PROSPERITY: Sales & Marketing Skills
self help books & direct sales tools for Getting your Customers:
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How do you get your Customers?
Of the many things you can use to develop a solid customer base, the most important thing is to find out everything you can LEARN about the best sales techniques the methodology available to you including direct sales tips for Network Marketing Consultants and marketing network selling secrets, free self help books and free advice about network marketing tools and training for direct sales.
Grow Your Sales Through the Power of Systems by Joe Gracia
This concept of systems is so powerful that it could have an immediate and profound effect on your thinking and your sales and profits.
You’re probably familiar with the word system, as in the solar system, or circulation system. You may even have a general idea of what a system is.
But today we’re going to give you a much better understanding of what a system is and how you can begin using the power of systems in your business.
Let’s begin with my definition of a system:
‘A system is a specific sequence of steps designed to achieve a specific result.’
If we break down this definition we learn that…
— a system is made up of steps
— the steps are in a specific sequence or order
— and every system is designed to produce something
Everything you do is a system.
Based on this definition, everything — absolutely everything that you do — is a system.
If you’re not making the kind of money you want to with your business, the problem is always with the systems you are using. Sometimes just changing one or two steps in a system can turn failure into overwhelming success.
Think of the specific sequence of steps you perform to tie your shoes — that’s your shoe-tying system.
The specific steps you use to start your car make up your car-starting system. Can you imagine performing those steps out of sequence?
All the machines, devices and tools you use each day are made up of systems, each designed to produce a specific result.
By now you’re probably thinking, ‘So what does this system stuff have to do with making more money in my business?’
Whether you are aware of it or not, you already have a system for doing everything in your business.
You are using systems to attract possible customers to your business, and you use systems in your attempts to convert them into paying customers.
You also have systems to create your products or perform your services.
You have systems to hire and train your employees, and you have systems for paying your vendors.
The list of systems that you and your staff members perform to keep your business running is nearly endless.
By simply improving your systems you could be making 3-5 times your current results
Here’s a profound insight. Just because you are performing a system within your business, doesn’t mean that it is an effective or profitable system. In fact, there’s a good chance that many of your systems are ineffective and unprofitable. They actually lose you money.
When we were consulting with small business owners, we would review the systems our clients were currently using and determine if they were producing the results our clients desired. If they weren’t, then we helped them develop new, improved systems that would.
Very often the new systems could produce 3-5 times the results that the old, ineffective systems produced.
You can do the same thing in your business, and make an immediate and significant impact on your sales and bottom line.
Here are a few examples:
Bill, the owner of a retail business, wanted to sell more gift certificates during the holiday season. Every year he would put up a small sign behind his cashiers that said, ‘Gift Certificates for Sale.’
That was his ‘system’ for selling Gift Certificates. I’m sure you’ve seen this same system in many businesses that you frequent. It’s one of the primary systems small business owners use to sell Gift Certificates for their products and services. It’s also one of the most ineffective, profit-losing systems for selling gift certificates.
Just because everyone is using the same system doesn’t mean that it is a good system. Bad systems get passed on more frequently than good systems.
We told Bill to take down his sign, and showed him how to improve his system so that it would produce the results he wanted — increased gift certificate sales.
Since Bill had the type of business where his customers had to wait for their order to be prepared after placing it, we knew that they would have a few minutes to look over a special offer if presented to them in the right way.
A simple system for increasing sales
We had Bill’s cashiers hand every customer a small coupon with their receipt. The coupon said, ‘Gift Certificate Special — Buy Ten $1.00 Gift Certificates and Get One Free.’
We had the cashiers say to the customers as they handed them the coupon, ‘Here’s a special offer we have on our Gift Certificates today.’
Whereas most of Bill’s customers had never even seen his small sign on the wall for his Gift Certificates with his old system, now all of his customers became instantly aware that he had Gift Certificates for sale — and they also knew that he was offering them a special deal.
Now his customers had a decision to make, accept the offer or not accept it. So many people accepted the offer that he increased his Gift Certificate sales by over 400% that first season, and he has continued to use the same improved system every year since.
One system produced a trickle of results, while another system produced a flood.
To increase your sales all you have to do is look at the systems you are currently using to generate your sales and ask yourself if you are happy with the results.
If you would like to get more results from your systems, then you can’t continue using the same systems you’ve been using. If you try, you will continue to get the same results.
There is only one way to change your results — you have to change your systems.
Here’s another example.
Jim was the owner of a computer consulting business. He had a pretty good system for attracting prospects, and he did a good job of explaining his various services, but he converted far too few of his prospects into paying customers.
Jim’s problem was his conversion system. His system was to hand his prospects his business card and tell them to ‘Call me whenever you have a problem.’ Then he just waited.
That’s called a ‘passive system,’ and it’s a horrible system for generating sales. Most people are procrastinators — they put things off. Even if they need your product or service, very often they won’t call. People also lose things, like business cards and phone numbers.
Using a passive system like this almost always results in low or no sales, but it’s the system many business owners use.
The solution to Jim’s system problem was simple, just improve his conversion system.
We taught Jim that if his prospects didn’t have an immediate and pressing need for his services, that they would quickly forget about him. That’s just human nature.
If he wanted to stay uppermost in their minds so that they would remember him when they had a problem he would have to change his system to ensure that happened.
We had Jim create a simple, one-page ‘computer tips,’ newsletter that contained easy-to-follow tips that his prospects would find helpful. We suggested that Jim send a new tips newsletter to his prospects every few months.
This new system would ensure that his prospects would never forget Jim and his computer service.
We went one step further and had Jim list two or three of his services on the back of the newsletter along with special discount offers on the services and a deadline for responding. The special offers and deadlines for responding gave his prospects a reason to consider and decide if they wanted to take Jim up on his offers.
Jim was thrilled with this new system because it began producing results immediately. After sending out his first newsletter, he received three calls from prospects who became paying clients.
It’s actually very easy to improve your sales results when you understand the concept of improving your systems.
Instead of hoping or wishing for more sales, you can actually get more sales by simply using a more effective system that has been proven to work.
We’ve been teaching small business owners how to use the most effective systems for growing their sales for more than 14 years. The step-by-step systems we spell out for you in our Give to Get Marketing course have been proven to work again and again.
Until next time, we wish you the very best marketing success!
Joe Gracia Give to Get Marketing 611 Arlington Way Watertown, WI 53094
(c) Copyright 2005 – Joe Gracia – Give to Get Marketing Get a free Marketing Idea-Kit plus hundreds of marketing tips, articles and real world case studies at Joe Gracia’s Give to Get Marketing Web site. http://www.givetogetmarketing.com
45 Ideas to Promote Your Business
1. Advertise in the classified advertising section of your community newspaper.
2. Advertise in the Yellow Pages.
3. Advertise on a grocery buggy.
4. Approach your prospective customers over the phone.
5. Approach your prospective customers in person.
6. Approach your prospective customers through the mail.
7. Be a guest speaker at seminars and present on your area of expertise.
8. Be a guest speaker on radio talk shows.
9. Build and maintain a customer mailing and contact list on database software.
10. Build your image with well designed letterhead and business cards.
11. Design a brochure that best explains the benefits of your services.
12. Design a mail order campaign.
13. Design a point of purchase display for your product.
14. Design a telemarketing campaign.
15. Design an image building logo for your company.
16. Design and distribute a quarterly newsletter or an industry update announcement.
17. Design and distribute company calendars, mugs, pens, note pads, or other advertising specialties displaying your company name and logo.
18. Design and distribute a free “how to do it” hand-out related to your industry (e.g. Tips for conserving energy in your home).
19. Design buttons, decals and bumper stickers or balloons with your company name, logo or slogan.
20. Design T-shirts displaying your company name and logo.
21. Explore cross promotion with a non-competing company selling to your target market.
22. Explore the costs of advertising in newspapers, magazines, on radio, television, billboards, bus shelters and benches.
23. Explore ways to share your advertising costs using cooperative advertising.
24. Follow up customer purchases with a thank you letter.
25. Follow up customer purchases with Christmas or birthday cards.
26. Have your company profiled in a magazine or newspaper that is read by prospective customers.
27. Hire an advertising agency or public relations firm.
28. Hold a promotional contest.
29. Hold a seminar on your service, product or industry.
30. Include promotional material with your invoices.
31. Look for prospective customers at trade shows related to your industry.
32. Look for prospective customers in associations related to your industry.
33. Look for prospective customers at seminars related to your industry.
34. Look for prospective customers in magazines and newspapers related to your industry.
35. Package your brochure, price lists and letter in a folder for your customers.
36. Place a sidewalk sign outside your store or office.
37. Place flyers on bulletin boards and car windshields.
38. Place promotional notes on your envelopes, mailing labels.
39. Place signs or paint logos on your company vehicle(s).
40. Prepare a corporate video.
41. Prepare a list of product features and benefits to help you plan your advertising and promotional campaigns.
42. Prepare proposals offering solutions to your customers’ needs
43. Provide free samples of your product or service.
44. Provide public tours of your operation.
45. Sponsor a charity event.
Self help resources for salespeople on how to Get Customers and Develop top SALES SKILLS
Ten Things to Say or Do When a Prospective Customer Says No
Clarify the No.
“Is that no right now, no forever, or no I don’t like you?”
Identify the No.
“Most people say no to this product/service at first. Would you tell me which part you are saying no to?”
Accept the No.
“I understand completely. It worth thinking about first.”
“I accept your No, Bob. But can we discuss it/keep talking about you?”
Ask a thinking question.
“Would you tell me where you want to be financially in 10 years, Bob?”
Ask an empathy question.
“Is it the price, Bob?
Ask a trick question.
“If I can completely resolve your concerns about this product/service, would you be inclined to buy?”
Ask for permission to ask again.
“OK, Bob, I hear you. Will you give me the option of letting you know of any news regarding this product/service over the course of the next 12 months?”
Get some other energy in there.
“Bob, would you find it helpful if I asked a happy customer of mine call you this week to share THEIR experience of this product/service? They won’t sell you; but you can ask any question of him/her.
Get permission to keep in touch.
May I send you my quarterly newsletter for a year?
Nine Ways to get free PR/media coverage for yourself or your business
I learned the following during a recent media blitz for BizMove.com. We had over 100 media placements in 11 months.
Send out 1,000 press releases and/or press kits to everybody.
Include a great portrait photo and/or action shot of your product or service. PROVE that it’s legitimate as best you can. The media WILL cover stuff as long as they aren’t afraid it will come back to make THEM look bad.
Focus on the benefits, novelty-ness, timeliness, newsworthiness of your product or service.
Don’t try to sell it! Tell it, instead. Stand in the shoes of the jaded/suspicious/bored person reading your press release/press kit and ask yourself how you can make THIS appealing to THEM! Give it a twist.
Create a STORY around your product or service.
Did you lose your shirt at something, but then CAME BACK to make a lot of money? (turnaround…) Did you start to create one product, but ended up with another? (fate/chance…)
Link your product or service to something else that IS newsworthy.
For example, if the trend is entrepreneur ism/home based offices, what do YOU have or do that supports folks doing this?
Link your product to the Web/Internet. Creating an online product/service, take an existing profession and make it cyber-oriented one, etc.
Create controversy.Sue somebody. Get sued by somebody. Challenge someone well known.Go against the status quo; David vs Goliath, etc. Add your two cents worth to an existing controversy. Make fun of an institution/spoof them. Call a press conference.
Give an award or give something away.If you don’t have the credibility needed, create an “institution/organization” that will get it for you. Or give $1,000 to the local NEEDY/DESPERATE charity, etc. Give SOMETHING interesting away to a group that is INTERESTING.
Issue a report or survey or index/measure.These work. And as an unusual example, create a HIGHLY VALUABLE measure of the human condition, like the Happiness Index or the Misery Index or SOMETHING that tells us more about ourselves in a surprising way. The nice thing about a survey/report/annual pool is that you’ll likely get lots of coverage out of it, perhaps even long term if it’s annual.
Help the reporters do their job.
Return their calls within an hour. Have background info on you or your firm available for faxing. Answer their questions; don’t try to convince them of anything. Be gracious but not too friendly. Always know the 3 major points that you want to get across and find a way to weave these in AS YOU ANSWER THEIR questions.
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Self help resources for how to Get Customers and Develop top SALES SKILLS
Ten Strategies To Increase Your Sales
When potential customers are shopping around, how can your products or services stand out? Try these 10 tips to increase your sales.
Begin by differentiating your services or products by who you and your company are. What differentiates you? More training, more experience, better methods, a better team? Come up with your key points.
If people can buy a similar product or service for less, be ready to overcome that obstacle.
Agree with the potential customer that they can buy for less but show them that they may be comparing apples to oranges.
Sell based on value. Describe what they will get from your product or service.
Stress the quality of your product or service.
Point out what you are providing for the same investment as the competitor.
Talk about dependability. How long have you been in business? What's your experience or background? How about testimonials and benefits?
Have some advantages that differentiate you. What can you provide that others don't? Come up with something special or exclusive. Ask your customers what they might suggest.
Give outstanding follow-up services. Frequently, customers complain that after the sale, there is no follow-up. Differentiate yourself by providing a unique follow-up service. That alone will be a refreshing change for customers!
Offer a money back guarantee. Great point for differentiation.
Take credit cards if most of your competitors don't.
Target a niche that your competitor doesn't sell to.
Want to be different - just sell to people that no one else has marketed to... it takes a bit of research but can really pay off
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