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2 Simple Tips for Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse Over the Holidays

2 Simple Tips for Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse Over the Holidays

It’s that wonderful time of year again! The Christmas music is playing in stores, mall Santas are coming out of hibernation, and everyone at work is fighting for time off to visit family. Yes, it’s always the same traditions, but also different. As each year passes, it’s a time for reconnecting with family, reflecting on the year that’s gone by, and preparing a list of New Year’s resolutions to make next year shine even brighter.

One of the things we all want to avoid in the upcoming year is buyer’s remorse, especially after a season of holiday gift-giving.[1] We’ve all seen or experienced the look of dread as a child learns that “batteries are sold separately” for the toy they just unwrapped. At work, I’m certainly guilty of signing on the dotted line without reading the fine print. But the good news is this year can be different! Here are two simple but effective ways to avoid being trapped by buyer’s remorse.

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In the World of Yelp and Amazon Reviews, It’s Hard to Go Wrong

When I was growing up, we had to trust the word of the salesman. Maybe we read something in the paper, or saw an ad on TV, but the salesperson was critical to our purchasing decisions. They explained the benefits of each option, the drawbacks of cutting costs here and there, and made a hefty commission for their time and knowledge.

If something went wrong, we could go back to the store and talk to that same salesman. The honest ones would try to resolve the issue and retain a loyal customer. Unfortunately, many were sleeping through the lecture on ethics and integrity while attending school and sometimes the outcome was a much more negative one.

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But today, in this glorious digital age, there’s a plethora of online reviews! Yes, you’re right to remember recent headlines about Amazon suing reviewers and sellers for fraudulently posting glowing product experiences on their platform,[2] but, collectively, the diversity of review sites means that it’s easy to get a gist for just how good or bad a product is before hitting the “Add to Cart” button.

Take the time to read at least five to ten different reviews before making a buying decision. You’ll find your overall satisfaction with purchases made in the coming year improve substantially!

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Create a Read or Don’t Buy Rule at Work

As a freelancer, embracing all that the gig economy has to offer, I’ve had my fair share of workplace duds. Whether it’s a product or service that claimed to boost my conversions, or improve my productivity, it’s hard to know if the latest snake oil is worth the investment of time and money.

If your inbox is full of free trial offers for the latest CRM, webinar, or SEO tool, it’s time to start hitting the spam button. And, more importantly, if you’re ready to make a buying decision, make time to carefully read the Service Level Agreement (SLA).[3] When things go wrong, whose job is it to put things back together? If you’re dealing with cut-rate tech solutions, chances are that you’re going to be the one left holding the bag.

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You might be sensing a theme here. Every takeaway seems to have something to do with reading. Sales people will promise things verbally that just aren’t true in order to close the sale. Hit the pause button before agreeing to any purchase in 2017. Take the time to read the service agreement, understand the terms and conditions, and enter agreements with a realistic set of expectations, based on the fine print.

From holiday gift-giving to corporate solutions, the theme for this year should be READ BEFORE YOU BUY. Trust me, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of buyer’s remorse.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/holiday-gift-guides/
[2]https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/27/amazon-sues-more-sellers-for-buying-fake-reviews/
[3]http://mergertechnology.com/cloud-storage/the-importance-of-reading-an-sla-cloud-storage-data-breaches-3722

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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