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Auto-Delete Your Email While on Vacation, Plus More Tips for Pet Pros

Aside from that controversial business tip, the advice we offer for August-September runs more toward the reasonable.




vacation mode

HIRINGDigital Natives Wanted

The modern sales funnel in which customers begin their shopping journey online demands a tweaked approach not only to marketing but also to hiring, especially for sales positions, says Shane O’Neill, vice president of Fruchtman Marketing. Millennials are starting to turn 40 this year and are fully entrenched in the workplace. Gen Z, who are digital natives, aren’t far behind; the oldest have entered their 20s. “That means if you’re hiring a salesperson, there’s a high probability he or she will come with the kind of technical skills and digital savvy that you need,” he said at a recent SmartWorkMedia Live event. O’Neill recommends you search out those skills, such as photography, that bring added value, in the interview process. Then codify that online sales techniques are part of the job from the beginning.

BUYINGGet Show Ready

If you’re off to Vegas this month for SuperZoo (Aug. 17-19), Dan Pink, the widely travelled business author and speaker, recommends you follow this routine after checking in: Clear everything off the desk in your room and then establish your own “personal inbox.” To do that, he spreads a small towel on the desk and lays out everything he’ll need each day on that towel: pen, notebook, passport, wallet, show pass, phone, etc. “And every time I come back to the room, I put everything back here so that way I’m not always searching for my notebook or for my keys,” he says on one of his regular “Pinkcasts” on YouTube.

SALESPound for Pound

The most powerful key on your phone is the # button. Why? According to sales trainer Deb Hiss of Debbie Hiss Consulting, it’s because after leaving a message for your business contact, the pound sign will almost always give you the opportunity to listen to your message to delete and start over if you’re not satisfied. “How you come across aurally is just as important as the impression you make visually,” she notes.


MANAGEMENTHow to Give Wise Feedback

Employees generally hate reviews. Managers generally hate giving them. What to do? In his book, “Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups,” Daniel Coyle recommends using 19 words to bring out the best in the situation and deliver the feedback that will lead to a “dramatic improvement” in performance and effort. The words? “I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.” Why does it work? Coyle says it builds trust, signals belonging and combines high standards with the assurance that people can reach those standards.


Like a lot of small-business owners, you’re likely often over-committed or just too scattered in your approach to life. You know you should say “no” more often, even to worthwhile sounding things, but it’s tough. Entrepreneur and author Derek Severs suggests you use this easy-to-remember heuristic: If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about it, say “no.” Everything has an opportunity cost, not just in time but in your attention and energy. “When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!” he says.

COMMUNICATIONSDelete with Extreme Prejudice

Knowing that emails are piling up while you’re on vacation can take out a lot of the fun while also undermining the recuperative benefits. To address this issue, Arianna Huffington’s company Thrive Global opted for a solution they dubbed Thrive Away: If a colleague sends an email to a co-worker who is on vacation, they receive an auto reply telling them that their message has been deleted — and that they’ll just have to resend it when the person returns. In his latest book, “A World Without Email,” Cal Newport notes that this is extreme, but argues that because email causes such anxiety in many people, it’s worth considering.

FINANCESLump It and Like It

The tax filing deadline for 2020 was just a few months ago. Yes, it’s time to start planning for the 2021 tax year. One thing to keep in mind: While large tax refunds are traditionally considered bad because they’re a sign you’ve overpaid and given Uncle Sam an interest-free loan, there’s an emerging body of scholarly work showing there can be significant benefits to orchestrating your affairs so you’re paid in lump sums occasionally. Such big sums can allow you to pay debt or make a downpayment on something you wouldn’t normally have cash for, according to a report on CNBC.



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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