Monthly Archives: December 2013

4 Ways on How to be a Great Persuader

Every marketer finds it really challenging to find ways on how to effectively persuade people to try out his product, especially if what he is launching is something new. Indeed, effective persuasion is something that every marketer should learn to succeed in grabbing a share in the niche market. Now, how do you effectively persuade people?  You may persuade people in a gentle, unconscious manner. With this type of persuasion, you don’t need any other tactics. However, there comes a time when more aggressive persuasion is needed. Here are proven and tested tips for effective persuasion:

Traveling Salesman

Traveling Salesman (Photo credit: John Fraissinet)

1. Establish credibility

Credibility comes from two sources: expertise and relationship. Your credibility as an expert comes from other people’s perception that you will make an effective decision-maker or something is excellent about the product or service that you are offering. Relationship credibility meanwhile takes time to happen. When people feel that an individual listens, comprehends and works in the best interest of the team and team members then trust develops. In addition to trustworthiness, integrity, honesty and fairness are also important factors–no easy skill set in today’s very competitive environment.

2. Frame goals for common ground

Effective persuaders are good at framing their positions to others in a positive way. Another important aspect of goal-framing is to know your audience. Senior managers think differently than plant workers. Framing comes from effectively thinking through viable arguments, points and counterpoints; listening to identify the hot buttons of others; and presenting a thoughtful and cogent view of the issue.

3. Provide compelling evidence

Once credibility is established and a common frame is identified, persuasion becomes a matter of presenting all the evidence effectively so the audience can understand it. The effective use of language is essential in presenting anything, especially when trying to persuade others. Stories, data, examples, metaphors and analogies are all strong uses of language to persuade people.

4. Connect emotionally with the audience

Connecting emotionally with the audience is pretty complicated. You have to show passion without really making it too obvious. Make sure to tone down your mannerisms and make your emotions consistent with the product or service that you are trying to sell, or the idea that you are trying to espouse. Banging on the table, for example, may not be appropriate on certain instances. Gentle whispers won’t be that fruitful as well. Look for the suitable emotional match and you’ll eventually realize that you have successful persuade your audience.

It’s a tough job when your work involves persuading people to try out what you are selling. But it’s all worth it when you have eventually succeeded in grabbing their attention and in gaining their trust and confidence.

Author’s Bio:Manilyn Moreno is a freelance writer and online marketing manager for a catering software company. On her free time, she loves baking, cooking, and traveling.

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Talent Search: Five Ways to Recognise a Superior Salesman

Not everyone has what it takes to succeed in the world of sales. For every person who can make a thousand-pound sale in one phone call, there are several people who struggle to connect with customers. Learning the five things you should look for in a salesperson will help you find the right man or woman for the job.

Tenacity

A good salesperson is someone who is tenacious and has a never-give-up attitude. When that person hears someone say no, the individual steps things up and does whatever it takes to make a sale. This might involve offering a larger discount, showcasing the benefits of one product over another, or calling that client back on a regular basis until the customer agrees to buy.

Friendly

People who are naturally friendly succeed in the retail and sales worlds more often than those who are cold or a little withdrawn. Customers want salespeople who can walk a thin line between being friendly and being a little too personable. This approach does not work for all customers, but is wonderful for many others. The salesperson has to be able to give the customer a feeling of camaraderie in a short span of time.

Outgoing

The sales world is a field dominated by extroverted and outgoing people, and there is no room in that world for introverts. No one can expect to make a sale without having an outgoing personality. These are the people who can make clients instantly feel comfortable. They can make small talk, remember names, make jokes, and make customers want to buy. Their comfort creates the client’s comfort, and thus they are much more likely to buy. They are also able to ask the questions that other people may shy from without a hitch in their step.

Self-Starter

Self-starters are the people who can make decisions on their own and work away from the office. They do not need someone standing beside them or holding their hand, and they can work in an office setting or on the go. Finding these salespeople isn’t always easy, but you can use job sites to find the right applicants. Sales Vacancies and similar sites let you search job postings and find qualified people looking for jobs when you post a listing.

Disciplined

According to Lawrence Watkins, discipline is one of the most important skills necessary in a qualified salesperson. Watkins points out that those with discipline have the ability to follow through and make sales after others would give up. It might take twelve cold calls before finding a sale, or it might take a dozen calls before a client agrees to buy, but a disciplined worker will stick with it.

The best salespeople have a variety of skills and traits at their disposal. They never give up, they follow through with clients, and they can work in a variety of different settings. Use this list to narrow your search.

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A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with her here. If you need professional training resources and staffing help for sales positions, Anica recommends you check out Sales Vacancies.

 

 

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Six Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Direct Sales Business

If you believe in your product and are willing to work hard to promote it, starting a direct sales business can be a great way to turn your passion into a profit. While direct sales has relatively low start-up costs compared to other businesses, there are a few important things you need to consider besides your initial budget to become financially successful in the long run. From assessing ongoing costs to creating your work schedule, planning how your direct sales business will work on a daily basis can help you decide if starting it is the right decision for you.

1. Will YSix Thingsour Product Sell?

You might love the product you want to promote, but will other people feel the same way? Remember to always be honest about the product’s drawbacks. Looking at the pros and cons objectively will help you decide if this product is worth your time and money.

2. Can You Afford Ongoing Expenses?

Gasoline, phone, Internet, printing toner, business cards and graphic design services are just a few examples of bills you might need to keep up with on a monthly basis. If you’re joining an existing direct sales business, rather than starting your own, you might not have as many of these expenses. The key is to make a budget and plan for any spending accordingly.

3. Do You Have the Space?

If you’re like many newcomers to the direct sales industry, you’re probably planning to start your new business out of your home. To make sure that you’re ready for growth in the future, it’s important to start thinking about it now. You’ll probably need to have a certain amount of inventory on hand so that you can easily fulfill orders for your customers. If you don’t have a big enough home to store your inventory and supplies, you’ll probably want to consider looking at local storage facilities like Extra Space Storage so that you don’t crowd your home with merchandise.

4. Are You Outgoing?

Running a direct sales business involves approaching strangers with a marketing pitch, it’s not the best field for people who are shy or who prefer to be alone. Before you invest your money and your life into this business, make sure you can handle it. If you have a friend in the business, try going out on sales calls with him to see if you are comfortable with this type of career.

5. Will You Make Enough Money?

Figure out what your profit margin will be if everything goes as expected to decide if the return on your investment is high enough to cover your time and expenses. Make sure you have a back-up plan. Direct sales can vary greatly from person to person. You could be selling the same product as another person and make double or triple what they bring in, or you could flop. It’s best to plan for each scenario and have a strategy.

6. Are You Willing to Recruit Others?

Since every entrepreneur’s goal is to build a successful business, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to handle rapid expansion if it happens. In many direct sales industries, the more people you recruit, the more money you bring in and more successfully you become. Are you comfortable talking to customers and friends about joining your ranks?

After considering the above questions and deciding to move forward with your business, you’ll want to document it with a business plan. Separate it into financial information, marketing ideas and future goals. When things get hectic, being able to refer back to an organized plan will help you stay on track. With the right tools and proper planning, you’re sure to be successful with your sales endeavors.

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Ad Avenues: Six Mediums for Marketing your Business

You’ve probably heard the adage, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” A metaphor describing the power of innovation, the phrase is misleading. Without good marketing efforts, innovation doesn’t lead to more sales. This is especially true in today’s society, where we are bombarded with advertising. Fortunately, there are tried and true, highly effective marketing mediums. These are our top six favorites.   Ad Avenues

Classic Internet Advertising

Who have you Googled today? Internet advertising gives you access to a huge audience of more than two billion global users. You have the luxury of being able to focus this audience by specific demographic characteristics. It’s super easy to track your metrics and can also be much cheaper than other forms of advertising. Here are the most popular forms:

  • Banners and Buttons
  • Search Engine and Directory Listings

Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is focused on developing long term relationship with customers, based on their preferences and individual needs. Remember, it costs you five times as much to develop new customers as it does to keep your old ones. People like to buy from who they know and trust. In order to sustain this relationship, you must have a quality, consistent product. Customers often won’t search the market if they know exactly what they will get from their current provider. Furthermore, to avoid losing any current customers, quickly resolve any complaints without hassle. Even if you lose a little money now by giving a refund or allowing a skipped payment, you make more in the long term by retaining that customer. Don’t let your pride chase away that person, even if they are in the wrong.

Social Networking Sites

Promoting and engaging your social networks is a critical part of marketing for many companies these days. Adding a staff member or two to develop and manage your social media accounts, with collaboration from your marketing team, is an extremely cheap way to advertise, with huge potential gains thanks to the vast memberships of these sites. If you go this route, however, you must make sure that whoever is in charge interacts with followers regularly, and only ever speaks positively and respectfully, no matter the circumstance. Such a direct connection with customers can be a two-edged sword, as daily updates can become daily PR headaches if you have the wrong person at the helm.

Direct Response Mail

Direct response continues to be a great way to build new customers. Companies, such as Star Direct Mail, specialize in attention-grabbing brochures, flyers, and other promotions. Some of these companies also create individual marketing campaigns for you, as well as research your customer base demographics. Furthermore, direct mail marketing is a fairly cost-effective ways to promote your business, and usually companies will offer rush jobs if needed.

Content Marketing

Content marketing trades something of value, usually knowledge, for the possibility of gaining a new customer. Articles, blogs, videos, and podcasts are examples. The goal is to get people to spend 15 or 20 minutes with your promotional material, as opposed to five seconds reading an ad. Also there may be more types of content marketing than you realize. Content marketing is not simply writing up a review of your product. Oftentimes it actually involves offering high-quality information more broadly about a topic related to your business, and only casually discussing your brand or actual product. The selling point here is actually the ability of quality information to drive traffic to your website.

Guerrilla Advertising

Does ambushing customers when they least expect it work? Yes, if it is done well. IBM used guerrilla advertising in 2001 by painting “People love Linux” logos all over the sidewalks in Chicago and San Francisco. You also see this sometimes in commercials that don’t appear to have any relevance to the product being advertised. As a way to extend this marketing past the event itself, be sure to professionally record it and promote it on the internet.

Public Relations Marketing

Public relations marketing uses the power of third party credibility to spread a promotional message. It is seen most often in the form of press releases, news articles and online buzz. The success of Harry Potter and PSY’s Gangham Style can be largely attributed to this medium. The catch is that your content must be so good that it becomes contagious, spreading from one friend to another. The goal is to influence peoples feelings or opinion about what you are selling.

From our cell phones to our email, companies are constantly searching for the best ways to get exposure for their product. We look for innovative ways to do it better, faster and cheaper. Popular marketing mediums are popular for a reason–they work. Don’t be afraid to give them a whirl.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica is a full-time freelance writer. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. For wonderful direct mail advertising, be sure to check out Star Direct Mail, who also researches your target audience and designs marketing campaigns.

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Getting Over Being Shy

Have you ever thought about doing direct sales but feel that you are too shy to actually stand up in front of a group and do a presentation?  That is fine, being shy is allowed.  You may eventually learn to not be so shy but even if you stay shy, that is fine too.

Shyness

Shyness (Photo credit: susy ♥)

When I first started selling romance parties, I was shy.  But it wasn’t a problem.  I used cue cards to remind myself and I blushed, and that was fine.  There is nothing wrong with blushing or getting caught up on your words in the middle of the presentation.  The cue cards help you stay on schedule and say what you want to.  But do not write full sentences, just the highlights.  It’s important to get more comfortable with presentations.

You may want to consider practicing your presentation in front of a few friends or in front of a mirror.  If you really want to feel nervous, record yourself.  Most computers/cameras/phones have the ability to record.  The idea of doing this is not to critique your performance but for you to feel more comfortable.

One thing to consider when you are giving a presentation is that you are doing this for people who are either your friends, or for strangers.  Friends are not going to judge you, they want you to be successful and to succeed.  Strangers?  Well, if you screw up in front of them, its not a big deal.  You won’t have to see them again or at least, not for quite a while, when they have another event.

So if you look at it that way, there is no reason for you to be shy.  The strangers are there as they want to purchase something and have a good time, and the friends are there to help you out.  Its  a good situation for everyone involved.

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Evaluating 2013 and Planning for 2014

Another consideration this December while things are slow is how your year went and what you are hoping to get in 2014 with your direct sales business.

2013 Chiots Run Calendar

2013 Chiots Run Calendar (Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

Had you set goals for yourself and your business at the beginning of 2014?  If so, you should go find them and take a look again.  How have you done with them?  Have you accomplished everything you intended to do or did you fall short?

If you did not attain your goals, take a look at them and evaluate what happened to prevent it.  Are these still goals that you want to accomplish in 2014 or do you have other goals and plans for the new year?

Want to accomplish the goals in 2014 that you didn’t quite make in 2013?  Figure out what out happened in 2013 that you didn’t make them and set a plan to accomplish them in 2014.  Was it a lack of parties, did something else happen in life that you had to take time away from your business, or was it something else that prevented you from attaining your goals?

If you did accomplish what you wanted to in 2013, what are you going to do in 2014?  Do you want to increase your goals?  Or do you want to maintain what you did in 2013?  There is nothing that says you have to do more, heck, you can decide to do less in 2014.  It is all up to you and what you want from your business.

The biggest thing to remember when it comes to setting new goals or plans, is that they have to be measurable.  For instance, you cannot just say, I want to get recruits.  You need to say, I want to get 5 recruits this year or I want to recruit 3 more people than I did in 2013.  For sales, you could say that you want to do 20% more than you did last year or set a dollar value.  It is up to you.

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How to Market Your Product Using a Free Gift with Purchase Incentive

Getting customers to pay attention to your marketing message long enough to purchase your products is a constant struggle. Consumers are literally bombarded with numerous advertisements each day. In order to stand out in a crowded marketplace you should use proven strategies that work. Giving away free gifts is the quickest way to build momentum and boost sales of your products. There are several popular ways to set up a gift incentive program.   Free Gift

Gift Cards

Gift cards are extremely popular with consumers. People like them because the cards make perfect last minute gifts for friends and relatives. Some customers will choose to keep them for their own use. You decide the amount of monetary value to give to the card. It could be for $10, $25, $50 or $100. The value can be determined on factors such as how much more each customer will spend when using the card. Gift cards can be applied to specific items you wish to sell. For instance, customers can save money on a high-ticket item that costs over $500 by using their $100 gift card. You can also offer hidden gift cards with smaller values that the customer doesn’t know the value of until use. This way they may come in because they have a gift card, but you will still earn money from their purchase.

Gift Vouchers

Gift vouchers work in much the same way as gift cards. They are more flexible in that they can be used in various formats. Vouchers can be created as a printable certificate and handed to the customer. They can be automatically printed out on receipts. They can also be online vouchers that are applied to purchases during check out. Customers will hang on to their gift voucher and redeem it on their next visit to your shop. They are great for luring customers back to buy more. A good rule of thumb is to offer a product with purchase of another product. An example of this would be a salon that offers a voucher for a free eye brow waxing with a full cost haircut.

Promotional Items

All sorts of businesses use customized promotional items as free gifts. These fun and practical items are personalized with your company logo and message. Among the most popular giveaway items are buttons from custombuttonco.com , keychains and t-shirts. Customer love free gifts. Whenever they use these promotional items, other people will see your company name and they may be interested in learning more about what your business has to offer. Promotional gifts keep your business fresh in the minds of customers.

Reward Points

Consider rewarding your customers for their loyalty to your business. Set up a rewards program and invite your best customers to join. Each time customers buy certain items, they receive points. They can use these points towards purchasing special items or receive a discount.

Punch Cards

Give each of your customers a card. Have a certain number of products or services on the card and each time they come in sign off on one of the lines. After they have come in the designated number of times, give them a free product or a discounted product.

One of the fastest ways to get consumers interested in products is to offer them a free gift with purchase. Incentive programs are simple to set up and are a powerful way to stimulate more sales. You will still earn money from these purchases and can gain loyal customers for the future.

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Riding Out the December Sales Slowdown

With December comes a slowdown in sales.  Your customers are out partying, they are doing their holiday shopping at the mall, and they cannot wait for product to come in as it may not arrive in time.   Depending on where you live and how long shipping takes will determine when the slowdown starts.   But there are plenty of activities in your direct sales business that you can work on and take advantage of in this time.

december

december (Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

Cleanup

If you are like me, your office can get messy.  Now is a great time to tidy up and put things where they belong.  It also will make your life easier as you are trying to accomplish other activities.  You may be surprised by what you find.  You may want to clean up before you attempt anything else as you may find items you will need for other activities.

Bookkeeping

If you are a person who keeps putting their bookkeeping off, now is the time to do it.  The sooner it is done, the sooner you can get your taxes done.   Make sure to gather all your paperwork before you sit down to make life easier.  If you have kept everything organized and in one spot, it will be that much easier.

Access Supplies

Go through your supplies and determine what you need to restock on.   I always seemed to be losing pens so now is a good time to restock your party bag.  Add more order forms, catalogues or anything else that you may require.

Inventory

If you tend to have a lot of product floating around, make a list of what you have.  Consider selling it to those who need last minute gifts or ideas.  You may be amazed at how much money you have tied up in product that is just sitting around and doing nothing for you.

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Getting Ready for 2014

As you are wrapping up things for 2013, you can start getting items ready for the 2014 year.  Some tasks can be done in 15 minutes where some are a bit more time intensive.

Oh so much to do, to do today, tomorrow, the n...

Oh so much to do, to do today, tomorrow, the next day (Photo credit: Chapendra)

Accounting

While you are sorting out all your paper work for 2013, start your folders and fields for 2014.  This is a great time to do them as you know what did and did not work for you and you can make modifications or changes at this time.  If you wait until March, you may have forgotten what you wanted to change and spend another year not being as productive as you could be.

Reorganize Your Space

Chances are during the year, you haven’t had the time to keep your space neat and tidy.  Take this time to do that.  Find those shelving units you bought but never put together, the pen organizer that is still in the bag and put all the paper away.  Put the expired books in a cabinet to be used for trade shows or other events.

Restock Your Packages

If you have gone through a lot of hostess and recruit packages, start making new ones.  Depending on the timing of your company, you may not be able to put in catalogues but you can get everything else ready.

Prepare Mail-outs

If you do a mail out in the New Year with new catalogues, you can also get these ready while you wait.  Find envelopes and get the addresses onto them.  Print out any paperwork that you put into the envelope and put it in them.  Throw some business cards into the envelope or anything else that needs to go in that you have already.

Read Company Information

If you have gotten behind on some of the information relating to your company, take this time to get caught up.  I know I don’t always read the company emails that come out (the general information ones) so now is a good time to do it.  You never know what questions may get answered when you do this.

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