Tag Archives: Marketing and Advertising

Using Email for Outreach in a Business Sales Environment

The world of business has become increasingly challenging over recent years, and this means that in order to compete effectively businesses have had to utilise technology and business tools as effectively as possible. Working in a business sales environment in particular can be very difficult in the current economic and financial climate, with businesses now having to look at as many options as possible when it comes to marketing their goods and services in order to enjoy success.

English: Screenshot of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5...

English: Screenshot of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5.10 under Ubuntu Linux 6.10, self-made. Category:Screenshots of Linux software (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While there are some methods of promotion and marketing that are pretty obvious and used by many small and larger businesses, there are others that can often be overlooked even though they are both simple and effective solutions when it comes to effective outreach in a business environment. One of these is the use of email for outreach in a business sales environment.

How this can work

In a business sales environment, huge numbers of emails are typically sent out each day to other agencies, businesses, partners, and clients. However, many businesses miss out on the opportunity to really use these emails to their advantage, as they simply send out plain emails that say little to nothing about the business or its goods and services.

By using email stationery effectively, businesses can use emails to their advantage by turning them into marketing tools that can promote and raise awareness of their services and products. Email stationery can transform every email sent into a marketing tool and is something that is extremely easy and convenient to implement.

When you use email stationery you will be able to efficiently and very easily market the goods or services you sell to everyone you send out emails to. This means that you can make the most of each email you send out, which could potentially generate increased website traffic and sales for your company. The fact that email stationery also makes your emails more eye-catching means that even more people may actually read and take notice of them – in fact, you may even get more people forwarding them on to others, which expands your marketing even further.

The key thing with business email signatures is that you can transform your emails to really reflect your business and what it is all about. This gives each recipient far more information than just a standard plain email with nothing more than a name and job title on it.

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Book Review: The Women’s Home-Based Business Book of Answers

By Maria T Bailey

I will start off by saying that the subtitle of this book is “78 Important Questions Answered by Top Women Business Leaders” so you get an idea of the type of content you are going to find.

The book focuses more on the person starting a business entirely from scratch from finding a product/concept, to getting funding, to creating a business plan and moving forward from there.

Each section discusses a concept and then is full of personal antidotes in answer to the questions posed such as:   women home based

  • Juggling family
  • How they funded their business
  • How to be organized
  • Obstacles faced
  • Secrets to Networking
  • Daily Schedules

As I stated, the book is not geared to direct sales/party plans but there is still a lot of helpful information such as information on how to create a business plan and how you can market yourself.

The author includes some ideas on how to create a daily schedule which is more suited to someone who works from home but there are likely ideas that a person can take from that an adapt.  There is also a section on different types of advertising as well as using online marketing, but as the book is copyrighted in 2001, a lot of the information is now outdated.

She concludes the book by discussing an exit strategy if you plan to get out of the business and words of wisdom from a few people.

I did not see much in the way of interviews from direct sales companies but I did not expect to see any.

I think this could be a good book if you are looking for some inspiration and are not sure where to look.  There are multiple questions and areas that may gave you something to think about and consider in your own career.

Buy:  The Women’s Home-Based Business Book of Answers

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Going the Extra Mile: 4 Ways to Impress Your Potential Clients

Whether you are in business for yourself or work for someone else, you probably spend considerable amounts of time trying to build relationships with clients. And as everyone who has ever sold anything to others knows, products and services can be bought anywhere. It’s the relationship and related trust between a customer and his client that makes the difference. For this reason you are probably constantly trying to impress your clients. This article will serve as a primer for doing just that.   Going the Extra Mile

Be Professional

It might go without saying, but it’s still often forgotten that image is everything. Let’s say two people come to your office for business. One is unshaven and with clothes that are dirty and disheveled. He takes notes on a cheap note pad with a sharpie pen. The other is clean cut and dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit. His paperwork is neatly organized in a leather portfolio and he takes notes on an electronic device using a stylus pen. With whom would you do business?

Mention your VIPs

If a salesperson entered your office and told you that you were his first-ever prospective customer, you wouldn’t be very impressed, would you? On the other hand, if he told you about other clients who used his services with good results, you would be more tempted to buy what he’s selling, wouldn’t you?

People Love Free Stuff

Giving gifts is a great way to impress customers. And the gift doesn’t need to be expensive either. That’s what makes promotional products so effective. Not only are they inexpensive, but they can be personalized in any way you wish. Custom keychains and other personalized items 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.  Promotional products like these act as walking billboards, ensuring that you gain repeated marketing exposure every time they are used by recipients.

Over-Deliver

Everybody remembers the instances when someone went an extra mile and came through when it wasn’t expected. Even better is the fact that these little gestures often don’t cost anything to deliver. Go the extra mile. Over-deliver and under-promise. Make the client feel that he is special and that you went out of your way to give him something extra. Chances are good that your actions will be rewarded and probably even reciprocated.

If you’re looking to expand your client base, it is worth it to strive to impress those who could be potential customers. And remember, in many industries, anyone could be a potential customer—so every aspect of your business needs to run smoothly and be ready to impress. You never know when a potential customer is watching!

 

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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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Attending Trainings: Should You?

Chances are you have been invited to various training events within your company.  Some are local, some require a bit of driving and some will require you to get on a plane to get to them.  But is it important for you to attend and how can you pay for such an event?

English: Trainings in International Academy of...

Training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think the first thing that you need to ask yourself is what are your goals with your direct sales company?  Are you doing this for some extra cash in your pocket, are you hoping to make this into a part time job or are you looking to do this to make full time cash and make a full time wage?

Extra Cash

If you are selling just to make an extra hundred or two hundred bucks a month, the trainings likely will not end up being worth a lot for you.  I would recommend attending anything local but do not spend a lot of money to attend those where you will have to drive and spend a night at a hotel.  Chances are you will spend more than what you will be inspired to make when you get home.  Phone call trainings would also be good to attend as they only cost you your time and long distance (which is tax deductible if not included with your plan).

Part Time

If you are looking to make a part time income, then I would recommend a bit more for trainings.  It may be worth weekend training if it is close enough to drive.  Again, phone trainings definitely should be attended and talk to your upline about doing training calls on a regular basis.

Full Time

For those that want to make this a full time career with their direct sales business, it is best to attend any meeting or training that is it possible to attend.  This includes attending the yearly convention that the company holds.

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Watching Your Status

It is important to pay attention to your status with your direct sales company especially if there are repercussions for not making certain sales levels.

SALE

SALE (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (vers l’Action de grâce))

My company has changed their criteria a few times in the last year or two so it has become that much more confusing.   This year, I almost didn’t make my quota but I got a few phone calls, post cards and email reminders to let me know that I had the possibility of losing my status.  But, one of my demonstrators was on the list to not make it and did not get any of these reminders.  She didn’t end up having the sales required and she was de-activated as a consultant.

I found all this out when she contacted me to find out why she could no longer log in.  She was able to sign back up and move on, but this could have all been avoided if she had been watching her own status and where her sales were.

I also realize that I let her down as a leader as I was not paying attention to where my tea was at in regards to their sales and their status and warning them but at the same time, everyone is adults and i should not have to.

That said, it is a good idea to make sure that you are always familiar with your companies policies in regards to maintaining your status and where you on that list.  Are you short by a few dollars or do you still need a few hundred dollars before the end of the month?  Depending on what your requirements are, it’s a good idea to start drumming up business ASAP if you will need a few orders in order to make it.

Do you really want to lose your status due to not paying attention?

 

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Keeping in Touch with Your Direct Sales Team

Even if you do not have time to contact your team on a regular basis through the phone, it’s a good idea to keep in touch in some method.  For me, I like to use a newsletter that I send out to my team monthly.  I aim for the first three days of the month but it does not always happen for a variety of reasons which may or may not be in my control.

When I first started my newsletter, it was three or four pages.  I always included team recognition on Communicationthe first page and then I went into information about what was going on with the company and then into some training information.  But as time went on, I cut down on how much I was doing for a variety of reasons – time was one issue and another was I did not know if anyone was actually getting anything out of them.  Now, I have cut down to just recognition and information about what is going on – probably a page at most, but it contains the most important information in my opinion.

Regardless, my point was that my team hears from me monthly.  This way, they know how to get a hold of me if something pops up and hopefully they at least look to see what is important in the coming month.    I know I have had teammates get a hold of me through the newsletter as they will hit reply so I at least know that it is getting through to them.  Unfortunately, when teammates change their email address I do not necessarily know and I cannot guarantee they get my notes.

I know this is something that a lot of leaders do not do.  I know that I could do more for my team as well but it can be hard to do it day in and day out without feedback.  So if you are a downline, let your upline know you want more information or that what they are sending out is helpful!  And if you are an upline, why aren’t you getting in touch with your downline?

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News: Direct Selling in 2010: Sales Increase to $28.56 Billion

US Retail Sales 1992–2010

Image via Wikipedia

In 2010 estimated retail sales increased 0.8% to $28.56 billion. While 2008 and 2009 were tough years for the U.S. economy and for direct selling, industry leaders remain cautious, but believe the decline in sales of the past few years has seen its end.

“Direct selling provided supplemental income to millions of American’s during the worst part of the recession,” said DSA’s President Joseph Mariano. “As we see the economy begin to emerge from its lowest point in decades we know many of those who found direct selling to be an answer to their financial needs when times were tough will now find that same opportunity to provide a better life for their families for the long term.”

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Methods to Increase Sales

There are many different things that you can do to increase the amount of sales that you are submitting each month.  I have discussed these methods over the last two years so feel free to peek at some of the past articles to see what you have been missing or you could improve.   

Offering free shipping?  You may be better off to offer free product instead!  Read more here

Are you telling your customers about all the different ways that they can use a product?  Do you ask them if they can come up with more ideas?  The more ways to use something, the more likely someone will buy it.

How about upselling?  Don’t know what that is?  Learn about upselling and more simple methods to increase your sales.  Increasing sales with simple methods

Have a hard time remembering all these things? What to upsell together, what ways to use a product?  Use cue cards to make some notes and tell people its so you don’t forget all the wonderful information about a product!

Another great method to increase sales is to put packages together and discount them.  You don’t need to discount them by much, just enough to make people think that they are getting a great deal.  Sometimes just making the decision for the customer is enough, as it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Of course, having more parties will increase your sales.

How about shopping clubs?  These are popular with a lot of people.  Get a set amount of people to commit to a certain amount in purchase each month and you are set.  More about shopping clubs.

Here are a few other articles that you may find helpful when it comes to taking steps to increase your sales.

Increasing your Sales
Offering Party Perks on your Own
Why Discounts can Be Dangerous in Direct SalesReferral Program
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Writing Powerful Ads for Your Direct Sales Opportunity

When it comes to writing your ads, there are words and sentences that you can use to assist you to make your ad more powerful.  Here are some things to consider.

Title – It needs to capture the attention of your audience and make them want to read more about what you offering.  It does not have to be long but something that gets attention.  “Join my team” is likely not going to encourage people to read but “Join my Million Dollar team!” may get more interest as they see the word “Million” and want it.

Value of the Offer – The body should make sure it answers whatever is promised in the title.  For instance, if you saying “Join me and earn a car” the body should say something about how they are going to earn this car.  You also do not want to discount other important factors such as it is a selling job and whatever else you feel is relevant.

Unique – Why is your offer unique from those other ones out there?  Is your company the only direct sales company that allows their consultants to earn a car?  If you make this claim, it is important that you know it is true as if there is another company has this same incentive, you can be sure someone will let you know about it.   And depending on who they are, they may want to make sure the rest of the world knows that you screwed up.

Power Words – There are words out there that are powerful and therefore, you also need to use them sparingly.  For instance, “Free” is a power word, but if people use it too much it loses that power and people tend to ignore it.

This is just a bit of information to help you write your direct sales advertisements more effectively.  To do a really awesome job, take a bit of time to do more research and soon your ads will be converting like crazy.

Make sure you check the posts – Advertising Part 1 and Advertising Part 2 –  on how to write an effective direct sales opportunity advertisement.

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