Key Issues in Planned Giving

Negotiating: The Power of Nice

Mercer & Phoenix

Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the April 10, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Making Your Site Visible on the ‘Net

There’s a lot going on below the surface of those

placid-looking

pages of search engine results. Everyone is talking about how amazing

Google is. The search engine with the plain white home page, adorned

only by the multi-colored letters of its name, is just so intuitive.

It is so very good at returning just the information searchers seek

that it is easy to see it — and its competitors — as unpaid

servants, sort of silent personal librarians.

Dana Hutchins, founder of InForest, a Trenton-based Web design

and development company, reveals, however, that many of the most

popular

search engines have just begun an intricate advertising dance.

Charging

flat or multi-layer fees, or inviting companies to bid for placement,

the search engines are quickly changing the face of Internet

advertising,

and presenting a new, and potentially powerful, marketing tool.

"Google started offering pay-for-click just last month," says

Hutchins. Yahoo! recently changed its pricing structure, and GoTo

has morphed into Overture, a search engine that has lined up such

an impressive array of partners that it has become an important

player.

"This is the time to get in," Hutchins advises. Not too many

companies know about the new opportunities to buy good search engine

placement. It is now possible to come out near the top of a search

engine page for just a modest investment. As the word spreads, it

will be more difficult to buy these results — and more expensive.

Hutchins offers advice on getting in on the ground floor when he

speaks

Wednesday, April 17, at 8:15 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce of the

Princeton Area. Cost: $21. Call 609-520-1776.

A graduate of Princeton High School, Hutchins earned a bachelor’s

in forestry from the University of Vermont (Class of 1991). He used

the Internet extensively in his class work in the late-1980s before

browsers made the exercise easy. In forestry, he says, it’s all about

measurements and forecasting "how to reap the highest gain over

multiple objectives over time." He found the Internet the ideal

way to run these forecasts, and turned to the medium again after he

graduated and was putting out a forestry newsletter. The first website

he built was for Inforest, his newsletter. After a lack of demand

shut the newsletter down, he kept the name and started a website

design

company.

Inforest has three employees and a client roster that includes McGraw

Hill, the New Jersey Press Association, Princeton University’s

electrical

engineering department, Columbia University, and the Philadelphia

Flower Show, along with "smaller, but established, companies that

are working on developing a web presence."

Part of the service Hutchins provides to his web development clients

is making sure that their websites come up high on a list of search

engine results. Lately, companies with established websites have been

coming to him for help in achieving these results. Figuring out the

intricacies of search engine placement is a growing part of his

business.

He explains that there are two ways to propel a website listing to

the top of the pile. One is to meticulously craft the site so that

its design, its links, and the key words it uses — particularly

on its home page — are picked up by search engines. "This

takes time," says Hutchins. It will be about six months before

the work bears fruit. The second way is to pay for placement. This,

he says, is the wave of the future, and is well worth the money.

"Why wait the six months?" he asks. For something like $100

it is possible to buy placement that will deliver highly targeted

prospects to a website. On Yahoo!, it takes a check for $299 once

a year to get the process rolling. The fee used to be $200 for life,

says Hutchins. There are a number of grandfathered companies that

will never have to pay Yahoo! another nickel, but he thinks that even

the current rate may soon sound cheap.

Companies seeking good placement need to do more than write checks,

though. They stack up according to the descriptions they submit. So,

while the search engine’s Web-crawling bots evaluate an entire website

for unpaid placement, it uses just the descriptions to determine

placement

of paid listings. This makes it imperative, Hutchins says, that the

description be rich in the key words that will earn its site a spot

near the top of a Yahoo! search page.

On Google, the process is more complicated. There, companies bid for

position. The range of bids is now something like 50 cents to $3.

In a complicated system, the price of the bid is not the only factor

that determines where Google places a listing. Listings are weighted

according to the number of hits they receive. Where they show up is

a combination of the amount they pay, and their effectiveness.

Listings

paid for through the auction system appear along the right-hand side

of the search results page.

There is another option on Google. Websites can pay by impression

rather than by click-through. Sites that choose this option are

displayed

in a tinted box at the top of the search page.

Overture uses an auction system, too, but it works differently than

Google’s. Bids start at five cents per click-through. Websites bid

what they want, and can go in and change their bids at any time.

"With

Google, you can set up a campaign and forget it," says Hutchins.

"With Overture, you have to check on it every day." This is

so because a bid of, say 15 cents, that won a regional garden center

top position on a Monday, might be buried by six other,

higher-bidding,

garden centers by Tuesday.

It used to be easy to ignore GoTo, Overture’s predecessor, says

Hutchins,

but the newly-renamed search engine has now crafted agreements with

a number of high powered players, including Netscape, AOL, AltaVista,

Lycos, and Yahoo!, the mightiest search engine of all. Overture’s

paid listings appear on all of those websites.

Getting prime placement in search engine results is imperative for

all websites — except, perhaps, those belonging to secret

societies.

But that is not all there is to website success. Here are some more

tips from Hutchins.

Don’t put anything in the way of your goal.

"Fundamentally,

it all comes down to what the basic function of a website should be

in terms of what you want your users to do," Hutchins says. If

you want them to buy, make it easy. One of his clients,

TaylorsTreasures,

an E-tailer of sensitive skin products, has just a handful of

products,

but made potential customers use a shopping cart. This element added

5 to 10 steps to the buying process. "We put the order form on

the same page as the catalog, and cut it down to one or two,"

Hutchins says.

The same principle applies to sites whose purpose is increasing a

company’s contacts. Make it easy for potential clients to get in touch

with you. Many sites direct users to fill in an E-mail form to request

information, but "people don’t like that," Hutchins says.

The big, blank space stops them cold. "They prefer a form,"

he says. "People like to be prompted, to be told what to do."

There is a tendency for website owners to think "`I’m not really

asking that much. Just write an E-mail,’" Hutchins says. But this

approach can be fatal. "The easier you make it," he says.

"The more response you’ll get."

Create reasonable expectations for your website.

"Expectations

for a website tend to be too high or too low," Hutchins says.

Some new website owners put the things up just because they are

embarrassed

when clients ask for their company’s web address, and they don’t have

one. They tend to expect little or nothing from the website. Others

expect the Internet presence to create a windfall.

A better approach is to consider a website to be a part of a total

marketing plan and to measure how well it is doing in relation to

other tools. It is now possible to determine how many users visit

a site, where they clicked to get there, what they do on the site,

how often they return, and whether they make a purchase or abandon

a full shopping cart.

Use these tools continually to evaluate how the website is doing,

and to guide adjustments. "If you have a new product, but no one

is looking at it," he says, "move it up to where it will get

attention." And if you are paying for a banner ad on another site,

but few visitors are clicking over to you from that site, consider

dropping the ad.

Simplify to get more traffic. The best websites are clear,

concise, and streamlined. The same qualities that make these websites

easy to navigate secures them high search engine rankings.

"Writing

for search engines is the same as writing for people," Hutchins

says. Most surfers type in a company name, perhaps Discount Realty,

or the name of a service and some geographical markers, something

like Princeton, New Jersey, real estate. If neither of these search

queries brings up Discount Realty’s site, the company has wasted its

website development dollars, says Hutchins. The best way to avoid

Internet anonymity, he says, is simply to put the company name in

the website’s title line and to add a description of what the company

does. In the case of TaylorsTreasures this meant adding the words

"sensitive skin" to the title line. "

Some search engines go beyond the home page in figuring out what a

website is all about, but many more just stop there. This makes that

page critically important. The key words used on the home page must

reinforce what the company does, and thereby earn the site a higher

search engine ranking.

Paying for placement is one way to get to the top of the pile, but

paid listings often appear off to the side, or in a tint box, while

many surfers look only at listings in the main section of the search

results page. So, even with paid listings becoming more prevalent,

it is important to have a website that will secure high placement

in unpaid listings.

Link with your friends. While most visitors will arrive

at your website through search engines, others can be brought from

links on other sites. Exchanging links with other sites is an

excellent

way to build traffic, Hutchins says. Sites that sell products should

have links from the companies that manufacture those products. Sites

belonging to accountants or architects can have links from their

professional

associations.

"I could exchange links with a networking company," Hutchins

says. "We’re in the same industry, but we don’t compete."

Breaking a "real world" taboo, Hutchins says even competitors

may benefit from linking to each other.

Again, the goal is to get results from the website. That, says

Hutchins, must be the guiding principle behind every decision relating

to an Internet presence. "People don’t go on your site to see

that cute animation," he says. "You need to keep in mind what

they’re there for, what you want to get across. It has to be fast,

and it has to be flawless."

Top Of Page
Key Issues in Planned Giving

The Gift Planning Council of New Jersey — of which

the Princeton Area Planned Giving Council is a part — celebrates

its 10th anniversary this year. The organization was started by a

small group of planned-giving professionals and attorneys and now

has a membership of 157. Members are employed by universities, arts

and social service organizations, hospitals, law firms, and financial

institutions.

On Thursday, April 18, at 8 a.m. the council holds its seventh annual

Conference on Gift Planning at the Merrill Lynch Conference and

Training

Center. Cost: $225. Call 609-585-6871.

The keynote speaker, Scott Blakesley, is a partner in Kansas

City law firm Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin and is past president

of the National Committee on Planned Giving. He speaks on "Ethics

in Gift Planning: When Do We Cross the Line?" His talk looks at

considering more than the results — getting a big gift,

accomplishing

the best deal for clients and charities, and keeping the tax liability

as low as possible. In achieving these results, Blakesley says, there

is a delicate balance between providing a benefit to charity and

achieving

personal tax and financial benefits for the donor. He explores at

which point the line into the realm of improper methods to achieve

this result is crossed.

After the keynote speech, there are several workshops in two tracks,

basic and advanced. Among the speakers addressing the advanced track

are Martyn Babitz, vice president and senior estate planner

in the Wealth Management and Planning Group for PNC Advisors, who

speaks on "The IRS & Liquidity: A Charitable Solution to a Taxing

Problem;" Jack Miesowitz, attorney with Summit firm Albano

& Keough, who speaks on charitable bequests; and Lorraine

Sciarra,

who poses the question, "Planned Giving Officer or Attorney?"

Among the speakers on the basic track are Lynn Malzone Ierardi,

president of the Gift Planning Council of New Jersey, who speaks on

"Gift Planning on a Shoestring Budget;" Robert Novy,

who provides legal services to the Ocean County Office on Aging, and

speaks on "Smart Financial, Estate, and Gift Planning

Strategies;"

and Richard Slutzky, vice president and senior philanthropic

consultant for the Merrill Lynch Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit

Management, who examines "The Nuts and Bolts of Charitable Gift

Annuities and Pooled Income Funds."

Top Of Page
Negotiating: The Power of Nice

<d>Ron Shapiro is a baseball attorney and agent,

and an authority on negotiation and conflict resolution. He has

represented

such stars as Cal Ripken Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, and Kirby

Puckett. Shapiro is also a corporate trainer, motivational speaker,

and founder of Maryland-based Shapiro Negotiations

(www.shapironegotiations.com).

In his book, The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate so Everyone Wins

— Especially You, he puts forward the idea that muscling the

opposition

rarely results in long-term wins. Shapiro gives a seminar on Thursday,

April 18, at 8:30 a.m. at the Doral Forrestal. Cost: $495. Call

800-665-4764.

In winning negotiations, says Shapiro, building genuine relationships

are key. He explores the topic in this excerpt from his book:

Every negotiation takes place in an environment. That

doesn’t just mean the physical setting, the conference room, or the

office. It means the feelings, sensitivities, tensions, fears, and

hopes that comprise the atmosphere of the negotiation. They make up

the environment as much, or more so, than the four walls, table, and

chairs. Bonding — finding what you have in common with the other

party, rather than where you’re at odds — can create a more

positive

negotiating environment.

Just as negotiation is a process, not an event, so is bonding. Bonds

are built. You find a link that leads to conversation, that leads

to another link. Pretty soon, you have a chain that stretches from

one party to the other, like a bridge. The more you travel it, the

more familiar you become. After enough travel, you don’t just have

a bond, you have a shared set of experiences — a relationship.

When you reach an impasse with someone you don’t like or simply don’t

know, you’re more likely to let the impasse stand. When the same

situation

occurs with someone whom you’ve come to know, understand, and even

like, you’re going to look for ways to get past the deadlock. It’s

just human nature. A good negotiating environment can carry you past

bad negotiating moments.

The value of relationships is immeasurable. Ask a manufacturer who’s

been under the gun to deliver and who called on the supplier they

can always count on. Ask the giant developer who gets three bids on

every set of drawings but one bid is always from the builder that

took a chance on his company when it was starting up.

Relationships can accomplish what acquaintances can’t. Relationships

make for not just one deal, but deals that lead to deals, repeated

deals, sub-deals, off-shoot deals, renewing deals. Why make a deal

when you can make several?

The meet-and-bond style. The opposite of the hit-and-run

style is meet-and-bond. When you encounter the party with whom you’ll

be negotiating, purposely search for things you may have in common,

shared interests. After all, you already have a pretty good idea of

where the two of you will be opposed. Whatever your asking price,

they’re likely to want a lower one. If you want cash terms, chances

are good, they’ll want to stretch out the payments. The deal itself

is bound to be full of push and pull. To minimize animosity and to

appreciate each of your points of view, it helps to see each other

as people, not just positions.

Bonding is finding links between two parties. The link may be

familial,

social, business, political, or recreational. It’s anything you and

the other person share, from the most common such as both having young

children, to the most specific, such as being collectors of vintage

French wines. The bonds you discover may have to do with the deal

directly, indirectly, or seemingly, not at all. Both of you may have

been charged by your respective CEOs to come back with deals that

will impress the board of directors, not cost much, have low risk,

and high return — all goals in which you can sympathize with each

other’s pressures. The bond may appear to have nothing to do with

the deal and yet everything to do with getting it done. Perhaps you

both do have young children and you’ve both promised your families

a vacation if you can get the deal done by spring break. In either

case, if you don’t bond, you’ll never know.

Gathering information. Before you actually meet with the

other side, look back at the research you did on them. Chances are,

within that data are clues about the background, interests, and habits

of the person or people you’re facing. Chances are, you have something

in common.

Observation. Bonding clues will be all around you. If

you meet in the other side’s office, look at what’s on the desk,

floor,

and walls: vacation pictures, inspirational quotations, those

yarn-wrapped

pencil holders made by a kid in arts and crafts, running shoes tucked

under a credenza, a paperweight made from a sailboat pulley, college

degrees, honorary certificates, fraternity mugs, celebrity photos,

family pictures, a doubles team trophy.

Talk. Ask questions. Make the first gesture. Bonding is

the difference between "Hello, here are my five key issues. What

are yours?" and "Hi. Judging by your tan line that ends where

a glove would go, I’d say you’re a golfer. Me, too."

Use the cues and clues you observe to start the conversation that

creates bonds:

"I have a pencil holder like that only mine is in green and orange

yarn. How old is your artist?"

"What island are you on in this photo? I’m looking for a getaway

this winter."

Lasting bonds. Once you make the gesture of building the

bond, it’s likely to build on itself. Ask about a vacation, a child,

a college, or a hobby, and you’ll get a response. You’re asking them

to tell you about something they like. If you have similar interests,

you two may not be arch rivals after all. You may be two people who

could be friends and happen to have a job to do. You now have

something

negotiators need but rarely recognize, empathy.

It’s easier for strangers to practice win-lose negotiation. Once

you’ve

bonded, you have a better chance to achieve WIN-win results. Here’s

a bond I built at the 11th hour, just in time to turn the deal around.

School ties. I had been working long and hard on a deal

to get multimillion dollar funding for a biotech project. We had found

our investor. We had a commitment for the money. We had gotten to

the last step, drafting of the contract. At that point, the chairman

of the board of the investing company told me to deal directly with

their lawyer. "You’re a lawyer. He’s a lawyer. You two get it

done:"

It sounded good to me. After all, the hard part was done. We had the

funding committed. Then I got the first draft of the contract. It

was 95 pages. I got on the phone with the lawyer. We talked about

the preambles for almost three hours. That was not the first real

page of substance, just the "whereas" clauses that precede

the substance. He was rock-hard, immovable, and anything but human.

Three hours later, I knew his position. He knew ours. We had gotten

nowhere.

I hung up and sat there thinking. I have to find a way to bond with

this guy. If there’s a way. There’s bound to be a way. Maybe not this

time. Everybody has something. Maybe not this guy.

We had another telephone call scheduled for the next day. Instead,

I got up early and drove two hours to Philadelphia to meet with him

face to face. I figured, if we’re going to bond, we’re going to do

it in person.

I walked into his office and it was as if the connection between us

jumped off his wall. There was a framed diploma from a small, Eastern

college. It just so happened to be the same small, Eastern college

from which I had graduated. I said, "You went to Haverford?"

He said, "Yes, I did. Where did you go to school?" I said,

"Haverford." There we were, two Haverford grads. We’d had

nothing in common the day before and today we had four years in

common.

We finished the negotiation in less than a week. Bonding didn’t change

the basic issues. It changed the tone with which we approached the

issues.

Rebonding. Bonds are like muscles. If you don’t keep them

active, they weaken. Often people do a great job of bonding right

up to the time they close the deal. Once the deal is done and the

check has cleared, many people forget the power of bonding. Several

years later, when it’s time to renew the contract, the customer can’t

tell the incumbent vendor from the rest of the competition. Bonding

was allowed to disintegrate — relationship was not established.

Even long-term relationships need to rebond from time to time.

Remember,

"It’s not the sale, it’s the relationship that counts." We

make it a practice to keep track of the people with whom we negotiate

during the times when we aren’t negotiating. A phone call to say,

hello. A holiday card. A congratulations on a promotion. There are

countless, simple and sincere ways to bond once the relationship has

been established.

When negotiations break down, or appear that they might, look for

opportunities to rebond. Get away from the negotiation table. Bring

in new parties, spouses, other partners, people who share personal

interests, not just business interests. Of course, the best approach

is to keep bonds active and they will always be strong when you need

them most.

Top Of Page
Mercer & Phoenix

Mercer County Community College may now transfer the

maximum number of credits to pursue a degree at the University of

Phoenix, which has extensive online enrollment. Online or in its 110

campuses or learning centers, Phoenix has more than 110,000 students

in undergraduate or graduate programs in business, management,

technology,

education, and nursing. Students must be working adults at least 23

years old, and the average age is 34.

When second-year Mercer students pre-apply to a baccalaureate program

at Phoenix University, they can tap its online library and proficiency

assessment system. They will also be eligible for scholarships. Call

609-586-4800 or visit www.phoenix.edu.


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