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Are Routines Holding You Back

Are Routines Holding You Back
Written by Craig Warren
http://www.craigsonlinetips.com/goto/tripleclicks/

What routines are preventing you from increasing your
sales?

Whether you realize it or not, you are a creature of
habit. Unless you do shift work, you probably get up at
the same time everyday, follow the same routine to wake
up and get yourself ready for the day, drive the regular
route to work, do the same things once you get to work
and take the same route home at the end of the day. Once
there, you probably have dinner, watch television or read
the newspaper and follow some sort of routine once its
time to go to bed. You set the alarm for the same time
and when it sounds the next day, you start the cycle over
again.

Dont get me wrong. Routines can be good. They help us
improve our productivity. They allow us to multi-task.
They make us feel comfortable, safe and secure. They
reduce stress. Plus, when we have developed a great
routine, we can often generate more business. However,
the drawback is that they can be difficult to break away
from.

When you become accustomed to a specific schedule, it can
be easy to forget changes in it. For example, if you
usually schedule your first client meeting after 9:30 it
is very easy to miss a meeting that was recently
scheduled at 8:30. I recently encountered two situations
that relate to this.

The first was an appointment with my massage therapist.
For several years, she scheduled her appointments on the
hour or half-hour. So when she booked my massage at
fifteen minutes after the hour, she forgot about it and
was several minutes late.

The second was my fault. I normally meet with my trainer
early in the morning, three days a week. I had to
re-schedule one workout due to a business commitment and
made my appointment for a later time on a different day.
Unfortunately, I arrived at the gym at my usual time only
to realize that I was several hours early. The change in
the schedule messed up my routine.

So, how does this relate to selling?

As a sales professional, you need to recognize that
routines can prevent you from achieving your full
potential. However, if you persist at incorporating that
new technique into your sales approach, it, to, will
become part of your new routine. That’s the great thing
about the human spirit and brain, it is very adaptable.
The most successful people in business and in sales know
that changes to their routine will cause them some
discomfort. But, they are also very aware that these
changes will become more comfortable and part of their
routine if they work at it long enough.

It can certainly be challenging to change your behavior
and routine when you are used to making a certain number
of calls every day, or meeting with a specific number of
clients, customers, or prospects. When you have a
specific daily routine, it is usually difficult to
incorporate something new. Or, when you have developed
the habit of selling in a particular manner, it is very
stressful trying to change your approach. I see this in
my sales training workshops all the time.

People can intrinsically grasp a new concept or principle
but experience difficulty trying to actually implement it
into the way they sell. That’s why many sales training
programs don’t work; you cant expect to change your
behavior or routine immediately. The key is to keep
applying the concept even though it feels uncomfortable
and foreign. In fact, in most cases, you will begin to
feel comfortable with the concept immediately after you
experience the greatest frustration and difficulty.
Consider learning a new sport, hobby, or task.

At first the movements feel uncomfortable. Your moves are
not smooth, accurate or natural. And this feeling usually
persists for quite some time. However, just when you feel
like giving up because it has become to difficult and
frustrating, something clicks and the movements start to
feel more natural. You have now progressed to the stage
of being able to achieve results. The same process
happens when you decide to try something different when
selling.

Most sales people don’t enjoy cold calling because they
don’t work at developing their skill long enough. They go
through the motions of making their calls everyday but
they don’t focus on improving their skill nor do they
stick with it for the necessary period. People who do
acquire the ability to effectively cold call have made
enough calls to understand the dynamics, develop their
skill at calling and incorporate it into their routine.

Routines are powerful. However, to get the most from
them, you do need to change them regularly.

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Proven Ways to Skyrocket Sales

Proven Ways to Skyrocket Sales
Written by Craig Warren
http://www.craigsonlinetips.com/

Advertise Smart

Nothing risked nothing gained. Wise marketers understand
the good sense in trying new advertising methods, but
don’t go out on a limb to experiment. Are the advertising
campaigns you’ve been using working, but not setting off
the explosive response rates that you are looking for?
Try this, experiment with about 20 percent of your
advertising budget and let the remaining 80 percent
continue to do its job of keeping a steady stream of
customers coming in.

Reduce and Multiply

Big isn’t always better, sometimes quantity is more
effective. Try reducing the size of your current
advertisements and run more. Surprisingly, short ads
often generate more response than long ads. Yep, keep it
short and sweet and watch the results.

Liven up Your Ads

Take a look at your current advertisements. Are they full
of active, lively, colorfully stimulating phrases? Yeah,
get rid of all those boring words and replace them with
phrases like…it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… hurry! Don’t miss
out. Save, save, save!…Act now!… That’s right, keep things
hopping and full of action for effective advertising
results.

Give ’em the Warm Fuzzies

People buy products for the feeling they get from the
purchase. How do you feel when you get a new car? Yeah,
excited, proud and anxious to show it off a little bit.
Keep in mind these feelings and draw word pictures with
your advertisements that will stimulate them. Yeah,
you’ll be surprised at the results you’ll get from
encouraging and dramatizing the desires of your readers.

Send Them a Postcard

It only takes a minute to read the back of a postcard.
Most people are just like you – busy, busy, busy.
Regardless of how busy we are, all of us automatically
read postcards that are short, clear and concise. Send
postcards with short ads to your target audience and
watch the flood of response sweep in.

Pay Your Customers to Advertise

Nothing is more effective than word-of-mouth advertising.
That’s right! Your customers can say it better than you
could ever say it, so why not let them? Yeah, implement a
reward program for referrals and watch your sales climb.

Say Thank You

It only takes a minute to put a thank you card in the
mail to a customer, but the effects of your thoughtful
act can create a loyalty that will last a lifetime. Yep,
we all like to be appreciated, your customers do to.

Sell to Your Current Customers

The idea that sales growth comes from new customers isn’t
always true. Yeah, you can increase sales with the
customers you already have! Have you tried offering them
a product that will complement the item they are buying?
What about follow ups? It’s a lot easier to sell more to
your current customers than to get new customers through
the door. Don’t overlook the potential that’s in your
store today!

Combine Items for Special Sales

Buying in bulk is ALWAYS cheaper…or is it? Consumers tend
to feel that buying in larger quantities is saving them
money. Take advantage of that feeling. Group a few
products together and advertise a special sale. Yeah,
customers will feel pressured to shell out the dinero
before the deal expires!

Surprise, Surprise!

Who doesn’t like a pleasant surprise? Yeah we all do,
especially after we’ve made a purchase that our
conscience is telling us we shouldn’t have. Do you want
to get rid of those after purchase guilt trips for your
customers? Give them a surprise at the register! They’ll
leave feeling like it was their lucky day, rather than
struggling with the after-the-sale blues.

Count the Losses

When we look at sales, we often focus on what will be
gained by the purchase. What about the loss that results
from failing to purchase? Most of us are more affected by
losses than by savings. Let your customers know what
they’ll be losing by failing to take advantage of your
offer.

How many of these techniques are you using? Try
implementing some new strategies and watch for new
results! Yeah, nothing ventured… nothing gained.
Sometimes it pays to take another look at what we’re
doing and take it up a notch. Give these few tips a try
and watch your sales skyrocket!

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Ways to Get More Referrals

Ways to Get More Referrals
Copyright © Craig Warren
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When you are in the business of sales, among the many key
ingredients to your success is receiving referrals from as
many sources as possible.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every morning you walked into your
office and had a referral sitting there waiting for you on
your desk?

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, but here are few
suggestions that should help steer some referrals your
way.

Referral Groups

There are many referral groups out there for you to choose
from. The premise of a referral group is first and foremost
to receive and give referrals.

It works something like this…

Once a week your referral group meets at a designated spot
for breakfast or lunch, and the meeting typically lasts for
an hour to an hour and a half.

These groups normally don’t allow for any kind of conflict
between industries, so you will most likely be the only one
representing your industry. For instance there is only one
banker, one printer, one loan officer and so on.

In the beginning you spend some time catching up and
exchanging business cards. As you are eating, each person
is given a minute or two to take the floor and talk about
themselves and the company that they work for, and give the
group an idea of what a good referral would be for them.

Look at it from this point of view, if your group has
twenty-five or more people in it, then consider it a sales
force working for you. Don’t forget, you are required to give
referrals also.

Chambers of Commerce

Every city, town, or county has a Chamber of Commerce.
They are not hard to find, and they are fairly simple to
join. You can easily find your local chapter on the web or
in the yellow pages. They also advertise in local business
directories and news papers.

The chamber is a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
They meet once a week usually with a luncheon at a local
restaurant. The first half hour is a network and business
card exchange, followed by lunch with announcements
about upcoming events, and a guest speaker.

Before hand, tables are provided to display your literature
and props, and be on hand to discuss your business.

Chambers also hold annual events that you can participate
in. Their events are normally held in the form of business
expositions where you can rent a booth to display and sell
your products.

Chambers normally have a lot of members depending upon
the location, so you will probably find yourself competing
for business with other people in your industry.

This can be very beneficial to your business. These
organizations are great for meeting people as well.

Keep in mind, these organizations come with very
reasonable annual fees, so make sure it fits your budget.

Giving Referrals

Perhaps one of the best ways to get referrals is to give
referrals. If you give someone a referral and it works out
for them, they will love you and remember you forever.
And in turn, send referrals back your way.

I have to say, throughout my time online, I found this
to be one very effective way to get referrals. You might
want to consider teaming up with someone with a similar
job in your industry. For instance, if you are a loan
officer, team up with a realtor, or if you are a home
inspector, you might team up with an appraiser.

These are some very effective ways to keep those referrals
coming your way. They have worked for me, and I have found
them to be a nice way to break up my week, and build
relationships with other business people in my community.
Give it a shot. You wont be disappointed.

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A Sales Culture

A Sales Culture
Copyright © Craig Warren
http://www.careerfromhome.org

Hopefully you’ve taken the time to clarify the roles of
your sales team and sales management. It’s a valuable
exercise. Now you get to assess sales team strategy and
culture. Regardless of your methodology half of your sales
representatives currently perform below average. Fifty
percent are performing below average! Think about that.
This is an indisputable fact. So why even assess the team?
Simply put, to sell more.

Successful selling organizations consist of three components;
investment, activity and results. The first component is the
investment in the sales team. The investment is measured in
compensation, benefits, computers, software, training, hiring,
meetings, sales material, phones and other related expenses.

The second element is the activity of the investment. Face-to-face
meetings, travel, preparation, telephone calls and administration
comprise the second element. The third, and vital, component stands
alone; results. How many sales were generated? Profits? Current
market share?

The glue that binds the three distinct parts includes your people,
culture and customers. Is there a career path for salespeople? What
is your turnover rate? Who are the sales heroes? What is driving the
team to achieve?

The best sales managers and sales teams recognize four productivity
drivers.

1. Sales research-information related to market trends, target markets,
customers, trends, etc.

2. Investment and organization-size, structure and deployment of sales
team allows you to get the right people at the right place at the right
time.

3. People-selection, training, managing, motivating, evaluation and
termination.

4. Sales systems and processes-compensation, incentives, benefits,
internal support, etc.

Tests and surveys remain the most effective way to assess salespeople.
Companies rarely assess sales management instead relying on results to
determine effectiveness.

A successful selling organization operates in a progressive culture.
What’s a culture? That’s best answered by the following story.

Six apes were placed in a room with a ladder. A bunch of bananas hung from
the center of the room. One ape started to climb the ladder for the fruit
and the entire room was showered with cold water. This happened a few times
until any ape that wandered near the ladder was beat up by other apes. A new
guy replaced one of the original apes. The new guy, wanting to be a hero,
headed for the ladder and received a thorough beating. He learned not to go
near the ladder. Eventually every one of the original apes was replaced. The
beatings continued. The replacement apes were unaware why they were
prohibiting others from going near the ladder. They just knew the ladder was
off-limits.

That’s a culture. Are there any new apes on your team following old practices
without knowing why? Cultures evolve over time and their origins are rarely
known. Does your sales team have a culture? I bet it does. Is it a good one?
Sales cultures consist of three elements:

Norms-how individuals actually behave.

Values-how individuals should behave.

Work styles-diligent, tardy, professional, thorough, detailed, casual?

Changing negative cultures represents a significant challenge but is
mandatory if you want to stay in business. People are the agents of change
and must be supported by management. Who are the heroes of your sales team?
How long have they been the department hero and for what reason? Knowing these
answers will help you assess your culture.

You must first formulate your vision of the sales team and evaluate all key
contributing factors. Great companies communicate their vision clearly and
frequently with all sales related personnel. Don’t leave anyone out that comes
in contact with your sales team.

Next, you must put your vision in action by rewarding individuals for acting
in concordance with your vision. This is a process not a destination but as
it evolves your sales will increase and profits will soar.

This takes courage. You need to ask and answer tough questions. Dedication to
a better selling team is required. Don’t give up until your vision is clarified,
communicated and leads to rewarding the winners.

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