Friday, October 31, 2008

Grow Any Small Business By Paying Attention To Critical Activities

Writen by Casey Sung

Do you start your day at the workplace at full steam? When you get to your workplace do you have a dozen phone calls and emails to reply to? If you do, how many of those correspondences are business related that generate revenue? How many are new sales leads? Are most of your daily correspondences sales related or are they personal in nature? In other words, how much of your time is spent on critical core business activities?

Before I go on, let me tell you about my self and where I'm coming from that I can talk about this subject. I own and operate an executive office suite. My company rents office spaces and private workspaces (desks). We also provide virtual office services to clients ranging from individual professionals to multi-billion dollar companies and everyone in between. I get to talk to a lot of people in a lot of different business. This broad exposure to many businesses let me see how they operate and see what their daily activities are like. From this, I came to realize that every business has the same core activities that are critically important but not everyone pays attention to those activities.

Every business, regardless of the industry and profession, has common core activities that are critical to the success of the business. The core activities are Product Development, Marketing, Sales, Closing, Delivery and Follow up (repeat sales). Whether you are a large corporation, a consulting professional or a sole proprietor selling widgets, you must maintain ongoing effort on all of these activities to ensure your business growth. If you are a startup company, you may be initially focused on product development and marketing. But eventually, you have to sell it.

Product Development

Whether you have widgets to sell or intangible services to sell, if you are selling some thing, you have a product. Successful businesses continuously spend time and energy improving their products. As a business owner and professional, how much time do you spend improving your product? For example, we have several products / services in my executive office suite business. We provide functional office spaces and workspaces and manage everything related to running an office for our clients. This includes making sure that internet connection and telephone services are working properly, maintaining appropriate level of staffing such as receptionists and cleaning crews, making sure that the copier, printer and fax machines are serviced and that we have enough toners and papers for the machines. The list goes on and on. As part of my product development process, I'm always looking for product improvement ideas. I ask my self, what else can I do to make my serviced office space a better place for my customers to conduct their business? I try to continuously improve my product to ensure that my products are up to date. For example, when I realized that many businesses and people need part-time office space with a permanent business address, we started our virtual office service.

Marketing and Advertisement

If you have the best widgets in the world to sell, would you keep it a secret? That is effectively what you are doing if you are not actively engaged in regular marketing activity - you are effectively keeping your product a secret from your potential buyers. If your potential customers don't know about your product, how would they buy it from you? Marketing is a critical activity for your business. You must get the word out to your potential customers. There are so many creative and cost effective marketing ideas out there. Just search for the term "Marketing Ideas" on Google or Yahoo and you will get a long list of websites and free articles. Taking my Executive Office Suite business as an example, I conduct a daily ritual of marketing activities both online and offline. I advertise to newspapers and online classifieds every day. There are many free classifieds websites on the internet and I try to take advantage of it as much as I possibly can. Why not? It's free. When I advertise, I try to be as direct as possible so that my readers will know exactly what they are getting when they call. I avoid any vagueness so that when a person responds to my ad, there's no mistake about what they are responding to.

For example, my ads may read like this: NYC Virtual Office - 212 phone, voicemail, prestigious business address, desk space use, conference room use included. For more information call 212-300-2000 or visit our website There's no mistaking that the ad is for virtual office space. If the reader calls me, that person is a qualified lead looking for a virtual office space - just the person I wanted to hear from.

Selling your product

If you've done a good job of marketing your product, you should receive a constant stream of sales leads. But the process doesn't stop there. You now have to sell your product to your potential customer – your qualified lead. Selling involves calling and talking to people to find out if your product is a right fit. A word about selling - selling is not trying to make your prospect buy. Selling is explaining your product so that the prospect can decide if your product is right for them. If you're shy about talking to people, overcome your shyness fast. It's amazing how often a sales lead is not pursued because the sales person has a good excuse why they shouldn't follow up on a lead. My personal favorite excuse for not calling on a sales lead is "I sent an email. They'll call me if they are interested in my virtual office service." An email message is a great way to keep in touch with people and send lengthy information. However, it is not a replacement for a live phone conversation. You must get on that phone and make the call if you want to sell. In my sales process, I've established a simple rule for may self – when I get a qualified lead about my virtual office services , I send an email containing details of my product. It's a great way to communicate the specifications of my product but I don't consider that email to be an act of selling. It's just a product brochure. It's not a sales effort. To sell, I follow up on the email with a phone call. Think about the last time you bought something. Did you want to talk to someone before you bought it? You have to get on the phone and talk to your prospect if you want to have a successful sale.

Closing on your sale

Informing a prospect about the features and benefits of your product is NOT the same thing as asking them to buy the product. You eventually have to ask your prospect to buy. A sales lead that keeps on leading but not buying is not a lead at all. At some point you have to close the deal by either selling or dropping the lead. Being in the executive office suite business, I get many calls from sales people who want to sell me widgets. The widget may be a phone service, or internet connection or paper supplies or copier toners. An experienced sales person will spend the necessary time to explain why their widget is better and answer any questions I might have. But eventually sales person will ask me to buy his or her widget and move on I tell them that I am not in the market for a widget. An inexperienced sales person however will just keep on telling me more about product features hoping that they will stumble onto some magic words that will cause me to buy. They are afraid of closing the sales process because I might say no. But they need to realize that the magic words are "Will you buy my widget?" and if my answer is no, just move on to the next lead. But they don't ask and when I say that I am not interested in the widget, they keep repeating how great their widget is. In my business, my prospects rarely make decisions on the spot after seeing the features and benefits of my virtual office service. They need time to think things over and see other offerings before making a decision. They are trying to make an informed decision. Knowing this, I ask when we can talk again to see whether our virtual office service will work for the prospect. When I call them at the agreed on time, I should know whether I should prepare a service agreement or move the lead to my "follow up in the future" folder. I try to help my prospects to objectively sort out their options without being biased. What ever their decision is, I should have closure on my sales lead and move on to my next qualified lead. There's nothing worse than pushing people to make decisions when they are not ready.

Deliver your product as promised

Once the sale is made, make sure the product is delivered as promised and on time. Buyers often get "buyer's remorse". Buyer's remorse is a period of time when buyers question the purchase for what ever reason. They may feel that they bought the wrong widget or paid too much for the widget or what ever else a buyer's thought process takes them. During this period, if they experience any snags in product delivery, the "buyer's remorse" factor will become stronger. The snag could be anything, late delivery, defective product, or not what the buyer ordered. The result could be a bad impression or worse, a refund. Don't let this happen to you after putting in so much effort in your sales process. Deliver the product on time, on budget and in the quality and specification promised. In my business, this is even more critical since I deal with people's business identity and operation. If I don't have the office space ready on time it's more than an inconvenience for my client. They can't get their work done. So I do everything I can to make sure that every aspect of their virtual office is ready on-time. I make sure that the telephone service is turned up correctly, the telephone number and their business address have been sent to them along with instructions on how to use the services, the internet connection is working properly, the workspace is cleaned, company sign is posted and spelled correctly, etc. When I deliver my product I want my customers to know that they have made the right choice in selecting our virtual office service. I try to not to leave anything to chance.

Follow up service

Delivering your product is not the end. Even after your product has been delivered and you have been paid, your product is under constant evaluation until the buyer becomes comfortable with it. After a few days or weeks of delivery (whichever is appropriate your product), give your new customer a call to see if they are still happy with your product. If they are not, offer to fix the problem right away. This kind of willingness to go the extra mile will leave a long lasting impression that you are not just about taking their money and moving on. Your customers will appreciate the fact that you care even after you have been paid. It might even lead to additional sales in the future or a referral to a new qualified lead. In my executive office suites business following up on a sale is unavoidable since my product is my office suite space where I also work out of. I see my customers every day. I always leave my door open so that my customers can walk in a talk to me about anything. If something is wrong I want to know about it right away so I can fix it.


Running a business involves many tasks and activities. It is easy to fall in the trap of the daily grind and neglect what's really important for your business. No matter how busy you are, don't neglect your product development, marketing, sales, closing, delivery and customer service. These are critical activities for your business. Take a step back and look at your daily routine. How much time have you spent lately on the critical things that matter for your business? Neglecting even one of these activities can have a crippling effect on your business. Incorporate them in to your daily routines and see how fast your business grow.

Casey Sung is a Principal of Grace Corporate Park LLC, an Executive Office Suite & Virtual Office services company in New York City. Casey's main responsibility is Business Development including Sales and Marketing. 

For more information see or email to reach Casey.

Breeding Confidence

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

The greatest common denominator of the ultra-prosperous is that wealthy people are master communicators. Impeccable and masterful communication unarguably leads to wealth. The highest paid and most powerful people on the planet are all master communicators. These individuals put themselves at stake in front of large groups, communicating and persuading in such a way that people are inspired to support them.

Your financial success in life will be largely determined by your ability to communicate with other people. Everything you want, but don't currently have, you will have to get from others. Your ability to effectively communicate and persuade will be your key to riches.

Persuasion is also your golden ticket to promotion. Communication skills rank number one of all the personal qualities employers seek in college graduates. While most people shy away from overtly persuasive situations, master communicators welcome such opportunities. Master communicators feel in control of challenging situations because they understand the art of persuasion and they know how to recognize and use persuasive strategies.

If you want wealth, if you want to be ultra-prosperous, take the time to study and practice the art of communication. Take yourself out of your shoes and try to see what others hear and feel as you speak. Are you getting your point accross? Are you clear and coherent? Are their gaps in your story? Remember that what may make sense in your mind doesn't necessarily mean that others will understand what you are saying. You have a lot of background information that pieces data together. Is your prospect understanding everything you say?

Kurt Mortensen's trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! His message and program has helped thousands and will help you achieve unprecedented success in both your business and personal life.

If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Writen by Virden Thornton

As a group of sales trainees took a break from our workshop on selling, the distress they were feeling, was clearly manifest in their intense discussions. It was obvious from their unrestrained conversations that the software being installed to track their sales performance was the reason for their anxiety. It was also evident from their negative comments, that many of these trainees had already given up on selling their company's services and that no amount of sales training could help them sell their firm's services. Our client, a large midwestern service firm, was willing to pay generous incentives for their customer service staff to up sell additional services. Yet, most participants in this training session felt, for a variety of reasons, that obtaining additional sales was impossible.

Jenny, a customer service representative from one of the inner-city offices of the firm was typical in her feelings about being asked to sell. She talked about how difficult it was to achieve sales success because of her location and the unique customer base she worked with daily. She said it would be impossible to achieve the sales success of coworkers in the more wealthy suburban locations—"so why even try?"

Jenny specifically talked about a coworker by the name of Arlene who had been exceptionally productive in producing sales over the last three months. Arlene worked at a branch in an upper middle class suburb. She had earned over half the incentive pool for her sales success, doubling her income. Jenny told the group, that she was sure she could do the same thing, if she could work in the suburbs like Arlene.

On meeting Arlene for the first time, you might surmise that her warm and friendly disposition produced her ongoing sales success. She has a great personality. As Jenny inferred, you might also feel, after visiting her office, that her location assisted in her phenomenal sales success. Her customers certainly have the money to invest in her products and services. However, to learn exactly what was behind Arlene's success, the firm's regional sales manager had her "shopped," (had someone act like a customer to check her performance). They also had her local manager observe her work for a few days to see if they could learn more about her success. On closer scrutiny, the sales manager learned that Arlene consistently used the selling process The $elling Edge®, Inc. had taught her in our workshops and our Self-Directed Learning reinforcement series. Along with Arlene's warmth, friendly personality and favorable location, it appeared that using our "selling process" was the major factor in her consistent sales success.

Because there were so many complaints about the unfair incentive and tracking system being implemented by the firm, the regional sales manager decided to run a test on his staff. He wanted to see if Jenny was correct in her assessment. Did the location of a branch dramatically impact an employee's ability to sell and earn additional income? Was it true that location alone determined the amount of incentive bonuses paid out? Overnight, this manager reassigned Arlene to Jenny's inner-city location. Jenny then took Arlene's place in the suburbs.

The first week after the transfer, Arlene's sales plummeted, possibly giving some credence to Jenny's theory. What few sales Jenny had been making also declined her first week in the suburbs. Since neither employee was familiar with their new customer base, these reductions in sales seemed in order. However, on checking the two representative's sales success on a weekly basis, the sales manager soon learned that location had little to do with sales or lack of success. As the weeks progressed, Arlene's sales began to steadily climb. After a month and a half in the inner-city location, her level of sales success was right back up to her production levels before her move to the inner-city. Jenny, on the other hand, over the test period, was never able to move her sales beyond what she had been doing before her move. Of course, she had an excuse for not performing well. Jenny told everyone that her sales were low because she had not had the time to get to know the customers in her new location.

Although Jenny had a pleasant personality and seemed to get along well with people, her new manager observed that she seemed unwilling to learn and then use any of the sales techniques taught in our workshops. When she was "shopped" during the test period, it was obvious that Jenny tried to use her personality to persuade her customers to buy from her. Not once did she move out from behind her desk to greet customers, nor did she shake their hand. She immediately got down to business, and failed to build rapport with the people she served. She preferred to be efficient and in turn was not at all effective in selling her firm's products and services. In short, Jenny did none of the things that would help her build the kind of customer relationships that regularly produced additional sales.

As the manager evaluated the results of the test, it became clear that Jenny's bad attitude about selling was at the heart of her poor sales record. Also, not learning and using the sales tools she had been given was the deciding factor in her lack of sales success. Arlene, on the other hand, had proven that an office location was not a major factor in the sales process for this firm.

On closer scrutiny, the regional sales manager found that a bad attitude about sales permeated the entire inner-city staff. To a person, they felt that they could not sell the customers they served, so they quit trying. While at the suburban location, everyone was upbeat about the new sales skills they had acquired from our workshop and used the methods to consistently sell their customers and earn more money while they generated more business for the firm.

As the regional sales manager looked into this attitude problem further, it became clear that the contrast in staff feelings about the consultative sales process they had been taught, primarily emanated from their respective managers. For the most part, Jenny only parroted back what she had heard her inner-city manager say about the selling process. On the other hand, Arlene's attitude about selling simply mirrored what flowed daily from her suburban manager.

As you lead your sales team, what messages are you sending to them about the selling process? Do they know that you believe in and personally use the sales tools that they must master to succeed? Are they able to use your example as a springboard to staff sales success? It really is your extended shadow that controls how well your staff performs their sales duties. As the research into the selling process outlined in this lesson clearly shows, sales success, truly lies in the extended shadow of the sales manager or supervisor. Check out our personal sales coaching training at:

VIRDEN J. THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touché, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications, Inc. Menlo Park, California. He has also authored a Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides.

Check out the listed books and manuals at Virden teaches for the Center For Professional Development, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas and in the School Of Entrepreneurship, J. Willard And Alice S. Marriott School Of Management at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. You can contact Virden at:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Differentiation The Key To People Remembering You And Your Game

Writen by Manny Nowak

What exactly are you selling? What is your product or service? How do you differentiate yourself from everyone else? Are you really interested in being at the top of your game? Strange question isn't it? You might here people say, "I am in the tradeshow labor business, so I sell labor", or "I am in the office supply business, so I sell office supplies", or "I am in the coaching business, so I sell coaching. But what is it that you really sell? Why would I buy from you, there are many people out there selling the same product. You are just the same; I might as well stay with who I have.

I used to be in the contract labor business for the tradeshow industry. So I sold labor – right? Wrong – what I sold was peace of mind. What I sold was the comfort that the customer would have by using us for his/her labor needs. The feeling that he/she would have no concerns over getting the work done, because we were that good. That is what I was selling, and once I defined it that way, I totally differentiated our company from all the rest and we became a leader in the industry. While my competition would try and sell you labor to put your booth up, I would be selling you the belief that all your problems were my problems and I would take care of them. That you could be totally confident that your job would not just get done, but get done very well. We even took it further by going outside our areas and helping you in any situation you needed help. Now, instead of worrying about your booth going up and everything coming together, you could relax, enjoy the process, and know your boss would think you did a great job. How about you, what business are you in? How are you differentiating yourself from the competition? What are you selling?

Let us look at a few more examples to help you see what we are talking about. Let us share some success stories about different businesses and what happens when you are not like the rest.

I have a friend that sells office supplies. Wrong he does not sell office supplies – what he sells is convenience. What you might ask does that mean? Simply, that I could go and buy my office supplies at Staples, or Office Max, or online at a variety of vendors. They all have a price break; they all have the same products. So why do I buy from this vendor? Because if I need something quick, I can pick up the phone, call him or send him an email and he will have it to me the next day. What is that worth? If I am online ordering and have a problem – I can call him direct and get the answer I need, get the help I need. What is that worth? What is he selling? Anyone can sell office supplies, I can buy them from any vendor, but I can only buy this super service from this vendor that is what differentiates him.

My own product is coaching business owners and professionals. Or is it? What is my real product? My real product is "success beyond what you think you can achieve". So when I speak with a prospect, I am not trying to get them to buy coaching, what I am trying to get them to buy into is taking their business and life to new levels of success. The beliefs that if they work with me, their business will grow to the place they want. So my product is success. Anyone can sell you coaching, what I sell you is building a very successful business and life – exceeding your expectations.

Point is that if you differentiate your product/service, you need to make sure people remember who you are. You can take two sales people sitting in office right next to each other. One makes $25,000 a year, the other $250,000 a year. Why? Maybe because one is selling insurance and the other is selling assurance.

I now want you to look at your business and answer these questions.

1. What is it that your customers buy from you? Have you ask them? Ask.
2. Your top 10 customers – why do they buy from you? Ask them.
3. How do you present your product to new prospects?
4. How could you better present it – and close more business?
Go out and differentiate your product. You can make it so unique, that no one else is selling what you have, but everyone wants to buy what you are selling.

Manny Nowak has spent over 25 years in building successful companies in the software, information systems and tradeshow industries. An ex-marine and former top-notch computer programmer, Manny has an extensive background in building the attitudes that create great success, attitudes that take you to the extreme levels of success Success means doing the right things To learn more or hire Manny for your business or event. (856) 358-4021

Are You Worth Another 100000 Per Year

Writen by Jacques Werth

Equation Research recently published data indicating that the difference in income between Top Salespeople and Low Performing Salespeople is nearly $100,000 a year! Where do you fit in?

Average Total Compensation of Salespeople*

High Level Performers $155,055
Mid-Level Performers $93,499
Low Level Performers $64,990

*Source: Equation Research:
Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, May 2005

About 10% of all salespeople are in the High Level Performers category. However, within that ranking, the Top 1% earn anywhere from 5 to 15 times more than the average of that group.

What accounts for these substantial differences in performance and earning power? What does it take to earn that kind of money?

It's not working longer and harder, nor "working smarter." No one can work 5 times longer and harder than someone who is near the top of the profession, and no one is several times smarter. The Top 1 Percent are different from the rest.

The Top 1% utilize a different sales process that is radically different from the sales techniques that the other 99% use. The way they do business doesn't even resemble what most people think of as "Selling".

The methods of the Top 1% are not a closely guarded "secret". Our book, "High Probability Selling," describes how the Top 1 % do business. It's been on the market since 1993, and 100,000 copies have been sold, presumably to salespeople and sales managers.

Why haven't most sales pros "gotten it" yet?

David Wolfe, an expert marketing consultant in Reston, VA., offers this explanation: "Our brains evolved to resist change, in the interest of giving us stabilized connections to the external world. To do this, we simply block out information that conflicts with past experiences and beliefs. Psychologists call this behavior "denial."

Paraphrasing more of David Wolfe's writing: Most intelligent salespeople recognize the conflict between their beliefs and the new sales realities. They resolve these conflicts with confabulations about why they must stick with the "tried and true." The instinctive, subconscious part of their brains tell them that they have survived by utilizing the old methods - and survival is the most powerful human instinct.

Philadelphia psychotherapist Dr. Wayne Diamond, who works with a large number of salespeople, has observed this resistance to changing sales beliefs in his practice. He describes it as "fear-based denial." Dr. Diamond notes that most salespeople are in such deep denial that they even deny that they experience any fear. They use words like "uncomfortable," "uneasy," "awkward" and "anxious," which are all euphemisms for fear.

The cost of all this avoidance, fear, and denial among salespeople is well over a $100,000 a year in lost income.

Can you find the courage to face and overcome your fears? If you don't overcome your aversion to change, how are you going to improve your earning power? What will it take? If you're not ready now, will you ever be ready?

©Jacques Werth, High Probability® Selling - All rights reserved.

Jacques Werth, author of "High Probability Selling," is an internationally respected Sales Trainer and Sales Consultant. HPS graduates are excelling as Top Producers in over 70 industries. Visit to read more articles, preview the book, and learn more about High Probability Selling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sales Leadership Fundamentals

Writen by Mick Bradley

"Leadership is Sacrifice. It is Self-Denial. It is in fearlessness. It is in humility and it is in the perfectly disciplined will. This is also the distinction between great and little men." -Vince Lombardi

Read this famous quote by Vince Lombardi once more only this time start by using sales leadership as the first words. I am not certain anyone can improve on his statement. What you can improve is your ability to inspire those around you. Do you...

Your salespeople look to you for leadership and answers. Are you prepared?

People do not follow leaders that lack conviction.

Do all of your people know what you want them to do and when?

Your confidence in their performance will boost their results.

Do you motivate or are you a stumbling block?

Give credence to what you want done. Inspect what you expect.

Including yourself? Do you have a written set of standards?

Become a great leader by taking time to develop skills that are shared by all great leaders. You are not in your position to demonstrate how great YOU are, you are there to see how great THEY can become.

2006 Copyright MasteringSelling

5 Bad And Lousy Words You Should Never Say In Your Sales Letter

Writen by Izrul Fizal

Do you know exactly why people don't seem excited to buy your product? Have you ever wonder why your competitors make more sales even though they have a terrible product to offer? Even worse, why people could not even be bothered to live their email address in your opt-in form and subscribe to your free newsletter?

You may wonder people just don't feel interested to buy your product or maybe your price is too high. Or you have finally realized that your product is a pile of junk and decided to find another product to sell.

You have got to stop whatever you're doing and think for a moment. It is not your product to be blame. Sometimes your own sales letter which is the one that kill your business. You have written some words that people don't even want to hear and scare the hell out of them. Studied has shown using these words will decrease your sales up to 75%.

So, what are exactly the bad words you should never say in your newsletter?

1) Buy – This specifically asking people to take out their wallet and spend some money. Bare in mind, most people surf the Internet searching certain information for free and sometimes they need more time before considering buying your product. Whatever business you're doing, using this word alone can destroy your business in split second. Instead of using the word 'buy', change it to 'claim' or 'invest'. Ask yourself, which one sound better, "Buy this amazing product" or "Claim this amazing product."

2) Learn – This will remind people back in the old days where they have to study and learn in 1st or 2nd Grade. Nobody wants to squeeze their brain out and learn something new on the Internet. Information on the Internet is just too huge. Nowadays, people want fast information and have no time to learn. Instead of using the word 'learn', it is better to use the word 'discover'. Now we are giving somewhere. Does this word sounds a lot better, "Discover 10 Easy Tips To Improve Your Golf Swing."

3) Tell – You don't have to use this word to explain the benefit of your product. People will not listen to you if they don't recognize you. Study this two words carefully, "Let me tell you the secrets of becoming a millionaire" or "Let me reveal to you the secrets of becoming a millionaire." Which one do you think that will make people keep on reading your newsletter?

4) Things – Using this word will not make your sales letter sound astonishing. It makes the sales letter very boring to read. This will make people lost their confidence in whatever you have offered to them. Instead of using the word 'things', consider to revise it to 'tips', 'tricks' or 'techniques'. "Get these 5 great techniques right away" is far better than "Get these 5 great things right away."

5) Stuff – This word is what most marketers used to describe how great the product is. If you change it to 'Insider Secrets', definitely this will give people an urge to act right away. Consider this two words, "Click here to download your 7 stuffs" or "Click here to download your 7 amazing insider secrets." Which one would you like to click?

If you can avoid this 5 bad words, your sales will definitely boost up to the roof. Don't neglect the power of these words. Now, it's time for you to check all your sales letter and change it (if any) right away. You will be surprise of the outcome.

Izrul Fizal is specialize in awesome and uncommon business and marketing concepts for businesses using an amazing Mini-Encyclopedia found at

Check it out at now and finally understand how the selling, marketing and fulfillment of your own products can be done – in your Pajamas.

Can't get to the webpage? Send a blank email instead to and discover how you can earn a living on the Internet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Promoting Your Private Label At Industry Trade Shows

Writen by Bradley Johnson

So everyone thought you were crazy when you announced 6 months ago that you were quitting your "real job" in hopes of chasing starting your own Private Label Clothing Line. Your house is a disaster, blank shirts and line sheets everywhere, your living room has been transformed into a makeshift production lab. You've bled and sweat, investing every last of ounce of time, effort and inevitably…your life savings. At last, you're first sample line is complete and your line sheets are nothing short of spectacular. Congratulations! But wait…better take a deep breath as the real work has only begun. What next?

Lucky for you, Leisure Trends estimates that in 2004 surf and skate retailers sold $4.87 billion in goods. With those figures continuing to increase in 2005 you only need a sliver of the pie. Most importantly you need to place yourself in front of and meet the right people.

Industry Trade Shows: Inundated with retail purchasers in attendance, emerging brands often use trade show appearances to better establish their lines with key accounts from specialty shops such as Huntington Surf & Sport to larger chains including Tilly's. From sourcing wholesale clothing to meeting buyers, these events are your opportunity to get your name out there and begin taking orders.

1. ASR – As a full service tradeshow, Action Sports Retailer (ASR) provides a venue for buyers and manufactures to meet, sell, buy, exchange ideas, market, and network. With 3 events each year, ASR gathers approximately 7000 buyers and decision makers. Visit for more info.

2. Surf Expo- Produced twice annually, Surf Expo is the longest running trade show for manufacturers and retailers in the boardsports and resortwear industries (28 years). Visit for more details.

3. Magic – Considered perhaps the most influential business event in the fashion industry, Magic connects a global audience twice per year and attracts over 95,000 attendees including over 3,000 manufacturers. For show information visit

Now, hopefully you've come up with a unique approach and can afford booth space.

Happy selling!

Bradley J

Fashionable Clothing Wholesaler

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Businesspersons Dilemma To Wear The Rolex Or Not

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

You've heard the expression that's says: "Everyone loves a winner!"

But is it true?

Specifically, if you're a success, and a conspicuous one, as a salesperson, consultant, or businessperson, with all of the goodies to show for it, including a Porsche, London tailored suits and a Rolex, will clients be pleased or will they think your services are too costly?

Likewise, let's say you're teaching selling skills. Should you be a persuasive devil, someone with the gift of gab, and be magnetic?

Or, do you need to be merely a teacher, a trainer, someone who can explain and interact well, but not be a star in your own right?

In other words, to be credible and therefore more effective in your assignments, must you talk the talk AND walk the walk?

Opinions differ.

I did a significant, six-figure consulting engagement in Houston. One of my trainees later became a top salesman for a financial services company in Ohio, and on the strength of his recommendation, that company hired me for what also turned out to be a serious six-figure assignment.

He remarked with genuine respect and awe: "Gary, I told them that when we met in Houston you were wearing the most expensive suit I had ever seen in my life!"

True enough, it was VERY expensive and very impressive to him, and I guess that suit paid for itself about 400 times over, with his help, alone.

Clothes surely "made the man" in that case.

But his companies respected high-earning salespeople and executives, and they felt better surrounded by reminders of success and affluence. If I'm good enough to get these things for myself, the logic says, I must be good enough to teach them, right?

But this sentiment isn't universal. There are companies, quite prosperous ones, where they downplay all indicia of wealth while frowning on displays of opulence.

You can profit from your work with them, but don't show it.

They could be in a cost-cutting campaign, asking the rank and file to economize, and your obvious displays could seem excessive or even undeserved, and you could engender resentments instead of cooperation.

But modesty has its limits, and overall, I don't always agree with that famous line from the play and movie, "The Producers;"

"If you've got it; flaunt it!"

But suffice it to say that your choices of clothing, jewelry, autos and other things that can be seen easily, will speak volumes about you.

What do YOU want them to say?

Dr. Gary S. Goodman is the best-selling author of 12 books, over 700 articles, and the creator of numerous audio and video training programs, including "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant-a favorite among salespeople and entrepreneurs. For information about booking Gary to speak at your next sales, customer service or management meeting, conference or convention, please address your inquiry to:

The Spirit Of Change

Writen by Christopher Walker

A Highly Conscious Approach To Business Management.
For more on this topic please link to Innerwealth Web Site

For many years I have worked with people who are keen to work effectively as possible. The most successful people I have encountered in this time are moved by an expansive vision. They are fascinated by life and driven to experience it fully. They respond well to change although they do not necessarily like it. They think clearly when information is uncertain and structures of belief are impaired. They see connections between a fast moving world and their vision, and they have open and receptive state of mind that is not paralyzed by information they had not expected. They have mastered the art of working with people and are able to communicate honestly, pursue compelling vision and engage with integrity.

A powerful resistance always thrives during times of transition and it is pervasive today. Leaders are struggling to make decisions that are needed, organizations are not developing incisive transition strategies. Employee burnout and ineffectiveness are epidemic at a time when creativity, quality and service are vitally important. Over 50% of all absenteeism in Corporate USA is a result of mental health problems.

Such a change will require the disposal of some long held beliefs. Beliefs that separate who we are at work from who we are at home. Beliefs that tend to uncertainty and stress rather than well-being and peace of mind. Solutions are needed that are not pressed from a foil strip or shaken from a bottle. We need solutions that resolve dichotomies at their very source. And this is what Innerwealth aims to achieve. In writing this article I have moved between my head and my heart. I have tried on the one hand to be logical and rational in presenting process for you to improve the quality of your home and work life but equally I have tried to speak from my heart. I guess if I truly achieved this I would be in silence, but I'm not. I truly think it is time for us all to put the heart and soul back into business and life.

Putting the Heart and soul back into Work and Life

Putting the heart and soul back into business is no distraction from the pursuit of wealth and success, in fact it's synonymous with it. The primary difference is the opportunity to be more present, more fulfilled and more motivated by our inner resources, to live a more balanced life, to get more done in less time, to live longer and enjoy a richer more rewarding lifestyle. You simply cannot get this from a bottle.

It's about success, management from the inside out, being healthy at 100 years of age and making a contribution to boot. Here's the test. If you're not more vital, more energized and more relaxed at the end of the day than you were at the start, then you're burning out. That's external management and an investment in personal management education will have an outstanding affect on your life. There is a more productive way of managing yourself and others.

You'll live longer, save precious time and make more money. You'll feel better inside and out. Clear head, better decisions, maintain your strength, flexibility and body tone with out leaving your chair.

You'll live longer, save precious time and make more money. You'll feel better inside and out.

It's only natural.

Managing anything is a natural talent. It's not conmplex but has been made so by a conflict between human and material values. The infrence has been that people need to be driven to work harder and that hard work produces best results. But, all psychology and spiritual teaching argues with this. It has been proven that an inspired, healthy and happy individual will produce double the result of a hard working unhappy, emotionally unstable individual. Our inner world truly is, the greatest driver for productivity and profit in the world. So why not harness it? Here's how.

The Key ingredients of Management from the Inside Out

n Mind power - Stay balanced, make better decisions and reduce stress.

Mental Health – requires a stable, focused and peaceful mind. The key to this is perception, The way we thing is so crucial that it has been the focus of all the ancient spiritual arts, since the beginning of time. Balanced thoughts are the key because lopsided thoughts create lopsided perceptions, emotions. To the extreme, lopsided perceptions and extreme emotions are madness and insanity (psychopathic). To a lesser degree, they are depression, stress and confusion. Now after years of suffering the technologies have become available to instantly balance our mind. Yoga and most Eastern arts have taught these for centuries and are now clearly available in the West. Another, more recent revelation, is the Collapse Process, created by Dr John Demartini. It is a revolutionary process, taught in all Innerwealth Workshops that can center a person in seconds.

A centered, balanced mind burns less fuel. Makes better decisions, doesn't react to people, focuses on the outcomes, is essential to longevity and health and builds success. Learn to center your mind and you will learn the single greatest key for inspired leadership. When the mind is centered so are you. When you are centered you make decisions with clarity and absolute certainty. When you are centered your decisions go one step further than emotional highs and lows, you are stable, wise and healthy.

Whatever process you elect to follow it must, by it's very nature suffer resistance because it will conflict with your innate tendency, to defend identity and consequently to emotionalize every issue. (ego) Emotions (and illness) come from thoughts. The one true power every human being is blessed with in life, is the ability to change their mind, funny how it's usually the last thing we try). Therefore personal balance is a very deep journey of the self. However, it is the core basis for. Leadership, Healing, Recovery and Inspiration, and therefore of great benefit to us all.

Making it personal

Every individual has innate desires, ambitions and dreams. We cannot survive without some degree of hope. When what you do and what you hope to achieve are disconnected, in any walk of life, desperation and sabotage begin. ( in other words, when you can't link what you are doing to what you are wanting your sabotage what you are doing) The optimum performance of any individual is determined by how connected their inner desires and outer goals are. This linking results in Inner Motivation – or as we call it – Inspiration. Inspiration improves communication, certainty, motivates productivity and inspires creative and refreshed action. Consequently, the role of an inspired leader is to link the personal goals and motivations of individuals to those of the organization. When each of us has a dream that we would love to achieve, and we feel that by working together we will achieve both our own and others hopes, then this is where a true culture of humanity begins.

Aligning your personal goals with those of the team and the organization creates self-motivation. Self-motivated people just can't wait to jump out of bed and rush to work. The LCM process – is a system that can be implemented over time to manage and develop strong ties and commitment within a company or team.. Based on personal responsibility it develops an obvious and very personal motivation to work. People jump out of bed and just can't wait to get to work in the morning.


From perspiration to inspiration If you have less energy at the end of the day than at the start, experience worry and/or excessive thinking, or have uncertainty about what your future holds, it may be time to make some important changes to your way of life. Aligning the body and mind for perfect health is essential Using stretch routines, breathing practice, diet advice, good posture, relaxation techniques, exercise programs you will enjoy work more, and be more productive and healthier at the end of the day. Sugar is one of the main culprits for depleted health. It robs the body of nutrient and displaces blood sugar balances. But all stimulants, of any description can be thought of as sugar, no matter whether it's a food, a sound, a thought or a picture.

Your body speaks. It's doing everything it can to help you live your vision. It's aches and pains are the symptoms of imbalance and a great signal for you to re evaluate your direction. Keep in mind that 90% of the fuel used in space flight is in correcting direction so getting a long way off the path can be expensive. The ancients have told us for centuries that the psyche and soma are one. Using that one simple piece of ancient knowledge enables you to revolutionize your health. You can know that your emotions of anger, aggression, suffering and sadness affect your health negatively. You can treat the cause as well as the effect. Managing your thoughts is a most essential ingredient in good health.

Attitude - Working from the Inside Out

Entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs listen to their inner voice. They practice daily routines that support their life. Drawing with requires courage, process and understanding. All are capable of it.. To go within requires discipline and practice. To go within requires discerning wisdom, the difference between fantasy and reality. Aim to an experience the wisdom of the inner voice and learn a process to go there any time.

Your attitude to life determines your health, vitality and success. An attitude of Gratitude is an inspired way of looking at life. Your personal potential is determined by the degree of gratitude you have. It creates a magnetic disposition, saves lives, cures disease and transforms relationships. Gratitude is the most powerful, focused mind state for both business and personal life that you can create. Whether it's on the golf course, yoga class, with the kids or at work, gratitude is the most powerful inspired state.

Inspired individuals build inspired teams. Breaking down the barriers means finding a common language, cutting through the fog that creates uncertainty. You need to create daily space for this to happen. Through this process you will begin to understand yourself better and this automatically creates an amazing willingness to be flexible and adapt to change. You will remove the tensions and worries replace them with an overwhelming focus on future possibilities. It's a new way of Management.

Embrace Change

We live in revolutionary times and our lives are being altered in ways we cannot predict. Every major institution is being transformed. Our most deeply held values are in dispute and the nature of personal relationships is changing drastically. Our capacity to feed and house ourselves, to live healthy and useful lives, to work productively with one another, and to pass on a decent world to our children is in doubt. so anyone who wants to generate meaningful responses to the events of the times must become a change agent.

The most successful change agents we have encountered are moved by an expansive vision. They are fascinated by life and driven to experience it fully. They respond well to change although they do not necessarily like it. They think clearly when information is uncertain and structures of belief are impaired. They see connections between a fast moving world and their organization and they have open and receptive state of mind that is not paralyzed by information they had not expected. They have mastered the art of working with people and are able to communicate honestly, pursue compelling vision and engage with integrity.

Continuous improvement is an essential ingredient for future success. We all need to become agents of change. Embracing change is continuous improvement. It's a team sport. We'll make it happen more easily. Of course change was once an annual event. Now it hourly. Flexibility is a key to success in any field. Learning to adapt to others and marketplaces is about playing to strength and not to victim.

The life force of organizational change is personal change. People who are changing in order to live productively in this new age can create extraordinary results.

The key element of this dynamic is a particular turn of mind. Harnessing the gifts of the human spirit through mind and body development opens the door to this transformation. More than amassed capital or technology or knowledge or connections it is a flexible and inventive approach to life that will determine who recognizes new resources and transforms them into useful goods, services and values.

We do not wake up in the morning and wants less of the good things in life. We all want to grow, spiritually, materially affectionately and domestically. There is a way to achieve this without hibernating to a mountain top for the next 30 years. There is a power in your heart and that power has been underestimated for many years. That power can build, create, design and succeed without burnout.

To connect to this resource we need tools to overcome the stresses that keep us in overload. The stresses that sabotage our wealth, health and relationships. In short we need to take the time to understand the human dynamic of emotions and self awareness from a whole new and totally valuable perspective. That perspective must be real. Real life spirituality that is not organized or dogma but a way to find and harness our true human potential.

Consinuous change is about adaptation. Living and working in tune with natures law. It's about working with the natural laws rather than against them. Discovering that which is already yours and revealing it in productive ways that build and develop a world in which valuing the human spirit becomes a way of life. It is a way to do live in tune, to move beyond competition as the key determinant of the outcome of your life.

A Powerful Purpose

A purpose or personal vision is more than words, it is a message from the heart of leadership. Developing clarity of vision is by far the pinnacle of success in any endeavor. Whether it's a sports team, a business or a family group vision is the glue that binds individuals to a common inspiring cause. We recommend the first step is for individuals to know their own mind, their unique vision, dreams and inspirations. We've worked with children from the age of 10 who have created a purpose statement that brings tears to parent's eyes. And we've worked with people 70 years and older whose life has taken a new turn of health by regaining a sense of purpose.

The size of your vision determines the size of your life. Its clarity determines your destiny. Take the time to step back from the day-to-day duties to develop a global vision. Write it, affirm it and be inspired by it. Putting your heart and soul into something you love is unstoppable.

Vision is a powerful goal and an essential motivator. Inspiration is when the inner voice speaks louder than the outer voices. Life purpose is beyond them both. Life purpose is a commitment to excellence and a commitment to a purpose greater than the self. Instead of the fluctuations of transient goals and visions, life purpose creates a transportable theme for a life. Life purpose breaks dependency and provides the true freedom that every individual aspires to.

Become an Evolutionary

Money is just one of your many forms of reward. You need to become an evolutionary, by living from within, breaking the mould, following your passion and listening to your heart. It's no easy road. It requires a clarity of vision, an ability to inspire others, it requires a depth of certainty beyond willpower, but most of all it requires a powerful, heart driven dream.

Innerwealth, arose from my own journey. A journey of searching for a way to live in the world, with its stress and strain, to achieve my financial and personal objectives, yet, maintain that deep love of life that I cherish so deeply.

I wanted to open to life fully, yet, something in the world of the "new age sciences" was unsatisfying. It forced me to dig deeper than I had expected. None of the fluff or the fundamentalist doctrines of idealism. I chose to be real and I need real answers. I want the freedom to be free sprit in this world yet honor a power greater than myself/ I am passionate about bringing heart and soul into business and life, and I do it through these programs.

I offer real, natural concepts to live by. I want to help you, to inspire you, and help you to help those you live and work with to achieve their best. I choose to honor diversity and I achieve this by turning to the natural laws as a guide.

Nature was there before us, she'll be there after us. She's a refection of creation and she's not subject to coercive interpretation of factions and myth. She doesn't deal in myth but offers simple honesty as a way to navigate our path to the future. She's old, and wise. She's young and fresh. And as a model for life mastery she offers a grander power than we can hope to comprehend. Life is not the art of war, it's the honoring of natural principles. Each and every one of us is capable of living with Inspiration – an independent, successful and inspired individual who is living to their fullest potential.


Draw no sharp distinction
Between their work and their play,
Their labor and their leisure,
Their mind and their body
Their education and their recreation.
They hardly know which is which.
They simple pursue their vision
Of excellence
Through whatever
They are doing and leaves
Others to determine
Whether they are working or playing.
To themselves, it always seems to be
That they are doing both.

Management from Within

Brings more heart and soul-into home and work place
Adds greater spirit to life
Provides distinct leadership advantages
Links head and heart together, bringing mind and heart into a joint venture
Provides true love which powers up your whole system
Eliminates feelings of blame and victimization which disempower
Provides continuity between intuition and intelligence
Provides the most powerful means for shifting states of consciousness
Increases the quality of life
Builds confidence and magnetism
Allows deeper levels of love
Provides greater health
Provides new creative insights and perspectives
Allows greater intuition and inspiration
Neutralizes blocked emotions
Dissolves protective shells around your heart
Improves cardiovascular function
Provides greater energy and vitality
Acts as your battery booster
Clarifies mental distractions
Improves immune system functions
Encourages within true and balanced caring
Changes self-defeating behaviors into ones building greater self-worth
Revitalizes bored or burned-out relationships
Transforms worry, anxiety and guilt into healthy productive actions
Heightens moral courage
Increases mental effectiveness
Rebalances emotional imbalances
Harmonizes energies
Transforms energy draining judgments
Clarifies confusions
Enhances interpersonal communications
Awakens inner motivation
Improves financial security and self-worth
Inspires to have greater overall appreciation for life

About The Author

Change Agent, Business Consultant, Author, and Futurist, Christopher Walker is a visionary individual and one of the world's leading facilitators of Personal and organizational change. He is considered a leader in the field of human potential, inspiration and leadership. Christopher's amazing programs unravel the mysteries of human behavior, personal growth and professional development, lead to progressive change and a richer more inspired life.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How To Hit Your Sales Targets In 2006

Writen by Dave Wells

This time of year many business people are looking ahead to next year with optimism and determination to make record revenue targets. It's as if by turning the calendar from December to January somehow all things will be great and obstacles that seem too big this year will magically disappear. Well if this year didn't quite match up to the expectations, intentions and well wishes for a great 2005, here are 5 tips that will help you develop opportunities for your sales force.

Define the meaning of the word "lead". Take your best sales reps and clearly define the definition of a qualified lead. What types of companies should you go after? Who should your sales team be making appointments with? Should you target the names by title or function or both? What are their most common business pains? In other words, make it so that your sales force can pick out a prospect in a line-up if they had to.

Determine the right amount of leads per sales rep. More leads aren't necessarily better. Sales reps have to divide their day into current customer demands, administrative tasks, and prospecting. The more a sales rep is stretched, the less effective they become. Make sure you create a system that puts the rep in front of only the best prospects so that they have more quality time to sell as opposed to following up on dead-end leads that only waste the rep's time.

Determine your impact message. Time is money and your messages must be developed with the greatest impact for the task at hand. Think about every, yes every step, in your sales process. Complex sales can take a long time to develop. That's why each and every touch point of the process should be selling the next step in your sales process. From advertisements, to the web site, from the sales letters down to the first phone call, each one of these should have a specific impact message.

Qualify the lead. Most companies don't qualify the leads well. That's why after a while most reps don't jump on a lead given to them by the marketing department. There is an inherent problem with measuring both the marketing and sales departments by numbers. Marketing needs to justify its existence so any old person that fills out a web form or responds to an ad gets tagged as a lead. And sales needs to justify the number of calls, appointments etc. so they are constantly trying to close. Both departments don't determine the stage of the buying cycle that the prospect is at until it's too late. Both departments lose – marketing really didn't have a hot lead as the reps thought, and sales gets discouraged because they want ready and willing buyers right now.

• Make sure your lead is a decision maker or strong influencer.

• The budget is available or the person can make it available.

• Your solution will solve their pain.

• They have expressed a real interest to explore a solution to their need right now.

Conduct a task commitment cost/benefit study. Direct selling is costly. Most studies show that face-to-face B2B sales calls are in the neighborhood of $500 or more. That's why most companies make their highly paid sales team make cold calls. Determine if it's in the best interests of your revenues and profits to have this kind of business model. If 90% of your revenues come from of a sales rep's face-to-face selling time – 10% of their week is literally asking for the sale - wouldn't you want them spending more quality sales time with their prospects?

• What's the best use of the sales rep's time?

• Who should cold call?

• Who should nurture leads?

• Should you create an internal call center or hire a Business Process Outsourcing firm?

• Will sales reps blow the sale by always trying to close, close, close the prospect during the formative lead nurturing cycle?

By taking the time to qualify your leads; and assign the appropriate team at each stage of the game, you will find your company in a better position to catch more prospects at the time that they want to buy.

David Wells is a business development expert, speaker, trainer, consultant and founder of a provider of business-to-business lead creation, data confirmation and integrated marketing solutions.

Turning Customer Complaints Into Customer Referrals

Writen by Jonathan Farrington

It's a mistake to think that because a customer has expressed dissatisfaction with your product or service they will not come back to you.

They won't return if you handle the situation badly. However, some of your most vociferous complainers could become your most loyal customers, because you handled the situation well and treated them with respect.

This means recognising some essential traits:

• Customers want to be respected

• They want attention

• They want to be appreciated and recognised

• Most of all they want to be understood

Losing Customers:

Why do businesses lose customers?

A survey with which you may be familiar, asked customers why they changed supplier/vendor.

Here are the results:

• Developed a good relationship with another supplier 5%

• Less expensive products elsewhere 9%

• Unhappy with service/product 18%

Because of the poor attitude of the supplier 68%

Your Customers Are The Lifeblood Of Your Business:

It is never easy to win new business, which is why we should nurture existing customers and try to minimise problems and inconvenience.

It's a good idea to:

• Make regularly visits or calls – spotting trouble early on can help prevent it

• Reply to calls/queries as soon as possible

• Talk to your customers – find out about them

• Keep them well informed

• Conduct regular reviews of your performance - see your service through their eyes

Ensure that the lifeblood keeps flowing through the veins of your business.

Solving Problems:

Suppose they are difficult.

Few people are truly difficult. In any case it is important to make a distinction between difficult people and difficult behaviour, which is often a result of non co-operation on your part.

• Focus on the problem (challenge?) not on them

• Show interest – bring out their likeable side

• Put yourself in their shoes – remember empathy?

• Be personal – use their name if that's what they would like

• Appeal to their better nature. 'As a parent of small children you…'

• Cultivate their goodwill

Saying Thank You:

Let your customers know you appreciate them. Find little ways to thank them for their custom, especially when they are not expecting it. This is a great way to attract compliments, especially after sorting out a difficult problem.

• A simple but sincere thank you card – personalised

• Gift vouchers

• Cards at Christmas or other appropriate festivals – Diwali, Hanukah, Eid

• VIP days for special events, launches, dinners

• Social gatherings for key clients

Loyalty cards are very popular now with many organisations. Discounts, bonus points, free samples, all help to make your business stand out.

Compliments & Comments:

Why do we find it difficult to accept compliments?

Is it because:-

• We don't have enough faith or pride in our product?

• We think it's probably a back-handed complaint?

• We don't trust people?

• We don't know how to react? (How about thank you?!)

Compliments tell us what we are doing right and give a boost to our morale. If we allow it, they bring us pleasure.

Some customers just mutter a comment because that's how they are. They don't really want you to take them up on it. (It's a good idea though to take note of what they say and if appropriate ask, 'Is everything okay?')

Relationship Marketing:

Relationship marketing is no longer a new buzz word and obviously it's here to stay. It's all about looking at your customers and your relationship with them in a new light. Rather than develop a product or service and market it to the customers, relationship marketeers think about what the customers want and adapt their product development strategy accordingly.

It's about customisation to meet the needs of the individual. Relationship marketing is based on getting feedback and using it to develop and improve your service. Earlier it was suggested that companies make it as easy as possible for customers to complain. In relationship marketing, feedback is sought before a complaint occurs. This helps to:

• Identify potential problem areas before the customer does

• Customise

For many companies it has become practice to encourage customers to provide such information via the website. You need good quality of information if you are to have a two-way relationship with your customer

Customer Expectations:

Have customers changed? – In a word - Yes!

• They are more demanding

• Have higher expectations

• Have a more pressurised lifestyle

• Want everything but don't necessarily want to pay for it

• Are less tolerant

• Want more for their money, time and effort

• Are much more aware of their rights – influenced by consumer rights programmes

• Are driven by customer service issues in their own workplace

• Are more likely to seek recommendation from friends and colleagues than rely on advertising

• Are driven by new technology – particularly the internet

BUT – the key to supplier differentiation lies within these increased expectations, since customers now value closer links with efficient, competent suppliers who are willing to act as long term allies.

And Finally:

Some key lessons on keeping abreast of customer needs and minimising complaints:

• Use as much of the available technology as possible – make it work for the customer

• Focus on customers as individuals

• Listen and act on what they say

• Increase the value of each customer – especially in the long term

• Welcome complaints – always, always, welcome complaints.

Copyright © 2006 Jonathan Farrington. All rights reserved

Jonathan Farrington is the Managing Partner of The jfa Group To find out more about the author or to subscribe to his newsletter for dedicated sales professionals, visit

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is Your Sales Plan Engineered By Design Or By Default

Writen by Mike Myatt

One of the most critical choices that an executive or entrepreneur can make is to determine which sales/revenue opportunities to pursue vs. which ones to pass on. How do you determine where you will allocate your time, your resources and your talent? Do you use a rational decisioning process to arrive at the right conclusion or are you the person that is often second guessed or proved wrong because your decision was made irrationally and you arrived at your conclusion by default, osmosis or some other unknown process?

For purposes of this posting I will exclude the greener pastures of new sales opportunities and focus on the most overlooked area of opportunity assessment which is prioritizing decisions surrounding sales of your existing product or services. It has been my observation that many sales plans simply evolve for no quantifiable, qualifiable or tangible reason other than just because…Following are the top 10 reasons not to pursue a particular sales opportunity:

#10: Because a strong sales or product manager flexed his muscles and pushed their bias;

#9: To seek static gains in a vacuum buy just looking for increases in quarter over quarter sequential revenue growth;

#8: To buy business in order to gain market share;

#7: Because more marketing budget exists for Product A vs. Product B;

#6: Because the sales force can't seem to get traction with Product X;

#5: Because the sales force is getting traction with Product X;

#4: Because the ad agency made a good pitch;

#3: Because the market research said you had a competitive advantage;

#2: Because your competition does it, and;

#1: Because it's always been done that way.

Some of the aforementioned reasons if encapsulated in an overarching strategy may not in and of themselves be bad reasons to pursue a sales opportunity. However in the absence of a plan and standing alone in a vacuum they will result in wrong choices being made more often than not. To avoid the common mistakes outlined above conduct a thorough comparative analysis of all product and service lines assessing the following key metrics:

• Cost of sales and profit margins;

• Length of selling cycle;

• Sales/revenue obstacles;

• Competitive analysis;

• Current market demand;

• Potential for future market growth;

• Ability to further brand recognition/growth;

• Quality and quantity of available talent and resources supporting a particular product or service line;

• Execution and delivery capabilities;

• Post sale costs of service;

• Ability to add to lifecycle value;

• Recurring revenue vs. one time revenue, and;

• Creation of additional revenue opportunities.

Take the above metrics and plug them into a grid ranking each category from highest to lowest for each product or service line. In addition to individual rankings also created a weighted rank based on the metrics that are most important to your business. Lastly create a blended score for each product or service line. Conducting this type of analysis will help you determine where you should be placing your emphasis for the purpose of moving you toward a best practices approach when creating a well engineered sales plan.

Mike Myatt is the Chief Strategy Officer at N2growth. N2growth is a leading venture growth consultancy providing a unique array of professional services to high growth companies on a venture based business model. The rare combination of branding and corporate identity services, capital formation assistance, market research and business intelligence, sales and product engineering, leadership development and talent management, as well as marketing, advertising and public relations services make N2growth the industry leader in strategic growth consulting. More information about the company can be found at

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Characteristics Of A True Sales Leader

Writen by Jeff Hardesty

In the average sales organization, successful sales reps get promoted to managers. These "new" sales managers are suddenly tasked with leadership and training. In these situations, there is one common liability. The salesperson's biggest strength now becomes the sales manager's biggest weakness in leading a team. Typically, top sales reps don't diagnose and document their sales routines and processes; rather, they "just do it", as the sneaker commercial so aptly says. So, when they are asked to advance the same superior results in a large group, they can not do it. Why? Because these individuals are exceptional "drivers." Most of their past success was due to their personalities and individual abilities, which are not transferable to the masses.

Sadly, most superior sales performers, when promoted to leadership positions, are unable to truly lead. They have trouble analyzing and teaching their personal sales processes in such a way that their sales teams can properly digest. Solo reps who move into the management sphere tend to manage people versus coaching critical competencies and behaviors, which hurts the bottom line. To be effective, sales leaders must understand and know how to integrate knowledge of sales systems and processes to their staff. They need the majority of their salespeople to accept it, own it and benefit from it.

Going one step further, it is crucial for sales leaders to have experience in identifying and measuring critical core competencies and essential performance metrics. Sales leaders should understand that there are a finite number of scenarios in any selling process. If you identify, train to and measure each one of them, you are on your way to excellence. True sales leaders shine a light on the most critical competencies, enabling the highest percentage of their sales force to routinely win. Sales leaders train to each one of these competencies, but they do so by priority. They understand that training to multiple missions at once will achieve minimal results.

The importance of sales training comes into play for sales leaders, who must consider results-oriented training as a process versus an isolated event. They don't just talk about it at sales meetings, or attend seminars that superficially touch on it; instead, they extract the most important critical competency, such as creating new opportunities, and peel back every element that comprises it. They break apart the elements into single scenarios and attach powerful routines to each scenario. Sales leaders, like great business leaders, spend time developing systematic approaches to essential competencies. And they do it so that their people can outperform the standard.

Sales training campaigns should be setup to improve the ratios of success in each core competency. Operational effectiveness equals better competency routines. Better than whose, you ask? Your competitors', of course. With the right systems in place, good sales leaders understand their essential competency ratios and performance numbers, and are able to relate them to revenue objectives. It is important to set realistic goals that are in line with performance ratios, then set "benchmarks" for each competency and train specifically to those benchmarks.

Jim Tressel, head football coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes, gave a preseason interview the year after winning the 2002 National Football Championship. He said, "We decided to identify a number of important performance benchmarks, and effect training to meet them each week. For instance, we found that over the last 15 years, when we gained at least 200 rushing yards in a game, we won the game 98% of the time. So we are training to routines that will help us get better at the competency of running the football on the ground in order to reach that particular benchmark more often."

Sales leaders believe that sales reps will be accountable to results, provided that leadership:
(1) Identifies the important competencies required for success; (2) Supplies targeted training with appropriate structures for learning and application; and,
(3) Measures the degree of improvement.

Sales leaders are dedicated to transforming "C" players into "B" players, and "B" players into "A" players. They hold themselves accountable to develop or invest in relevant training systems, learning structures and support tools. They want most of their people to routinely meet or exceed company revenue goals, as well as personal career objectives. They know that they must provide the setting and the tools that foster this kind of achievement.

While their seat-of-the-pants skill sets are excellent, the natural sales rep, when thrust into the role of sales manager, must learn how to convert these skills into transferable processes and routines that focus on essential competencies. Thereafter, it comes down to how effectively they can train, motivate and support their staff towards maximizing core competencies, which ultimately increases the odds of exceeding revenue targets.

Jeff Hardesty is President of JDH Group, Inc. and the Developer of the X2 Sales System®, a blended training system that teaches sales professionals the competency of setting C-level business appointments. Jeff has been featured in numerous National publications such as Business First, Dartnell's SELL!NG , Chief Learning Officer and Training Magazine with reference to Blended Learning Systems and improving sales teams Key Performance Indicators. He travels the country conducting live X2 'Boot Camps' and Train-the-trainer sessions helping sales organizations get more reps to Quota in less time, shorten new-hire 'Ramp-to-Quota' and eliminate Turnover costs due to low sales activity.

Jeff can be reached at To view a complimentary suite of sales training ROI calculators and determine your sales team's Key Performance Indicators in line with your sales objectives visit

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How To Use A Powerful Leadership Tool To Step Up Sales Results

Writen by Brent Filson

Good sales people can close, but few "step up" for even more sales from that close. Yet stepping up should be one of the easiest accomplishments in sales — that is if you know how to build the staircase.

Do it by applying a leadership tool I have taught thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 20 years. The tool is simply to foster a particular viewpoint, which is this: Challenge people not simply to do a task but to take leadership of that task.

The difference in results-producing effectiveness between doing a task and taking leadership of a task is the difference between the lightning bug and lightning.

This change in viewpoint may seem simple even simplistic; but when put into action many times daily, it can work wonders.

For instance, I worked with a manufacturing leader whose workers were constantly falling short of productivity goals. I told him he was leading the workers in the wrong way; he was ordering them to get productivity advancements. I told him that he should have the workers sign on as leaders of productivity advancements. When the workers began seeing themselves as such leaders, they started hitting the goals consistently.

Now, let's apply this leadership tool to the sales process. I'll show you how to get step-ups in results that go far beyond the results achieved from closes. Here are three ways to do it.

(1) Don't Just Sell Products, Get Cause Leaders: Salespeople often fail to get step-ups because they have a short-sighted view of the customer. They view the customer as only a customer! Whereas, if we want to get step-ups, we must see the customer not just as a customer but as a "cause leader," one who can lead our cause both inside and outside their company. Instead of aiming just to sell a product, to get a close, aim to turn your customer into your cause leader.

For instance, I consulted with a materials supplier that wanted to acquire new customers in the computer industry. The salespeople of the materials company not only worked diligently on closing with the engineer-customers but also on creating step-ups by persuading those engineers to be the cause leaders for their materials within the company.

Here is the way that they enlisted that leadership. They discovered that the engineers needed increased productivity and faster cycle-times -- and to do it with fewer resources.

In response, the sales people developed a materials performance package for the engineers that increased their productivity and cycle-times. In addition, they brought in productivity experts from their own company to help the engineers streamline their design processes. They're not only selling their materials. They're selling productivity as well. Seeing that the sales people were helping them meet their vital needs, the engineers became the sales people's cause leaders within their company — unleashing a torrent of step-ups.

(2) Start Early: George Burns said, "I had to work hard for 20 years in vaudeville before I became an overnight success in radio." That's a lesson in stepping up. Stepping up sales results with my leadership tool doesn't just happen overnight. You must prepare to get those step-ups starting in the early stages of the sales process: when prospecting for new clients, identifying decision makers, and making initial calls.

In this early stage, ask yourself: "What is the close in this sale? And how can that close lead to the customer not simply buying my product but also becoming the product's cause leader, both inside and outside his/her organization?"

For instance, the sales people of the materials company I mentioned aimed to replace their competitors' materials with their materials in computer housing applications. With that focus, they would have gotten closes — but not step-ups. The differences between their competitors materials and their materials were negligible in cost and performance.

The sales people continued to develop the traditional channels to their customers' purchasing departments. But they also began building step-ups early by including design engineers in their first-stage sales activities. They focused on being their customers' "design partners" — not simply showing them where they could save costs and achieve performance advantages but also showing them how they could get market share through the innovative uses of those materials.

Getting in early as their customers' design partners, they not only got closes but step-ups from those closes by integrating their materials into new generations of housings.

(3) Link to "Must-Have" Results: Step-ups happen only when you answer the vital needs of your customers — not the nice-to-have needs. Discover those needs by asking and answering: "What are your customers absolute must-have results?"

Those "must-haves" are your great step-up opportunities, because when you are delivering on the must-haves, your customers are more likely to become your cause leaders.

In the above example, the sales people were able to get step-ups because they focused on their customer's "must-haves", productivity and cycle-time.

Here's another example dealing with another busines sector: I consulted with an insurance company whose growth had flattened out. We found out a key reason why. Their products were not meeting the must-have results of their customers. The must-have results of their customers were that they absolutely had to grow their businesses. Yet the company's products did not materially address the growth needs of their customers.

Only when the sales people convinced their own company to develop and sell products that met the growth needs of their customers were they able to turn those customers into cause leaders. Once those new products were offered to the customers, they far outsold the old products.

Don't sell yourself short by focusing exclusively on the close. Liberate the step-up opportunities that are embedded in most closes by using this powerful leadership tool of challenging people to lead not simply do. By getting customer cause leaders, starting early, and linking to must-have results, you can multiply sales far beyond what closes achieve.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – and has worked with thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 20 years helping them achieve sizable increases in hard, measured results. Sign up for his free leadership ezine and get a free guide, "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at

Adopt The T Method To Sales Performance Improvement

Writen by Jeff Hardesty

What's your approach to sales training? Do you have a process that defines which sales performance competency to train to and what impact it will have on selected performance silos if the training objective is successfully met? Or do you rely on 'field feedback' not associated with actual performance numbers and related ROI to decide where to put your training dollars?

Here's a simple blueprint to gain more revenue in less time while maintaining fiscal accountability to the 'Top-floor'.

At JDH Group, our go-to-market strategy is to understand a sales organization's revenue goals and define what key results are needed in performance improvement. To illustrate it, we produce diagnostic performance solution 'Blueprints' for sales organizations that utilize the 'T' method; both vertical and horizontal.

Horizontally, we look at each KPI and help companies understand how to identify, train to, improve and measure competencies in each of the critical performance indicators.

The 'T' method of training evaluation is a process that utilizes both a horizontal approach to key sales performance indicators (KPI) and a vertical examination to calculate the impact, or 'Return on Training Investment' (ROTI). Aligning the two will not only give you the path of least resistance to your overall revenue objective but will point to performance silos that will produce more revenue and/or recover unnecessary costs from sub-par sales performance.

Horizontal Examination

Here's an example of sales organization KPI's that sells business solutions to small and medium size companies:

• 1st Appointment to Proposal ratio (60%)
• Closing ratio (40%)
• Average Revenue per Sale ($3500)
• Sales cycle (38 Days)
• Revenue goal ($25,000)
• Average New appointments generated per rep (5)

This model represents a sales team that statistically has an opportunity to reach 67% of their revenue goal. So let's take a closer look at which KPI performance training could achieve the required result the quickest.

One way would be to focus on front-end activity. Improving the average appointment generation to 7 new appointments would achieve the revenue goal, all other factors remaining the same.

Option 1: Establish a Prospecting Methodology; a single, documented and agreed upon prospecting method across all sales regions. The training objective should be to spend less time to gain more 'Targeted' business appointments to initiate your current sales process.

Another choice might be to evaluate your current sales methodology to understand if there is any room for improvement in your current closing ratio of 40%. As an example, improving this KPI to 60% would secure the monthly revenue target with no other KPI changes. Or splitting the difference; improving the 1st appointment to proposal ratio by 10% and the closing ratio by 10% would achieve the same result while maintaining the necessary new appointments at (5).

Option 2: Initially, choose a 'Top-down' approach versus a bottom up; target and initiate your sales process with a fiscal level of authority. Develop a diagnostic sales process that points to the prospect company's business objectives parallel to you product/service solution. Speak in terms of Return on Investment, Soft and Hard Dollar recovery and Investment Payback Period. Sell the diagnostic parts to your process in line with the prospect's annual business objectives; don't rely on 'Features & benefits'. Then customize your proposal as a hypothetical case study with measurable results.

Vertical Sales Performance 'Impact Silo' Examination

Whether you are initiating sales performance training internally or outsourcing a niche training organization, most folks sitting on the 'Top-floor' now require accountability in line with budget expenditures. Another way to say it is the CFO knows he's wasting half the sales training budget, he just doesn't know which half. Approaching sales training expenditures with a Vertical 'Silo' inspection will help score points to the fiscal authorities within your own organization.

Let's take a look at this same sales organization's vertical performance silos:

• Average New-hire Ramp-to-Quota (5 months) (35 hires per year)
• Sales employee Turnover due to low appointment activity (30)
• Percent of sales reps at or above Quota (70%)

First, calculate your 'sub-par' average revenue. This number reflects the average monthly revenue a new-hire achieves before they achieve quota attainment.

As an example, if your current Average Ramp-to-Quota is 5 months, take the average total Revenue sold in the first 4 months of a new hires routine and divide it by 4. That will give you the average 'Sub-Quota' Revenue per Month during Ramp.

In this example, we will use $8,000 as the average 'sub-par' revenue.

One of the overall training objectives could be to improve the New-hire Ramp-to-Quota. So you consider the training result and impact as it relates to revenue recovery by selecting a ramp-to-quota goal that's more efficient than the 'status quo' of 5 months. In this case a 1 month ramp-to-quota reduction would recover $595,000 in additional new sales. That equates to $17,000 per new-hire. And if you have determined that the performance training Cost-per-head is $2500, there's your internal training ROI; 680%.

And we're not done yet.

You have defined that 30 sales reps per year go out the door directly related to low activity, not setting enough new business appointments to justify the required revenue result.

Let's take a closer look at it pertains to related costs and potential recovery. Here are your expense breakdowns relating to a new-hire sales rep:

• Average Salary: $28,000
• Recruiting Costs: $1,200
• Training Costs per Rep: $2500
• Monthly Sales Quota: $25,000

If the focused KPI training initiative reduces your sales rep turnover by 50% (15 reps), that recovers $1,953,500 in measurable dollars, something everyone can actually put their finger on. That's over $130,000 of real return for every rep that learns how to effectively set new business appointments.

Considering this cause and circumstance versus the realistic training benefit as a ROI factor, you choose Option 1 to establish a Prospecting Methodology across all sales regions. And in this case, that also justifies the training investment to the "Top-floor'.

In the 3rd Vertical Sales Performance 'Impact Silo' we determined that an average of 70% of the sales reps are achieving quota per month. And the average month 'sub-quota' revenue achieved for the 30% of reps not reaching quota is found to be $16,000. We also determined the average new appointments generated per week is (5), but by improving the 1st appointment to proposal ratio by 10% and the closing ratio by 10% we would achieve Quota consistently. Next, let's determine our Return on Training Investment if we meet our training objective of improving the 70% team Quota 'water-mark' up to 90%.

• 1st Appointment to Proposal ratio (Improve to 70%)
• Closing ratio (Improve to 50%)
• Average Revenue per Sale ($3500)
• Sales cycle (38 Days)
• Average New appointments generated (5)
• 100 sales reps

Implementing a focused performance improvement system to advance our middle KPI's in supporting an additional 20 sales reps per month to achieve Quota would increase our monthly revenue results by $180,000. That's an annual return of $2,160,000 or a training ROI of 864% based on a $2500 cost-per-head training investment. And with a 38-day sales cycle, the training investment 'break-even' point would be approximately 80 days.

Because of this cause and circumstance versus the realistic training benefit as a ROI factor, you choose Option 2 to establish a 'Business acumen' sales methodology, develop supporting diagnostic tools to establish financial business metrics parallel to your prospect's initiatives and your product/service solution.

Adopting this 'T' method to sales performance training will allow you to determine the shortest path to your revenue goals, determine and implement 'Best Practice' sales performance training and justify the training investment to the "Top-floor'.

Because at the end of the day... it's all about Return on Investment.

Jeff Hardesty is president of JDH Group Inc., a sales performance training company based in Powell, Ohio. He can be reached at

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