Tag Archives: Business Services

7 Simple (and Cost-Effective) Ways to Show Customer Appreciation

The best way to ensure repeat customers is to make sure the customers know you appreciate them. However, finding out whether the customers know this or not can be difficult. Sometimes they’ll let you know, sometimes they won’t.   cust apprec

Customer review sites make this easy; for instance, you can read real customer reviews on OpenTell.com, but even then there might not be enough information for you to gauge how they feel. Here are seven easy, and most importantly, cost effective ways of showing customer appreciation.

1. Personalize your service to them.

If you can, show a bit of personalization in the service you provide them. Leave a few kind words, or use their name on something. It doesn’t take much, and a little personalization goes a long way.

2. Check in with new customers. 

Send customers a report of your service, or give them a call after they buy a product and ask how it’s working. It doesn’t take long – you could even assign the task to a subordinate – but the simple gesture lets the customers know they are respected.

3. Create a ‘wall of honor’ of your best customers.

Many restaurants do this. Including photographs of your regulars on the walls makes the place feel more personable, and goes a long way towards building loyalty.

4. Give special treatment to long time customers.

Maybe on their birthday or on a special occasion, give your best customers a one-time deal or discount of some sort. Make sure it’s understood to be a single deal, but this will help build a relationship with your customers.

5. Remember their names.

This goes a long way. You see hundreds if not thousands of people each day, but by remembering the names of as many people as you can, you inspire fierce brand loyalty. Names hold power.

6. Ask for feedback.

Ask your customers how their experience was, and ask if there is any way you can improve it for next time. Most of the time the customers will be too surprised to answer, but this can be a great way of getting first-hand feedback.

7. Go out of your way to provide amazing customer service.

Don’t let rules and policies stop you. Bend them just a tad if the situation calls for it, and make sure you provide absolutely legendary service for a customer if they need it.

Following these seven simple steps will inspire customer loyalty and show your appreciation for them in ways they’ve never before experienced.

 

 

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Giving Away Some Products Can Gain You Much

When it comes to running your own business, whether it is direct selling or not, it can be scary.  Your income is not guaranteed and you are careful about spending your earnings so that it will go further.   But when you are approached to donate or give away a product, it can send your heart into palpations due to the lost revenue.  Fear not, there are many valid and good reasons for giving something away.

Lucky Door Prizes

Lucky Door Prizes (Photo credit: Mosman Library)

Cheap Advertising

By giving something away, you are getting your name out there.  Chances are your name is going to be mentioned at least half a dozen times.  Make sure you give them many business cards to put out with your item so that if people are interested in purchasing one if they don’t win, that they can contact you.

New Customer

If the person who wins your product is not familiar with what you sell, they will be now.  Hopefully they use it and are able to tell people about how they like it and then they will buy more.  Even if they do not like it, they may know people that would and will make sure to inform them.

Customer Conversion

You may have a customer that is on the fence about your product.  Maybe they have heard about it and want to try it but are not willing to spend the money.  If they have a chance to try it, it may be enough to push them over the edge to make the purchase.

Potential Customers

If you are doing a door prize, people are going to enter.  People see free and they want it. On your entry slip, you want to make sure to get a phone number and an email address.   You can then add them to your email list and hopefully convert them to customers.  By letting people know you are giving something away, they are more likely to stop at your table and check things out.

An item for giveaway does not have to be expensive.  It could be something that you won from your company, a discontinued product or something that you ordered for demonstration.   The business you gain should offset the cost and you will be ahead in the long run.

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Increase Your Sales by Improving Your Social Skills

When I was growing up, never in my wildest dreams did I think of becoming a writer. I knew how to write a basic sentence when I was I kid but I did not really thought about it that much. I did not realized at that time how important it was to improve one’s writing and social skills. People do not realize how important it is to interact with the people that matter to you. It is only where they are required do a sales pitch to their prospective clients that a lot of marketing professionals begin to notice how crucial improving ones social skills is in their business and in their success.  Increase Sales

Some salespeople are not very good at communicating their thought and ideas through speech and through their writing. A lot of times they do not know how to translate those ideas in a good way. Here are some tips that salespeople can do to improve their social skills and increase their sales:

1. Read and Learn

Reading can give the information that you need when you are writing a sales campaign.Reading important information about your product, customers and the market you are in can help you make the sales pitch or the article that you need to make a lasting impression in the minds of your customers. You also need to be updated with the latest trends in your society so that you are not left behind and so that you can gather important information for your sales pitch. The key to becoming success in direct marketing in making the connection with your customers and that is why it is important to learn more about their attitudes and lifestyle.

2. Practice Your Social Skills

There are no shortcuts to success. The key in improving your social skills is to take the time and energy to work on your networking abilities. It does not happen overnight. It is not easy but if you put in the effort you can succeed at it. There are times when you will fail but the important thing is to never give up.

3. Write down Your Goals

Goal setting is an important factor to becoming a better marketer. It can help you monitor your progress and see how far you have come. Goals are important when you are trying to achieve something important. It can give you the inspiration to work for something useful and meaningful not just in your business but more importantly in your life.
Those are some tips that salespeople can do to increase their sales by improving their social skills. It is important to be patient for the rewards will be worthwhile.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Terry works as an essay writer online to help people work better. She also participates in different charitable causes to help other people live better lives.

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Should You Sell at a Trade Show?

Let us assume that your company allows you to sell product at a trade show.  Should you actually do this or should you focus on showing what your company has to offer and get bookings and recruits instead?

Berry Vendor

Berry Vendor (Photo credit: La Grande Farmers’ Market)

I think the first thing you have to ask yourself is what you are trying to do with your business.    Are you comfortable and happy with the amount of bookings you have and just want to get rid of excess inventory?  Do you want to increase your monthly sales?  Do you want to grow your team bigger?   All of the answers to these can help to decide what to do.

Selling Inventory

Obviously if you are happy with your sales levels and just want to get rid of excess inventory, then you should sell product.  You can always take orders and work on getting bookings while you are there.  You can put up signs and notices about benefits of hosting a party and why you should join the company.

Increase Bookings

If you want to increase bookings, then you should set up your table in that method.  Bring product to show so people can see what you offer but focus on the benefits of hosting.  You could set up an area of the table that shows people what they would get in actual product when they have a party.  You can tell someone they get $40 which doesn’t mean much but if you show them what $40 gets them, it has more impact.  Put up a sign saying “Get all this for $10 by hosting a party!” and then include the breakdown of hostess credit and half off items.

Find Recruits

Just like trying to get bookings, you need to show people the benefits of becoming a consultant with your company.  Set up an area to show people what they get with their kit.  If they can earn it free, let them know what it takes and how to accomplish it.  Explain to them what they can earn.  You may want to put signs that say “Want a new car?  You can earn a car payment with just X amount of parties a week” or something similar.  It needs to catch their attention and draw them in.  Be prepared to answer questions about your own experiences.

I find that you concentrate and present yourself differently when you are simply selling product versus trying to get bookings and find recruits.  This is why it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish at a trade show.

 

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Using Your Calendar

When you are in business yourself, its important that you keep track of any commitments that you have.  This means keeping track of when you have parties, when you have events or anything else that is relevant to your business.  If you miss something, it can make you look like you do not care about your business or that the event is not that important to you.

Monket Calendar

Monket Calendar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I will admit I am not perfect, and we all make mistakes, it is best to try and minimize these.

Some examples:

Years ago, a lady called me a day or two before her party.  She had scheduled months prior with a different consultant but she had never heard from her.  She had about a dozen people coming to her party but no consultant.  She wondered if I could do the party for her.  I was able to cover her event and it was over $1000.  My best party ever!  Sure, I didn’t have a chance to do hostess coaching but this lady was a great hostess on her own.

I screwed up last year and got my date confused for a trade show.  That Saturday morning, my phone rang but I ignored it.  I didn’t check the voicemail for a few hours and it turned out that I was missing the trade show.  I hadn’t marked it down in my calendar and I had a different date in mind for it.  I quickly packed up and was going to head out to it, but I ended up not going as I realized by the time I drove to the event and got setup, there would be maybe an hour left.  Yes, it probably did not look that great for me, but my experience shows that most people come through in the morning.

Are these two examples enough to tell you why you need to make sure you keep track of your events and your calendar?

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The direct sales trade show I am at is very quiet. What should I do?

One of the first things you should do at a direct sales trade show is to visit the other vendors.  Say hi, tell them what company you are with and see where it goes from there.  If you are new to trade shows, ask them how they feel this one is going, ask if they have any tips or ideas that might help you out, and if you are interested in their product, ask them about it.  Quite often the direct sales vendors end up buying from each other while at the event.

Advertise – If you have a smart phone or laptop with you and you can access the Internet, go shout it out to everyone that there is a trade show going on.  Make sure you post the address and how late it is going on.  Mention that there are draws or any other goodies that are going on that might entice people to come out.  Encourage the other vendors to do the same.  Call people that you think would be interested or those had expressed interest in attending the direct sales trade show and ask them where they are.

Say Hi – When people do come in, make sure to say hi and make eye contact with them.  This tends to make them stop and say hi, and possibly check out your products.  If you are doing a draw, point it out to them and invite them to enter.  Do not forget to invite the other vendors to enter as well.

Make the location noticeable – Another suggestion to get your direct sales trade show noticed is to put some balloons out in front of the location as well as some signage indicating what is going on.  If people do not know that you are there, they cannot come in.

What else would you recommend to someone in this position?

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Direct Sales Trade Shows

Trade shows can be a big part of your business and as a result it is important to know about them.  One of the biggest things to know when heading to a trade show is what you hope to accomplish for your direct sales business.  For some people, they are there just to get contacts and customers.  Others hope for bookings and there are others who are looking for teammates.   Knowing your goals in advance is helpful for determining how to approach the event.   

Be aware that some companies do restrict what you are able to do.  I know of a few companies that do not let the consultants sell off their table but they can take orders.  If this is the case, you likely will want to aim for bookings.

Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show
4 Tips for Direct Sales Trade Show
Having a Successful Direct Sales Event

How to Setup Your Table

If you are not able to get out for trade shows, you can find them online.  They can definitely be harder to do as you do not have the captive audience that you would have in person.  You also need to either type your presentation in advance or be a fast typer as you typically have limited time.  That said, here is some advice if you happen to find these types of events.

Direct Sales Online Vendor Events
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 2
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 3

 

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Five Ways to Win Over Disgruntled Customers

Every business will have to deal with disgruntled customers at some stage. What makes or breaks a business’s reputation with its customers is not avoiding every possible slip-up, which is impossible, but what a business does to repair its relationship with its customers when an error has been made. The five tips below are all ways to turn someone who’s halfway out the door into a loyal customer.

1. The business should listen. Although a business must take steps to compensate customers for their bad experiences in some way, much of the time the primary thing a disgruntled customer wants is to be heard. But listening doesn’t just make the customer feel valued. It also ensures that the issue is properly understood and can be responded to.

English: Creating lifelong customer value with...

English: Creating lifelong customer value with your affiliate marketing business. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. The business should respond with empathy and understanding. It’s not enough to just listen. The business has to let the customer know that they understand and are sorry for what has happened. Stock phrases won’t cut it here; sincerity and genuine interaction with the upset customer as a human being are crucial at this stage.

3. The business should find out what the customer wants. What does the customer feel would be an appropriate response to the grievance? It may be something the business cannot grant, but asking puts a sense of control back into the hands of a customer who may have felt the loss of it. The customer’s response also provides the baseline for a negotiation as to how the business can make things right.

4. The business should respond quickly. Once the customer has been listened to and empathized with and some problem-solving has occurred, there is no time to delay. Solutions offered should be implemented fast. If there is a problem that needs to be remedied, this should be done as soon as possible. If, instead, the business response is a form of compensation, the customer should receive that quickly as well.

5. The business should follow up with the customer. In addition to speed of response, following up is a final step showing that the business is sincere about wanting to keep the customer happy. The business must make sure that the customer is satisfied with the solution.

These five steps show customers that the business cares and will effectively remedy any errors. By demonstrating to their customers that they are valued, companies will reap benefits far beyond the compensations they offer to disgruntled customers.

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Lauryn Winterson is a professional writer specializing in business, marketing, and voice of customer analytics. For more information, visit Mindshare.

 

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Direct Sales Trade Show Pet Peeve – Leaving Early

So you are doing a trade show.  It’s scheduled from 10 to 5 pm.  So you arrive between 9 and 9:30 to get setup and get ready (okay, maybe a bit later than that depending on your setup time).  Regardless, you are there on time and are prepared to stay until 5 pm.  You have your phone, your laptop or sales material to keep yourself busy if things are slow.

But.. 3 o’clock rolls around and a few vendors start packing up.  Or maybe that has happened earlier in the day and a few tables are already empty.  Of course, you don’t know their personal circumstances.  Maybe they got a phone call that someone was in a horrible accident and they had to leave.  That would be an acceptable reason but I cannot think of too many other reasons that a direct sales person should be packing up to leave early.

Sometimes a person has a party on the same day of a trade show.  But I tend to think that if you have a party that is scheduled for the same time as the trade show you should either pass on the trade show  or have a team member come out and handle the booth when you are gone.  If you are already scheduled for the event when you get a party, you can schedule the party for after the event is over or again, see if someone can come cover your booth.

You may wonder what the big deal is about leaving early – you are doing a disservice to the other vendors as well as customers that may come near the end of the event.  People may walk in the door and see that half the tables are empty and walk back out.  Or people may miss out on what you are offering due to the fact that you left early.

Be aware, some trade shows will charge you a deposit and if you leave early, you will not get it back.  This is more common with the expensive shows but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the smaller shows not invite direct sales vendors back who leave really early.

 

 

 

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Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show

Direct sales trade shows can be scary when you are first starting out.  If at all possible, it is a good idea to go with your upline and see what they do before you strike out on your own.  If that is not possible, here are a few ideas to help you out.

Set up a Sample Display – If you have a table at home that might be similar to the one at the event, set up your display on it.  See what you think and where you could improve.  Take a picture and send it to your upline or ask them to take a picture of their set up and send it to you.  It might be a good idea to do both of these to be even more effective.

Pack in Advance – If you leave packing until half an hour before you need to leave, you are likely to forget some very important things.  Case in point, one of my last direct sales trade shows, I forgot to print and prep my recruit packages!  Oops!  I also recommend loading your car the night before if it is possible as mornings can be rushed.

Table Cloth – Bring a covering for your table.  The first trade show I did, I knew nothing about this and I put in an emergency call to someone I knew to bring me one.  You can buy logo’d ones from your company or you can buy them from a variety of places.  Pieces of fabric or sheets can work well.

Levels – When creating your display, create different levels.  This helps to attract the eye to different areas and highlight certain times.  I like to use the boxes that my products come in and cover them up with a sheet and then set the product up on top. This keeps the amount of things I have to haul down.

Make a List – I rely on lists more and more all the time.  For this reason, I actually have a list of everything I want to take with me to check when I am packing.  I don’t refer to it as often as I would like, but if I do remember, I know I will be better prepared.

Labels – If you use reorder labels or any other type of labels, pack extra.  You never know when you will discover something on your table does not have your information on it.  I also take extra with me as then I can label catalogues if I discover one got missed or if I have other paper that should have a label on it.  That said; do not forget your business cards!

Inventory or Not – Keep in mind that some companies do not allow their consultants to sell off their table.  But beyond that, inventory can be a hot topic when it comes to direct sales trade shows.  Most people attend in order to get more bookings or recruits.  If this is your goal as well, chances are you will take minimal inventory as an incentive to get bookings but you will want to still take items so people can see them.  Talk to your upline or others in your company if you are not sure.

Direct sales trade shows can be a lot of fun.  It’s a great opportunity to network and get to know other consultants which may come in handy later on.  I also find out about a lot of events through these events.

 

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