Save Time. Make Money. Jigsaw.

27 12 2010

Not to get all cliché on you, but every salesperson working on commission knows that time is money.  The more time you spend on non-money-making-activities (ex. administrative tasks, prospecting, blogging) the less time you have to close business.  Because I am an efficiency-seeking nut-job, I constantly look for new ways to improve my work flow to get more done in less time.

Enter: Jigsaw.com.  About three months ago I happened upon an amazing sales prospecting tool; Jigsaw is a content-sharing searchable database of companies with the names, positions, and (this is the good stuff) direct contact information for employees.  I am talking any and everybody up to C-level executives.  And did I mention it’s free??

The basic functionality of the site involves a points system.  You can earn points or purchase them, and then use them to “buy” business cards, which cost 5 points.  Site collaborating helps you “earn” points, for example adding companies, contacts, and correcting flawed information already in the database.  Bonus- if you add a contact you get royalty points anytime someone purchases that contact card.

Previously, I could spend 20-30 minutes looking for a single person’s email address or trying to find their direct phone number.  I got to be quite the Google-search whiz, but it still was time consuming, and on non-money-making-activity nonetheless!  With Jigsaw, I can be in and out in under 2 minutes with complete contact information for several people at the company I am targeting.  Priceless.

Registering for Jigsaw

Be sure to use your company email address – Jigsaw rewards credibility.  Any Gmail, Hotmail, AOL etc. domains are restricted to only a few transactions a day, but with a known company you have unlimited access.

Choose your username carefully.   Every time you add a contact to the database, Jigsaw alerts that person via email including your your username.  You may or may not care about anonymity,  but just know that your username is important and can never be changed once chosen.

Using Jigsaw



The home-page view is simple and self explanatory with easy navigation to what you need:

…to find information: I recommend searching the database using company websites – there are many similarly-named companies and this eliminates searching.  Once you find a company, you will see a screen with all basic company information and options for searching:

 

I typically do a brief overview of the basic information and locations before going to the “Directory” tab.  In the Directory you are able to see all contacts at the company.  Often there are hundreds but there are easy filter options to help you hone in on your contact:

 

Once you locate your company and contact, you can purchase the card.  Keep in mind that if any of the information is incorrect, you will get “refunded” your points. 

…to add information: Be forewarned – Jigsaw is very strict about accurate information and will lock out anyone who “spams” up their system.   When adding contacts it is important to maintain an above 70% accuracy percentage.  As you can see from above, anyone can update your contact card at any time meaning you lose the royalty and take a hit in accuracy.

Some further tips:

  • Scrub the database against LinkedIn for content and job titles- not all Jigsaw information is accurate.
  • If you know the name of your contact but can’t find them in Jigsaw, purchase the card of someone else at the company.  You can use the “form” of their email address to find your contact’s.
  • Take one day early on and add as many contacts as you can – I spent an hour when I first started and STILL haven’t run out of points.

Try it out.  Sign up and add yourself into the database for practice.  You will be amazed at how much more time you will have to actually engage those contacts when you know where to search for them.  Good luck and happy selling!

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Press Checks for Dummies: Part 2

26 04 2010

Here is a general guide of things to look for on a press check.  Print for your own use or give to new clients!

 

Color – verify color against the color proof and/or PMS swatch for match.  Feel free to fold the press sheet.  Be sure to look at the proof AND the press sheet under the color specific lighting of the lightbox. 

  1. As this is a 4-color build of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK), be sure to only ask for adjustments with those colors.  Don’t ask for more “green” but ask questions that specify what you want the end result to be:  “if we add more yellow, will it make this green lighter?”
  2. Pay close attention to flesh tones- they can be tricky.
  3. Oversaturation of one color can make the rest of the sheet look muddy – be mindful of this as you check the sheet.
  4. Remember that the pressmen are not able to fix design issues, only adjust colors.

The Register

Registration –checking that the CMYK plates are all in register or in line.  Pull out your magnifying loupe (or ask to borrow the pressman’s) and check to see that all colors are lining up properly. 

A great way to verify registration is to check the circular register mark in the corner of the sheet. Also look at the edges of bold text.

Paper – Is this the paper you ordered?  Pick it up, feel it, fold it.  Keep in mind that these sheets will still have wet ink on them and the sheet may be slightly different when the ink is dried.

  1. Hold it up to the light to see if the ink has run through.
  2. Know that uncoated sheets will NOT match the color proof as the color translates differently onto coated and uncoated sheets.

Clarity – Using the magnifying loupe again, verify that the dots are sharp and clear when using a coated sheet, and reasonably clear on an uncoated sheet.  As with registration, the text is the great way to view clarity both from a distance and close up.

Magnified Ink Dots

  1.  Be sure that the ink is laying smoothly through the solid blocks of color and gradients are smooth.

  Other Details:

  1. Varnish or Coating: Look for a slight change in the gloss of the paper at the edge of the sheet to see if it has been applied
  2. Hickies:  Stray spots or irregularities in ink coverage causing small white circles.
  3.  Scumming and Ghosting: Ink or images appear in unwanted places

Above all, feel free to ask the pressman questions – this is his area of expertise and he wants this project to look good just as much as you do!