and keep projects from going over budget or falling behind schedule. Currently there are just over 600,000 PMPs in the world. Mark will be applying his newfound knowledge in making sure that the projects at BTS will continue to be at the highest level of quality. Fantastic job, Mark!

  Jason Thompson

BTS Employee Spotlight

Meet Field Engineer Jason Thompson!

In less than a month, Field Engineer Jason Thompson will complete his eighth year at BTS. Jason is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and is ShoreTel certified. Jason lives in Pelham. As his photograph illustrates, he is a member of the Civil Air Patrol as a search and rescue pilot and cadet orientation pilot. Jason is an avid backpacker, with recent multi-day trips along the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama and the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and North Carolina.

Rick Corbett

Next quarter's Employee Spotlight will be on Field Engineer Rick Corbett! Here's a sneak preview.

Fun Fact: Rick's name in Spanish would be Ricardo Cuervo (más o menos).

  Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

At BTS we are always interested in talking to industrious, enthusiastic people with a passion for the technology industry.

If you think you might be a good fit for our excellent team, please feel free to send your resumé to hr@askbts.com.

As always, if there is a job opportunity at your organization that you would like us to advertise in our newsletter, please let us know!

Make Me Smile!

Telephone Sheep

If BTS had a Christmas wish list, these might be at the top of it! We could use a few of artist Jean-Luc Cornec's adorable Telephone Sheep to place strategically around our office! Made from vintage rotary-dial telephones and their accompanying cords, the Telephone Sheep are displayed in the Museum Für Kommunikation in Frankfurt, Germany.

What Do You Think?

If you have any questions or comments, or if there is anything you would like to see in our newsletters, please don't hesitate to contact us! Please call or email Kim Reynolds at 205-290-8430 or kimr@askbts.com.

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