Eliminate these behaviors to improve sales

It's important to eliminate any reluctance your sales team has to reach out to prospects over the phone, especially when it seems like deals have stalled, writes Mareo McCracken. Also, the mistaken belief that simply having a good product will lead customers to buy must be discarded, because even top products must be connected to the needs of your customers.

Mich. 4th-graders get inventive in language arts

A Michigan school district has implemented the elementary curriculum Core Knowledge Language Arts that embeds literacy lessons into science and social studies subjects. In one recent lesson, fourth-graders became inventors as they designed and built models, and made presentations of trash-removal machines.

Goldman expects increase in cost of servicing US debt

Goldman Sachs analysts expect the cost of servicing US debt to surge because of higher bond yields and increased borrowing amid a growing economy. "In the past, as the economy strengthens and the debt burden increases, Congress has responded by raising taxes and cutting spending," the analysts wrote, noting the opposite is true.

Gelson's to reopen 3 remodeled Calif. stores

Gelson's is reopening three remodeled stores in the Southern California market this month, two of which boast smaller footprints. "We want Gelson's to be a unique place where people can try exciting food concepts, have a drink in a social setting, and feel like a new culinary discovery is just around every corner," said Gelson's President and CEO Rob McDougall.

Study: Exercise may protect brain from effects of stress

Some types of exercise, including running, could protect the brain and reduce the effects that chronic stress can have on memory, according to a study in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. The study in mice found exercise improved long-term potentiation, or the formation and strengthening of synapses, which is tied to memory formation.

Most loved brands: Perdue Chicken wins social, Disney World wins offline

Perdue Chicken, CVS and Hampton Inn are the top three most loved brands on social, and Walt Disney World, Wegmans and Febreze are the most loved among people having conversations in the real world, per Engagement Labs. The study tracked four brand performance drivers -- brand sharing, the volume of conversations, positive sentiment and influence.

J.Crew picks Starbucks tech exec as experience chief
Recode

J.Crew has hired Starbucks executive Adam Brotman as its new president and chief experience officer. Brotman has spent nine years at Starbucks, and as chief digital officer, he led the tech teams that developed the coffee chain's mobile ordering and payment capabilities.

Alexa to take center stage during New York Toy Fair
CNET

The New York Toy Fair is expected to feature Amazon Alexa-enabled devices such as Mattel's "Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment." Mattel Chief Technology Officer Sven Gerjets believes voice-assisted technology is the future of toys, saying, "We know that more than one in five parents of connected children own a voice-controlled internet-connected smart speaker. Nearly all parents who have a smart speaker feel comfortable with their child using it."

Federal judge reverses $2.54B patent verdict for Gilead's hepatitis C drugs
CNBC

Gilead has won a reversal on a ruling for its patent suit with Merck regarding its hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni after US District Judge Leonard Stark of Delaware decided Merck's patent was invalid and didn't fulfill a requirement disclosing how the treatment can be made without undue experimentation. Stark's ruling overturned a jury verdict that had required Gilead Sciences to pay Merck a record $2.54 billion for the patent infringement.

Comcast to test wireless services on 3.5 GHz band

Comcast will be testing fixed and mobile wireless services using the 3.5 GHz CBRS band in Philadelphia, the home of its headquarters. The company will use three types of radio transmitters and three types of mobile devices and handsets during the trials.

Disaster-mitigation funds available for Texas communities hit by Harvey

Texas expects to get more than $1 billion in disaster-mitigation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency by the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, and $500 million is ready to be disbursed, Gov. Greg Abbott said. Harvey dropped more than 60 inches of rain in parts of southeast Texas after making landfall in August.

Rooftop solar could provide nearly 40% of US needs

If solar panels were added to every viable rooftop in the US, including homes, it would cover 8 billion square meters and produce 1400 terawatt hours of electricity annually, accounting for about 40% of the country's electricity needs, according to a study from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. California, the study shows, could meet 74% of its electric power needs under this scenario.

JetBlue offers complimentary airfare for school shooting victims' families

JetBlue Airways is offering free airfare and ground transportation to families of the victims of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Fla. "This week's events are felt by all of our 21,000 crewmembers, many of whom live in, work from and travel through the Broward County area, home to our Focus City, Fort Lauderdale," the carrier said.

Detroit sees wave of hotel development
Curbed

Siren Hotel, the Shinola Hotel and the Element Detroit Hotel are all slated to open in Detroit this year. A new project near Little Caesars Arena would bring 100 rooms to an eight-story building in the city's Cass Corridor.