Tag Archives: company

Talking the Talk: Six Musts When Trying to Reach New Prospective Clients

To thrive among stiff competition, your business needs to always be reaching out to new prospects and winning them over. There are several good methods that should be incorporated into your regular marketing efforts.   billboard-advertisement

Stop Promoting to Anyone

Promoting to anybody with a pulse often wastes marketing dollars. Realize that everyone that sees your message is not going to be a customer. Develop an ideal customer profile of people that truly have a need or desire for what you sell. Adjust your marketing to focus on this target group.

Educate Prospects

People are often hesitant to buy when they are not familiar with your company or products. Provide prospects with lots of detailed information about the benefits and uses of your products and services. The more someone knows about your company’s offerings, the more they will know whether your services apply to them or if what you have to offer is really something they want.

Get Customer Reviews

Ask your current customers to write reviews. Customer reviews are a powerful way to attract new customers. People often read reviews first to discover all the pros and cons about a company’s products or services. Existing customers can provide unique insights that are helpful in this regard.

Establish a Relationship

Offer an online newsletter and encourage prospects to sign up. Use this opportunity to build trust by providing beneficial information about your company and products. When they like you, they will turn in to buyers. This also creates customer loyalty because they will actually feel like they are a part of something.

Give Away Free Stuff

A favorite business marketing strategy is to give away free promotional products to customers and prospects. Each item you distribute can be customized with your logo, and may also include a short tagline along with your contact details such as your URL or phone number. Choose popular items such as custom laptop bags by HALO that are useful and portable.  Promotional products are a wonderful form of marketing in that they will remain in circulation for years, making them an extremely effective and cost-efficient form of advertising.

Trade shows are ideal for giving away free stuff. People’s eyes light up when they receive gifts like HALO branded solutions promotional bags. Everywhere their bag goes, it will be seen by countless new prospects. Your business will get lots of effective advertising from these types of highquality products.

Cater to Their Desires

Know what potential customers really want when they seek out companies like yours. Successful selling involves figuring out what people want and then giving it to them. Conduct market analyses to find out what products and services are likely to attract customers to your business.

Check out your most successful competitors and see what they offer. Find ways to put a unique twist on your offerings to stand out from the crowd.

In order keep business flowing in any economy, it is essential to market to prospects in ways that turn them into loyal customers. Use proven marketing strategies like these to spread brand awareness and increase sales.

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Four Promotional Items Your Customers Can Carry In Their Pockets

A company’s promotional products should be both meaningful and useful. These promotional products can be imprinted with your company’s logo and contact details so every time they are used by current and potential customers, you gain marketing exposure. Offered at various special events, they should serve as a reminder of the company so customers will continue coming back to do business, and they should also be gifts that customers can conveniently use with fondness and appreciation.   Promotional Items

Key chains

Custom key chains are a popular item for everyday use or for a spare set of keys at home. Few things are more obnoxious than loose keys. Promo key chains come in all sizes and designs, along with a full range of colors. A flashlight fob add-on comes in handy and can be imprinted with the company name and contact information for easy reference.

Flash drives

Computer flash drives are a terrific memento that almost everyone can use nowadays. They provide a great way to transfer information from one device to another. With your company’s logo and name imprinted on them, they will serve as a constant reminder of your generosity and thoughtfulness. Many custom flash drives come with a folding insert key that provides convenient pocket storage and carrying. Frequent usage means your company will often be remembered with appreciation.

Loyalty cards

Your company’s discount or rewards card, perhaps good for a 10-percent or 15-percent discount, will be a constant companion in your customers’ wallets. In addition to offering regular discounts, your company loyalty card could be used to offer an additional discount during special sales events and to rack up points for eventual redemption. Many large businesses like supermarkets and banks use them routinely, so customers are beginning to expect them and appreciate the companies that offer them.

Pocket calendars

Pocket calendars with attractive, colorful designs are easy to find and use in a wallet. Checking dates from time to time will give customers added exposure to your company’s contact information and keep your business in the forefront of their awareness. Plus, the calendars can become a quick reference point for future appointments and meetings. Combined with pocket planners, they can take the place of, or work in conjunction with, an electronic reminder on customers’ smart phones. Some people prefer a printed planner to the electronic version. A calendar or planner provides a convenient way to check dates, schedule appointments and record contact information. If you are going to order calendars, be sure your product is the best by using the promo product leader.

Mementos and gifts like these are inexpensive to purchase for customer giveaways. Offer them at commemorative events, company celebrations, anniversary parties and other community programs where they are sure to be a hit. Consumers tend to remember and do business with companies that give promotional gifts that include contact information as a handy reference. Get yours ordered now and start building customer loyalty.

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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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Starting your Direct Sales business and How to Finance It

Want to start your own business but do not have the money to do it?  Here are some methods to help finance your startup and get you going.

Direct sales can be a very exciting industry, and when you find the company that suits you, you are ready to jump in with both feet and get started.  Unfortunately, sometimes having the money to get started, even an amount as little as $20 can be difficult to find, but there are some things that you can do to help you with this.

Money cash

Money cash (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Have a Party – One of the best ways to get started is to host your own party!  If you have found someone to sign up with that is local to you, see if they will come over and do a party for you and give you all the sales.  If your friends know this is going to be your debut party, they will likely come out and support you.  Not only does this get you your kit, but it also gets you started on any new consultant program that your company may offer.  Be prepared to sign on the dotted line the day of your party, or else the consultant that did your party will be within their rights to keep all sales and you won’t get the proceeds to signup.

Odd jobs – Can you do some odd jobs for friends, family or others?  Check your local classifieds for people needing help with various things like house cleaning, dog walking, lawn mowing or anything else you are capable of doing.  Before too long you could have the money raised!

Garage Sale – if the weather is nice, haul any unneeded items you have onto your driveway or lawn and try to sell it.  Once you get started sorting out your house, you will be amazed at much you can find to sell.  Remember that you will never get as much for your items as you think they are worth, for instance, books will sell anywhere from a nickel up to 50 cents (at least where I live).

Borrow – See if you have a relative or friend that might lend you the start up fee or help you in some other method.  Maybe you can ask a few different people to help you out.  In return, you will want to pay them back and you may want to offer them a discount on product or something else as a thank you.

Charge – Do you have a credit card with some room on it?  While it is always best to buy things with cash, you can put your kit on credit.  Make sure you take any money you make at the party to pay it back before you start paying interest on it.

Payment Plan – Does the company you are signing up with have a payment plan?  If so, use that.  Or you may have to choose a lower level kit than what you want, and work on building it up with profits.  There is nothing wrong with doing this.

While direct sales may be cheap to get into, sometimes cheap is still hard for some people, and they are joining a company to make money.   Don’t forget that there are additional costs in direct sales that you will have to have money to pay for, even if all you get are new catalogues.

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9 Things to Consider when Joining a Direct Sales Company

When you are thinking about joining a direct sales company there are many things that you should look into.  Of course, there are many other items that might be relevant to your search but these are some of the main ones.

Man thinking on a train journey.

Thinking about direct sales? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Signup Fees – How much is it going to cost to get going?  Is there a way you can earn any of these fees back or get your kit for free?  Is there an application fee regardless of earning your kit for free?  What do you get for the fee?

Renewal Fee – Is there a renewal fee that you have to pay each year to continue being a consultant with the company?

Website – With the Internet being such an integral part of our lives, a website is becoming necessary.  Do you get a website for customers to shop on? If so, what is the cost and how long is that for?  How much is shipping off this site for your customers?  Can you build your own website and link to this one for people to shop?  Can you host and do parties through this website?

Supplies – What types of supplies are necessary?  This would be items such as catalogues, order forms or other paperwork.  For the basics such as catalogues, how much will they cost you and how often do you need to purchase them?   How much do other supplies cost such as order forms?  Do you need to buy new product every 3, 6 or 12 months?

Quotas – Are there quotas with this company?  If so, what are they?  How often?  What happens if you do not make them, not only to yourself, but to any team that you may have accumulated?  Does the company remind you in advance if you are below your quota?

Commission – How much commission do you make when you make a sale?  Do you get the money right away or a month later?  Is that the maximum you can earn or does it go up as your sales increase?  If you build a team, how much commission do you make from them?  Do you have to do something in regards to sales to earn this?

Credit Cards – Can you accept credit cards through your company or do you have to get your own credit card account?  If the company handles them for you, do they charge you anything?  If you have to get your own credit card processing account, make sure to compare monthly/yearly fees, and the fees for processing each card.

Perks – What kind of perks does the company offer?   Many direct sales companies have monetary incentives throughout the year or ways to earn free product.  You can typically earn a trip for free by making certain sales or recruiting levels, or earn some jewellery.  Some companies offer car and home allowances once you get quite high up on the company ladder.

Training – What kind of training does the company provide you with?  Is your upline expected to do it all or will the company provide materials?  If so, what is provided and how do you access it?

You will likely want the answers to most, if not all of these, before making a decision.  Occasionally you find a company you fall in love with, and nothing matters, but you should still find out all the details you can, as otherwise it can end up horribly.   You should have no difficulty finding a company that will meet your requirements once you do a bit of research.

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Eye on The Prize – 5 Ways to Make Sure You are Reaching Your Target Market

Marketing campaigns take time and money to complete successfully. Setting specific demographics and targeting your audience requires you to carefully assess your business needs and the type of clients you want to attract. Many elements contribute to reaching your target market, and perhaps you merely need help in bringing all of those elements together. The following tips will help you increase the visibility of your company, allowing you to reach the target you’re aiming for.   Eye on The Prize - 5 Ways to Make Sure you are Reaching Your Target Market

Determine Your Audience

What every business needs is a plan of action consisting of three components. Select three demographics that you want to track. Your chosen demographics could include age, occupation and income. Once you decide on your demographics, write the criteria down. Ask visitors to your website to complete a short survey to determine if your website attracts your key demographics.

Create a Plan

A plan provides direction and gives you what every business needs to succeed in marketing. Consider what your customer demographic wants and use that information to create a plan, put that plan into action, review the outcome and modify your website based on the information gathered. A failed plan can help still help you grow your presence as long as you learn from your mistakes.

Broadcast Appropriate Information

Determine what you want to accomplish. A plan to simply drive more traffic to your website doesn’t provide enough specific information. You need to determine what product, service or value you can provide to your visitors. Feature content designed to attract new visitors prominently on the home page. Provide additional content on inside pages and make sure every page on your website links in some way to your navigation scheme.

Provide Free Stuff

Everyone wants free stuff, but it has to provide some sort of value. Visitors to your website need a reason to come back in the future. If your company provides a babysitting service, offer the first hour free when the parents pay for three hours. This not only encourages new clients to try your services, but it guarantees that you get paid for three hours of service.

Incorporate Reader Participation

Any text on your website can theoretically draw in Internet traffic. Start a blog and let others comment on the blog. The more activity you get on your website, the better you appear to search engines. New visitors can check out what others say about you and get the assurance they need to buy your product or service. If you’re not sure what every website needs, make sure if anything, you have a site map and a “contact us” page, so that you can interact with your target market and they know how to reach you.

 

With all of the advertisements we hear and see everyday, it can be discouraging to try to stand out to your audience and make sure your message is being heard. That is why you need all the help you can get when it comes to making your voice the loudest, not only among other businesses in general, but among your competitors, especially.

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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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Choosing The Right Exhibition Stand

English: Corner exhibition stand at the Götebo...

English: Corner exhibition stand at the Göteborg Book Fair 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you are attending a trade show you will need to make your booth stand out and one of the ways to do this is through exhibition stands. These are normally lightweight so they can be transported easily and are used to promote your product and services. There are several different kinds of stands available today and each of them has its own merits. The one you choose will depend upon your own specific needs. To help you decide, here are some of the stands on offer:

  • Twist Display Stand: These are a kind of pull-up banner which can be displayed on portable stands and printed with high quality graphics for maximum impact. They are perfect for trade shows and exhibitions because they create seamless back walls for a really professional look. Because they allow you to join many different units together in a seamless display, they are great if you have a lot of space to fill. They are also versatile because their tensioning system allows the alignment to be adjusted so they can sit against both smooth and uneven surfaces. They are also light and easy to transport from place to place.
  • Pop-Up Stands: These continue to be highly popular for companies attending exhibitions. This is mainly because they are easy to transport and erect, but once taken down don’t take up too much room in storage. There are different varieties of these – they can, for example, be made from cardboard and fabric – but all are an impressive back-drop to any trade show booth if printed with good quality graphics and a strong design. For extra versatility, some can have Velcro-friendly front panels so that posters can be changed.
  • Poster Display Stands: These are freestanding display stands which can usually come in cable, rod or modular versions. The great thing about these is that they can come with single or mixed pocket arrangements so you can interchange posters depending on the exhibition you are attending. They can also come in a wide variety of sizes depending on your needs and can be placed side-by-side or perpendicular to each other. If you want something versatile and low-cost, these are a safe bet.
  • Folding Display Stands: Folding display stands and exhibition boards are great for companies operating on a strict budget. They are low-cost, lightweight and because they are folded they don’t take up much space in transit. Generally made from PVC, they are durable and both pin- and Velcro-friendly so that posters can be interchanged as often as required.
  • POS Stands: Point-of-sale or info stands are more specialised items which are used for both retail environments or exhibitions. They will normally consist of a poster board on top and some smaller leaflet displays below. If you have a particular new product you want to promote then they are ideal because you can draw visitors’ attention with a high-impact poster and then they can take away more detailed information in the leaflets placed below. However, if your booth is simply to provide a more generalised overview of your company then you would be better off with one of the larger stands mentioned above.

When you’ve worked out which kind of exhibition stand best fits your needs, the next thing to do is find a supplier. It’s worth shopping around to see which companies offer the best deals – always remembering that you have to pay for quality. It’s important, for example, that you check how the graphics will be added to your stand to ensure that the solutions used will not only look good but will also be durable so you can use the stands over and over again.

It’s a good idea to get a recommendation for a stand supplier from somebody who has used them many times and understands what is important. When you’ve found a few companies you think might be able to offer what you want then go and visit each one in turn to discuss your requirements. This is a good opportunity to ask to see examples of their work so you can get an idea of what they might be able to do for you. It’s probably best, if you can, to find a local supplier so you can visit them face-to-face and contact them easily if there is a problem with any of the products they have supplied to you.

Author Profile

Chris Jenkinson is a UK marketing consultant writing for RAL Display a display stands and exhibition stands company

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Direct Sales Target Audience

Do you know who your target is?  I think the majority of those in direct sales would tend to say that their ideal customer is in their late 20’s to early 40’s, female with disposable income.  But is this truly accurate?  My thoughts would be for the majority of companies; it likely is, but what about the direct sales companies which sell products with a different demographic?

Food – Do you think a direct sales company only targets these individuals?  My guess is no.  The food companies are going to target anyone who cooks or maybe those that do not like cooking by telling them that food will be much easier to make with their products.  The products that food companies sell (at least the ones I have bought from) have a lot of products that are under $10 making them affordable from the student right on up to the senior with a limited income.  Some of the other products that they may offer, such as cookware or other home supplies may be more targeted, but I cannot think of too many people that might not like to add some spice to their food.

Clothing – Recently I have heard of some new clothing companies.  I am not sure if they are new to my area or to the direct sales arena in general, but again, their target consumer is likely different. For instance, the one company makes children’s clothing.  Of course, they need to target mom to buy the clothing but if the kid doesn’t like it, nothing mom says will make the kid wear it.  So the true target here is the child as they are brought to the event, they try on the clothes and decisions are made.

Vitamins/Supplements – With our population aging, there are more companies getting on the bandwagon in selling products to the aging market.  As a result, companies that make vitamins or beauty products may be changing their ideal demographic a bit.  They likely are still targeting the main female market but they will be expanding their age groups right up until retirement with vitamins that help you with energy, menopause or other health issues.  Right up there are beauty products that would help with wrinkles or age spots.

While the target audience and the majority of your direct sales target audience, may be the typical one, chances are you likely have some markets you have not considered based on your product mix.  You may have 75% of your product that hits this group but the rest could be marketed elsewhere.  What can you do to reach out to these buyers?

 

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How to Beat your Direct Sales Competition

As we already established that they likely are not competition, you still want to differentiate yourself from them when it comes to your customers.  They may not realize how the two companies differ and you want to make sure they know.

Features – Start by pointing out those features that your product has that the other company doesn’t.  I don’t recommend saying “Our product has X which the competition doesn’t”.  You should just say something like “One of most popular features of our product is X”.  Don’t mention the company.  If they are familiar with it, they may fill in the blank out loud or in their head.

Benefits – This goes along with the features, but make sure you point out the benefits of your product.  Maybe the proceeds from a product go to a charity, maybe the company is making changes to be more environmentally friendly and as a result, the product is 25% recycled, or maybe it has been certified by some organization.  Point these things out so that people know your direct sales company is the one that does Y.

Hostess Program – Is your companies hostess reward plan better?  Maybe you have some great deals for customers?  Point this out and make sure your customers are aware of them.  Again, point them out as a benefit or feature of your company and do not put down the others.

Be Professional – One of the best things you can do is be professional about the competition.  If someone comes to you and says that they prefer the other company due to a certain product you can simply reply, that is fine, everyone is entitled to their preferences (or something similar).  Do not put the person down for their preferences or the other company, as you will only alienate the other person.

By being positive and helpful, you will create a positive impression in a potential customers mind.  Many times people pick a direct sales consultant, not their company, when it comes to making their purchases.  Therefore, always put on a happy face, be helpful, and you will see your business increase.

 

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