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How’s your business report card?

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Have you ever caught yourself being quicker to log a complaint, than to compliment?

If so, you must be human. So are your customers. But that doesn’t mean they won’t respond positively to your requests for referrals and positive feedback.

Encourage your associates to capture the magic of a happy customer and at the moment it happens. Technology makes it even easier than ever to spread their joy; and good PR makes it important to collect. Other A+ advice:

Ask for positive feedback, referrals and repeat business  – and make it easy to provide.

Adapt to technology, your customers and the marketplace. Your brand can align with these new opportunities, customer habits and opinion leaders.

Adoptpublic relations strategies,  relationship-building techniques and experts who bring upper-level  productivity and PR strategies to your team.

Apply the rules to yourself. Offer positive feedback where warranted and be prepared to give in order to receive. So connect your business buds, say something nice when warranted and be a customer evangelist.

-Aim higher than last year, higher than your competition, and higher than you can reach on your own.

January 7. 2011 by Guest Writer Stacy McBain; send Stacy a direct message @inflowPR on Twitter!  NetworkingStar.com All rights reserved 2011

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  • booger444

    Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing lies about its 3A1 D&B rating to entice people to join its pyramid scheme. See full current report at http://www.fhtmclassaction.info

    FTC Steps Up Efforts Against Scams That Target Financially-Strapped Consumers – More Than 90 Actions Brought By Commission and Its Law Enforcement Partners

    Attorney General Roy Cooper today joined state attorneys general from across the country and the Federal Trade Commission to announce a national sweep targeting business opportunity scams, including actions against four companies that have targeted North Carolina consumers.

    “When jobs are scarce, claims to help people make money fast become plentiful,” Cooper said. “Consumers think they’re buying into a great way to earn a living, but they could end up paying far more than they’ll ever make.”

    In challenging economic times, many people in the state are looking for work. Unfortunately, sometimes they find scams instead of legitimate opportunities. Complaints to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division about business opportunity, work-at-home schemes, and other employment related scams were up 11 percent last year, from 177 complaints in 2009 to 197 complaints in 2010.

    Operation Empty Promises is a national sweep by the FTC, Cooper and other state attorneys general aimed at stopping business opportunity scams and educating consumers about how to avoid them. Announced as part of the sweep are actions taken by Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division against four companies including Fortune Hi Tech Marketing who claims that people who buy into its business earn thousands of dollars a year. Based on consumer complaints, Cooper’s office launched an investigation into FHTM in mid 2010. Consumers say they paid money to the company but were only able to make money by recruiting others into the scheme, not by selling any actual goods or services. A total of 25 consumers have now complained about FHTM, and Cooper’s office is investigating the company. Although this case is currently under investigation, it’s important for consumers to know that a pyramid scheme is a violation of the law and is defined as any plan in which a participant pays money for the chance to receive money upon the introduction of new participants into the program.

    “We’re looking closely at business opportunities that seem to offer false hopes, and also reaching out to educate consumers on how to recognize and avoid fraud,” Cooper said.

    Later this month, Cooper’s office plans to launch a tool kit to educate consumers on fake business opportunities which will include print, web and video materials. The goal is to prevent North Carolina consumers from losing their hard-earned money to scammers trying to take advantage of a tough employment market.

    “Don’t let scammers use empty promises of jobs with high earnings to take your money,” Cooper warned consumers. “Before you agree to invest in any business, check it out thoroughly and always be skeptical of claims of guaranteed profits.”

    Cooper has taken action against a number of other kinds of scams fueled by hard times. For example, his Consumer Protection Division has won 13 cases against foreclosure assistance and loan modification scams in the past five years, including two so far in 2011.The Federal Trade Commission today stepped up its ongoing campaign against scammers who falsely promise guaranteed jobs and opportunities to “be your own boss” to consumers who are struggling with unemployment and diminished incomes as a consequence of the economic downturn.

    “Operation Empty Promises,” a multi-agency law enforcement initiative today announced more than 90 enforcement actions, including three new FTC cases and developments in seven other matters, 48 criminal actions by the Department of Justice (many of which involved the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service), seven additional civil actions by the Postal Inspection Service, and 28 actions by state law enforcement agencies in Alaska, California, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

    In a press conference at the FTC, David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, was joined by Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice; Greg Campbell, Deputy Chief Inspector of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper; and a California consumer who had bought into a program to start his own Internet business.

    “The victims of these frauds are our neighbors – people who are trying to make an honest living,” said David C. Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Under pressure to make ends meet, they risked their limited financial resources in response to the promise of a job, an income – a chance at a profitable home-based business. But these turned out to be empty promises – and the people who counted on them ended up with high levels of frustration and even higher levels of debt.”

    The FTC has updated consumer education materials to help consumers avoid falling victim to these scams. Screen shots from the websites of some of the operators charged in this law enforcement sweep, as well as video footage of FTC Consumer Protection Director Vladeck and FTC attorney Daniel Hanks, are also available at the FTC website.

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