Efficient Sales Travel Planning – Increase Sales and Reduce Costs

There’s no getting around it…for most of us in sales, times are tough. Sales managers everywhere are faced with shrinking travel budgets and getting pressure to reduce their cost of sales. One way to go is simply to stop traveling. This cuts costs, but is death to new business, and ultimately leads to a failed sales plan…and a failed business. In tough times, you need your sales force on the streets more than ever, knocking on doors and bringing in the new business that is still out there. Yet companies have significantly curtailed business travel.

A new survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives found that 71 percent of travel managers foresee spending less money on corporate travel and events in 2009. “Business travel is down in the range of 20 to 25 percent on a global basis,” according to, Sam Gilliland, Sabre Holdings chairman and CEO, speaking at a recent business travel News symposium. “Even with large corporations, and in particular financial services, you see travel down in the 30 percent range” according to Gilliland.

So as corporate belts get tightened we continue to cut travel budgets, and end up seeing fewer prospects in the bargain. Seeing fewer prospects results in less sales, leading to tighter travel budgets…and a downward spiral that’s tough to pull out of.

You don’t want to stop traveling, but you still need to cut costs. Here’s how you can reduce your travel costs, while at the same time, increasing your sales. The solution is to help your sales force plan smarter sales travel – maximizing the amount of sales calls they make, while expending the least amount of travel effort and dollars.

As the old saying goes, ‘prior planning prevents poor performance’. So drill it into your sales reps that when planning sales travel, they need to think ahead. Make sure that whenever possible, they schedule sales calls with companies that are geographically close together. Ensure they create an efficient route that moves logically from account to account, taking the quickest routes that cover the least miles. When looking for hotels, restaurants and other business services required on the road, make sure your team makes every effort to choose locations that are on their route of travel so that they save time and fuel.

So how do you help your sales force work their territory more effectively, intelligently planning out a sales strategy that maximizes time in front of prospects while minimizing travel expenses? First, make sure they have the right tools. Tell them to purchase a laptop travel planning software. There are several products to choose from, including Microsoft Streets and Trips, MapPoint, Garmin Mobile PC, Delorme StreetAtlas, ESRI Business map and more. Most laptop software packages are in the $30 to $50 range, and most offer a bundled GPS receiver, with several of the combined packages running under $80.

With a laptop mapping solution, your team can import their prospect lists into the map, so that they see each account plotted right down to their street address. They’ll assign unique identity pushpins to groups of prospects and customers to instantly identify the type of accounts in an area. Seeing the ‘big picture’ will help your sales people to spot opportunities they might have missed.

Laptop mapping programs incorporate planning tools that help sales people easily plan the most efficient and practical way to get in front of the account with the least amount of effort and expense. They are much more powerful than a Personal Navigation Device (PND) because they allow reps to find prospects and generate ‘what if’ routing scenarios based on their calls. PND’s are great for helping you get to where you already know you want to go – but for sales people, it’s more important to decide where you need to go to in the first place.

Choosing a combination package with a GPS Receiver helps your sales force travel more confidently, receiving turn by turn directions right to the prospect’s door. Since they need to carry a laptop anyway, using a GPS receiver with planning software will save you a couple hundred dollars per rep as compared to buying them a Personal Navigation Device . And, it’s more convenient for them, since all of their accounts are right there on the map, ready for them to route to.

You may be asking yourself – why should I have my team purchase software to run on their laptop when there are free online mapping services…I’m trying to cut costs – right? The answer is – when it comes to comparing online mapping versus laptop mapping solutions, it’s best to remember – you get what you pay for.

The features and functionally of the laptop packages far outweigh their online cousins. Laptop trip planning software allows you to load thousands of prospect and customer locations into your map quickly and easily. Your reps can have the map with them at all times, without being dependent on an internet connection.

They’ll update their maps with information that is critical to them while traveling their territory, and be able to respond to changes quickly and efficiently. A new prospect just called in? Plot them on the map and see if they fit into the current trip plan. Have a meeting canceled while on the road? Use the search tools to find a new prospect that’s within a specified drive time. Need a restaurant with free Wi-Fi on the way to the next client? Quickly search the map and add it to the route.

Planning more efficient sales trips that maximize time in front of prospects, and reduce wasted travel time and dollars will increase sales and reduce costs. Sure – times are tough for those of us in sales. But when the going gets tough, the tough look for new ways to get the job done. Laptop mapping software will help your sales team get it done.

Waterloo Ontario – Tech Capital

3 Reasons To Visit Waterloo

Waterloo is a southwestern city in Ontario, Canada.  Waterloo has a population just shy of 100 000, although during the school season the population balloons to about 115 000.  It is often referred to as half of “Kitchener-Waterloo”.  In actuality, Waterloo and Kitchener have separate municipal governments.  Although they are geographically close, the two cities are far from similar.

While Kitchener is known as an industrial based blue collar town, Waterloo has embraced education and technology.  This has helped it sustain its growth in the economic downturn.  Waterloo has many attractions to entice visitors, here are a couple:

1. RIM Park:  Receiving its name from one of the many high tech companies in Waterloo (Reasearch In Motion), this park facility is one of Southwestern Ontario’s finest.  It includes 18 outdoor sports fields, park land, trails and even a golf course.

You could spend all day outside, or you could visit the recreation complex which is host to 4 olympic size ice rinks, an indoor turf field, 2 NBA size gymnasiums and a 10, 000 sq .ft. banquet hall.  As you can see this is no ordinary park.  If sports aren’t your thing, the park also hosts 4 unique art pieces and is bordered by the scenic Grand River.

2. Waterloo Entertainment Centre:  Situated in the heart of uptown Waterloo it is hard to miss the entertainment centre.  It is found in a beautifully restored movie theatre from the 1930’s.

No longer showing movies, this facility plays host to live performing arts.  From theatre to live jazz and classical music, the Entertainment Centre has everything to please people with more highbrow taste.

3. Waterloo Busker Carnival:  Waterloo is home to many festivals, they have the world’s largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany, a popular jazz event, an ice sculpture festival and many others.  One of the most popular and long standing events has been their Busker Carnival.  2009 will mark the 21st year of existence of this festival.

This volunteer driven festival began in 1988 and was created to help revitalize Waterloo’s uptown core.  It was a resounding success and gains popularity each year.  The event showcases some of the best street performers in the country.  It is the perfect event to bring the kids too – they will be thrilled by the acrobats and fire twirlers, and love the street treats and face painting.  Friday and Saturday afternoons are dedicated to children.

Waterloo is a great city for all ages.  If you have children they will love the events, parks and the quiet nature of Waterloo.  College age people will love the clubs, schools and good time atmosphere.  More mature people will appreciate how Waterloo is continually improving itself to include cutting edge architecture and high brow entertainment.

For More Info: Ontario

The Advantages Of A Sports Betting System

Lots of people like to win quick money and one of the best ways to do this is via a sports betting system. If you are a sports fan, you probably know your sport inside and out, every odd possible and the statistics. Therefore, if you put a little money on your favorite game, the odds are you will have a good night.

Nowadays, you can bet on just about any sport in any part of the world and make some big bucks while you are at it. Since the internet started taking online bets, it is even more simple for you to get into the action with a sports betting system.

There are various sports that you can bet on. Such sports include the following: soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, boxing, race car driving and horse racing among many others. Every one of these sports accepts online betting. You should search around for a reliable online sports betting site that carries your sport. Remember, if you win, you want to be paid. It makes no sense to go to a site where you most likely will not receive a payout.

These betting sites also have forums where people can chat about statistics, ask questions regarding betting and discuss their sports betting system. This can be a great advantage to many people who want to learn about online sports betting or to confirm their previous thoughts regarding who to bet on for tonight’s game.

You should also keep in mind that anyone can write on certain blogs so you should back up your resource information, especially if you yourself are not familiar with the sport of you choice’s statistics and odds. You will find forums all over the internet that are independent or part of sports betting systems. These can also be a great resource to finding websites that pay and do not pay out upon winning your game.

If you want to make the most out of your money, do not bet on a game that you do not understand. Nowadays, you can bet on virtually every single sport. Do not bet on soccer if you have never watched a game. Bet on what you know. Wouldn’t you do that in your daily life? If you are familiar with the rules, you will increase your odds along with information regarding statistics and other pertinent information such as key player injuries for instance.

Remember that gambling can be a serious addiction that can put certain key aspects of your life at risk. Therefore, you will need control over your betting efforts. Make yourself a budget. After you win, make a “gambling account”. Take out money from that account to use on bets and when you win, put it into your account equal to your initial bet plus half the winnings and put the rest into your savings account. Control is key. Using a sports betting system should be fun, so keep it that way by being responsible.

The First Two Steps When Buying Lakewood Ranch Real Estate

When buying Lakewood Ranch real estate you need to know as much about the process a possible. You will find that being educated with the facts will pay off in the long run because even a single error made during the purchase can cost you thousands of dollars.

Here are the first two steps when buying Lakewood Ranch real estate:

1. Choose a reputable real estate agent. Choosing a reputable Lakewood Ranch real estate agent to assist you in the purchase is one of the best things you can do. As the buyer, a real estate agent does not cost you anything. The cost of the agent is paid by the seller of the property. You will find that the services of a knowledgeable and honest Lakewood Ranch real estate agent are invaluable. In fact, not having a real estate agent, or having the wrong real estate agent, may be a very costly mistake. Remember, it does not cost the buyer to have a real estate agent so don’t make the mistake of thinking you will save 3% commission by not having an agent. There is a lot involved in the purchase of any Lakewood Ranch home, it can get complicated real quick with the rules, contracts, disclosures and other trivial details. So if you have little or no real estate experience, not having a qualified real estate agent represent you can be disastrous.

2. Get pre-qualified for your loan. Once you have found a real estate agent that you are comfortable with then your second step is to select which mortgage company you will be working with. Your real estate agent may advise you in this; however, it is best to do your own research as well…this way there is no conflict of interest. This does not mean you will necessarily find better financing on your own, but it is always best to make sure. As you are shopping around for financing, make sure you take into account any fees the mortgage company may be charging, points that must be paid at closing, whether or not there are pre-payment penalties, and whether or not the interest rate is adjustable. You need to find the mortgage that has the best combination to suit your individual needs.

Once you have found the mortgage company you will work with make sure to get a pre-approved letter in hand before beginning your property search. If you are pre-qualified you will find that the entire process runs much smoother. In fact, many, if not most Lakewood Ranch real estate agents will require you to get pre-qualified prior to showing you any Lakewood Ranch homes.

Tips for Traveling With Pets

More often than not, pet lovers who treat their pets like family always take their pets with them, even in traveling. If pet lovers could give their little bundles of joy a seat in the plane, they would. Even if they can’t, they would do anything they can to guarantee the comfort and well being of their pets. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems faced by pet owners when traveling. One of them is not being able to bring their pets to some hotels. This problem is easily solved by trying to look for a hotel that allows pets to roam around. Here are some other points a pet owner should follow for their pet to be comfortable.

Long flights can also be hard on a pet as it is to the traveler. Many European airports allow owners to walk their dog provided that they are on a leash, and this is considered a nice break for the pet. Remember to bring a care kit: bottled water, baby wipes, a small brush and a treat. These will all come in handy while walking the dog. In the pet carrier, place an odoriferous shirt that has been well worn by the owner, so the pet will be comfortable. Try looking for food similar to those the pet eats at home.

Don’t forget to plan ahead. Don’t buy plane tickets or a carrier at the last minute. Check beforehand with the airline company about specific information about requirements and charges, since not all airlines charge the same amount for the same size of dog and majority of the prices can be very high. Get certifications for both origin and destination.

Do not forget to place ID tags on pets. The ID tags should have your home number and address on them, and other information people might deem useful. Also, a pet owner should always have a recent photo of their pet with them, to make sure that when the pet gets lost, it would be easier to locate it.

Traveling with pets can be rewarding provided that research was done in advance. Asking these questions are essential when traveling with a pet: Does the hotel accept pets? Do they have pet deposits? Guide books are great resources but policies change often. Is there a limit to certain type of rooms? Some hotels might limit pet owners to a smoking room or other rooms. Are there any areas where the pet is prohibited? Some allow dogs in the room only; walking the dog might be too much of a hassle.

Try these out and enjoy the pleasantries of traveling with a pet.

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Put Your Idle Property to Use and Apply for a Mortgage Loan

A mortgage loan is a form of raising finance for your personal or business purpose. The peculiarity of a mortgage loan is the security that you need to provide in order to avail the loan. You can simply leverage the property owned by you in order to raise finance for a property you are planning to purchase or to meet your business requirement. There are various circumstances when you need to raise finance from an outside source. Banks and Financial Institutions are offering a variety of financing options for you to choose from. With competitive interest rates and flexible repayment tenure, you can avail a loan for personal as well as business purpose. You can avail a mortgage loan for the expansion of your business, acquisition of machinery or plant, project finance, purchase of new property, expansion of the market.

Since it is a secured loan, it will be essential to mortgage a property against this loan. You can mortgage your idle property and raise finance on it. It could be any property owned by you and the loan amount will be secured against the property mortgaged, which means you will be able to raise a higher loan amount. The property could be a land, building, apartment, commercial premise, factory, shop, farm house, hotel, guest house, nursing home or industrial properties. A mortgage loan can be customized as per your requirements and comes with various benefits like lower rate of interest, higher amount of loan and a longer tenure. Further, business entities and self-employed professionals can claim tax benefits on the same.

A mortgage loan is available for business entities, traders, service providers, manufacturers and self-employed professionals. For a mortgage loan, the applicant needs to provide proof of income, proof of identity and address proof. In addition, it is important to submit documents of the property and also ensure that the property is insured from hazards like fire. In case of jointly holding a property, the co-owners will become the co applicants for the loan. The value and age of the property are the main criteria for the approval of the loan. Based on the same, and the market value of the property, the loan is sanctioned. Once the application is processed, the Bank or financial institution will appoint a valuer who will determine the market value of the property and based on the same, the loan amount shall be sanctioned. Usually 60% of the value of the property is sanctioned as a loan amount. The tenure for this loan is longer because of the higher value and this enables the borrower to repay the same in regular installments over time. It comes with a flexible tenure up to 180 months and loan amount as high as Rs.15 crore.

In case of a secured loan, it is important to pay the installments on time. Since the property is mortgaged to the Bank, the Bank may transfer the ownership in case of regular default in payment of the installments. The Bank will also provide notice for the payment and if the same is again defaulted, the Bank will have to auction the property and you could lose the ownership of the same. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure that the repayments are done on time. It also offers the option to prepay the loan before the repayment schedule ends. This option will spare you on the interest payment and will also provide you a positive credit score. Individuals with a satisfactory or positive credit score can have their loan easily processed.

Living the Lifestyle of a Person Who Does Not Suffer From Heartburn

Have you been having an excessive number of bouts of heartburn lately? Have you examined your life to see if anything has changed that could be triggering these attacks? Simple lifestyle changes, such as eating more of a food that brings on your attacks, can be the culprit. If so, then it’s easy to keep a food journal and record what you ate immediately before a bout happens. In cases like these, all you have to do is eliminate or cut down on the foods that are causing the problem. No medications, no doctor visits, nothing but natural changes in your eating habits. Although solving all heartburn problems doesn’t happen so easily, in most cases natural measures can be taken to stop the pain.

Smoking is one of the top triggers of heartburn. There are a number of reasons why smoking brings on attacks. To start with, it reduces the production of saliva which offers natural production of delicate esophageal tissues. In addition, smoking can actually harm the tissues of the esophagus. This habit also tends to promote the movement of bile salts from the intestine to the stomach where they make stomach acid much more harmful, and it can also damage the sphincter valve which is designed to keep the contents of the stomach from backing up into the esophagus. Frequent, painful heartburn may be just one more reason why you should make yourself stop smoking.

If you start researching the causes of heartburn, you’ll find that your lifestyle can be as much of a culprit as what you eat. Eating too much at a meal can bring it on, whereas, if you get into the habit of eating six small meals a day instead of three large ones, you’ll find that your heartburn will become a thing of the past. Another natural way to curtail bouts of acid reflux is by doing some type of exercise, even if it’s just walking, after meals instead of lying down and taking a nap. Staying upright will aid your body in digesting the food without acid returning painfully into your esophagus.

Of course, there are medical reasons for heartburn that can’t be treated so easily. For example, it could be that your body is producing an overabundance of stomach acid which is creating the overflow. In cases like these, it’s smart to see your doctor and investigate your options. There are a variety of medications available to help balance your body functions and eliminate heartburn from your life.

State Labor Laws That Create Safe and Secure Working Conditions

West Virginia is one of the most famous states which is located in Appalachian and the Mid-Atlantic region of United States of America. This has one of the best cities that has the potential to provide you some promising and well-deserved income opportunities that match your skills. Here are some labor laws which must be followed by each and every employer.

1. Posters Of Labor Laws
According to this law, the employers must paste the posters which supply their working areas with the posters. These posters deal with information which is related to the labor laws of this city. These posters provide accurate information that help the common citizens to get rid from the exploitation conditions of the employers.

These posters comprises of information that is related with unemployment, minimum income, discrimination laws and many more rules which fall under this category!

2. Hiring
As per the federal laws, the employer cannot hire a worker who is unhealthy, physically unfit or below the age of 14 years.

3. Discrimination
The employers cannot discriminate the workers on the basis of caste, creed, sex, nationality, religion, color, i9ncome or any other basis! If any employer is found to discriminate his employers then they musty get ready to face the destined punishment.

4. Injury At Work Place
It is the responsibility of the owner to avert his/her co-worker or sub-ordinate from the injuries or any physical damages. In case any co-worker is injured, he/she must be offered proper medical treatment. Omitting this rule can lead to some deadly results.

5. Safety At The Working Place
According to this rule, the employer must offer the best working condition to the employees which are hired by him/her. If you are not offering accurate working condition then you must get ready to face the punishments which are destined for the people who overlook the importance of this law.

6. Harassment Of Employees
This law protects the employees from being harassed by their job providers. This law punishes the employers who pester their sub-ordinates.

7. Minimum Wage Of The Employees
The employers must provide their sub-ordinates with a salary at the rate not less than $7.25 per hour. The job providers must offer their employees even when they are enjoying the training period. If any employee is found to overcome this rule, he must get ready to face the severe punishments which are destined for these employers.

I am sure that you must have got a good idea about the labor laws which are followed in West Virginia.

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Overview of Popular Investing Products

Investing encompasses many niche markets. Some of the more popular investment choices include:  real estate, cash flow notes, stocks of real estate investment trusts (REIT), and financial investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Earning profits from investing requires an understanding of the pros and cons of each product. An easy way to learn about various products is to work with a good investment company that possesses a strong management style and honest investment philosophy.

Some of the highest ranking investment companies include: Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity Investments. Each offers online investing tools which allow individuals to establish and manage accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Most companies offer complimentary consultations via chat rooms or instant messaging which allow investors to ask questions about products, market trends, and obtain advice on building their financial portfolio.

One of the most popular investment products is stocks. Many people associate purchasing stock in well-established corporations such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Toyota and Microsoft. However, it is smart to research start-up companies and small corporations that specialize in highly sought after products such as enviro-friendly products and alternative fuels.  

Bonds offer investors a variety of profit-earning options. Bonds are secured by asset-backed securities such as credit card receivables, student loans, mortgage notes, home equity loans, and international assets. Bonds are sold through bond brokers or can be purchased directly from the U.S. Treasury website at TreasuryDirect.com.

Mutual funds give investors the option to diversify financial portfolios without investing in multiple products. Mutual funds encompass asset-backed securities, real estate, stocks, and bonds.

Commodities are a good option for investors who want fast profits. However, before investing in this market, investors must become educated about the various products; how they are traded; and which commodities generate the highest profit margins. Popular commodities include: gold, oil, lumber, wheat, and sugar.

Business investing can be a good choice for those who are familiar with corporate practices. Business investments can include providing start-up funds, expansion funds, or purchasing shares of start-up companies or established corporations.

Investing in real estate encompasses a variety of options. Investors can purchase residential or commercial properties or real estate notes. Many real estate investors purchase foreclosure and bank owned homes for use as residential or vacation rentals. Others use distressed properties to offer lease options or seller carry back mortgages. Some prefer commercial properties such as office buildings, apartment complexes, or shopping malls. Others prefer to buy REIT stocks and avoid the headaches associated with maintaining residential, retail, or commercial property.

Currently, real estate investments are unpredictable at best. Those who choose to dabble in this niche should possess a strong understanding of the different types of properties and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Regardless of the investment product chosen, investors must engage in due diligence to calculate potential risks. The Internet provides multiple resources to help newbie and seasoned investors make informed choices. It is best to work with established investment companies and consult with three or more advisors to determine which company is best suited to help reach financial goals.

Instant Term Life Insurance Quotes Are The Best Way To Obtain Affordable Insurance

The Internet has changed the way business is conducted and how companies seek new clients. The same can be said about the insurance broker too. From being a person who sits in his office, entertaining clients and selling insurance policies to them, he has evolved into an independent broker with a website. Using this website, the independent broker offers multiple instant term life insurance quotes to multiple clients at the same time. Each website can offer information on over one hundred insurance providers and their services.

Using sophisticated quoting software, potential clients can compare prices, rates, terms and conditions of the different insurance policies offered by these many insurance providers. All that the customer needs to do is fill in basic information to obtain one of these instant term life insurance quotes. This information includes:
• Age
• Gender
• Smoker or non-smoker
• Amount of coverage required
• Term of the coverage

Once the applicant has filled in these details and submitted the quotation, the quoting software gathers different rates from different insurance companies, compares them and offers the lowest price to the customer in a return quote. An Internet search will provide you with the names of which websites offer this type of multiple quotes and comparisons. The quoting process and required information is generally the same although some quotes could require some additional information.

As we see, obtaining instant term life insurance quotes online is an extremely simple process that takes just a few minutes. What is more is that you can accomplish the goal of getting the lowest term life insurance rates in a fraction of the time it took your parents. For before the Internet, people had to trudge from one insurance company to another, get quotations, go home, sit down, take out a calculator, write down figures and then compare rates. For those who could not understand all about how insurance works, this was an extremely time consuming and confusing task.

The best way to get low term life insurance rates is to be entirely truthful when answering a quote. Your lifestyle, age and hobbies will have a direct impact on the rate of your life insurance. A heavy smoker, with a dangerous hobby like car racing and who is over 40 years old will end up paying more than a non-smoking 30 year old who enjoys tennis. Of course, some people will not want to change their lifestyle just to get low cost insurance.

Another important factor that could affect term life insurance rates is the gender. Women are more likely to live longer and generally have healthier lifestyles than men. Hence, women insurance seekers could get lower rates and have to pay lower monthly premiums than men. In some families, both husband and wife should take different insurance policies if they can afford it. This will provide more savings and greater benefits to their families once one spouse dies.

Selecting the right plan goes a long way to getting good life insurance rates. Young people in excellent health and with no bad habits could opt for the preferred or preferred plus rate plans. All those with minor health problems can go in for standard rate plans. Whatever the plan you choose, remember that if there is a savings component involved, the premiums will automatically be higher than if the policy is a ‘pure’ death benefit. This is why term life insurance rates are much lower than any other form of insurance. These policies avoid all extra investment options and therefore are automatically low cost.

The main drawback with term life insurance is that the policyholder will lose out on the entire insurance if he or she outlives the term. With this in mind, insurance providers are offering renewable term life insurance policies that allow the policyholder to continue with the policy if they outlive the term. Of course, the chief drawback with this is that the rates could increase on renewal since the policyholder is older and could have developed a medical problem in the preceding years. In order to retain their clients, insurance companies are evolving new and better policies wherein the rates do not increase drastically on renewal. The best and lowest cost term life insurance is one that is taken when young for a long period of over 25 years.