Lessons In Sales From My Cat

Crazy Cat Lady Alert!

Being a soloprenuer, the cats of my home are my friends and co-workers. They may not work very hard, but they do work smart. They get what they want and know exactly when to ask for it. There are so many things I could learn from them as a salesperson, here are a few of the best:

  1. Know what you want – Food is generally her target‚ but not always. Sometimes it’s a good scratch she is begging for. She knows what she wants‚ when she wants it‚ and where or who she can get it from. If you don’t know what you want from your customer‚ how are you going to going to get it?

  2. Know your audience – The cat never goes up to my children to ask for food. Why? Because she knows they are not going to feed her. She also knows that if the person who feeds her is in the kitchen she is most likely to get what she wants. If your know who your customer is‚ and where they are located‚ chance are you are more likely to get their attention. Stop chasing everyone‚ and concentrate on the people that matter.
  3. Keep them interested – Playing with a ball of yarn on the floor by my feet is more then just cute‚ it’s marketing. It makes me want to take care of her. A little interaction with your audience makes them want to do business with you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for more – Almost every time I am in the kitchen‚ the cat is at my feet begging for food. There is always the chance in her mind that I will give her a little extra. There is nothing wrong with reminding customers you are there if they are in the mood to make a purchase‚ that little extra May come your way.

What lessons have you learned from observing others? Please share them‚ I would love to hear!

5 Twitter Tips From Trump

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Donald Trump is good at twitter. He is able to make a statement, give an opinion in just about every tweet and make it engaging. He knows just when to pump up the volume to get more attention.

So what can we learn about using social media, and more specifically twitter, from Trump?

  1. Post something every day. Trump’s twitter feed is updated daily. In this way he stays at top of mind for his millions of followers.
  2. Post several times a day. He never knows when his followers will be online so he is sure to catch them by writing something at various times.
  3. Make a statement, then add your opinion. Trump has a very distinctive writing style which always includes these two things. Tell your followers what you want them to know, then tell them how you feel about it, or how they should feel.
  4. Be concise and consistent. His statements are always like newspaper article titles. They give you just enough information that you know what he is talking about. You only have 140 characters! Also, try to keep these statements to the same style so people know how to read them.
  5. Get excited. Trump is now afraid of exclamation points. It makes you feel like he really believes what he is saying. His enthusiasm gets people talking.

Now I just want to point out that you should not follow his lead on many of his twitter habits. It is not ok to call people names. It is not ok to make generalizations about entire groups of people based on race, religion, sex, or place of birth. Of course if that is your brand, go for it! You could run for President!

 

Photo Credit: Twitter. Screenshot of Donald Trump’s Tweet

You Can Succeed in Direct Sales

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No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork and determination a person can overcome anything. – B. Dodge

 

 

No one would pretend that direct sales is easy. If it were, more people would be doing it. It’s commonly said that for every one person who says ‘Yes!’, there are nine who say ‘No!’. If you need to find five people a day to say ‘Yes!’, you will have to talk to fifty people a day.

You need energy, stamina and you need to be able to be as bright and cheerful at six o’ clock at night as you are at eight o’ clock the following morning. If you can’t rise above the trials and tribulations that afflict us all, both in private and in work life, don’t consider a full-time career in direct sales. When I decided to join a direct sales company 18 years ago, what really attracted me was the ability to make my schedule, have qualified people train me and then I was able to find people better than me to build a business with. That was worth all the trials and tribulations I had to go through to make a six figure income.

The truth is building a business isn’t as hard in network marketing as people make it seem. There are systems in place to follow. The challenge is that people over analyze everything and they just don’t follow the system. I had blind faith. I knew I didn’t know anything, so I was extremely coachable. You can be successful in direct sales to if you follow the system that is presented to you and keep these simple things in mind:

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it – Get a planner that allows you to integrate all areas of your life in it so you have everything with you at all times.
  2. Find a mentor – In your company and a coach outside of your company. You need non biased views and ideas in my opinion in order to succeed faster. It is well worth the investment in the long run.
  3. Be a crusader – Own your own products and show potential customers you believe in them.
  4. Stop making excuses – Invest the time you need to and just get it done.
  5. Utilize the direct sales model – Do not reinvent the wheel. Follow the model that has already been proven to work.
  6. Master your craft- Know everything you need to know about your products and service and duplicate your self by training other’s.
  7. Set up a solid referral system – Once you have learned to use it and you are a pro at getting referrals, make sure you teach it to your associates.
  8. Recognize your team –  Big and small accomplishments are important to reward your team for. Everybody has a sign on them that says “make me feel special.”
  9. Have a system for recruiting – Know the numbers. How many people do you have to  invite to look at your opportunity daily to recruit 1 per week?
  10. Follow a marketing plan – Spin multiple plates at all times.  Face to face prospecting, internet marketing, advertising, vendor events and workshops.

When you stop over thinking it and follow the system in place, you can become a master at direct sales!

 

Marketing and Advertising: How Much Should I Be Spending On It

Marketing and advertising your small business are 2 of the most important ongoing activities you should consistently focus on for your business. There are many ways to do these.

It can be challenging for many small-business owners, especially when it comes to budgeting how much money will be set aside for these 2 key aspects of business.

One way of doing this is by calculating the percentage of gross revenue. This will allow for your spending to change as your revenue does.

Truth: Marketing and advertising budgets vary based on your industry, competition, profit margins and other aspects. Marketing and advertising are typically revenue drivers.

ICYMI: Marketing and advertising are typically revenue drivers.

So, let’s break it down:

  • Marketing by Percentages

“The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin — after all expenses — is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range.”

Many marketing and advertising experts suggest that start-up and small businesses should allocate between 2 and 3 percent of revenue just for their marketing and advertising. If you’re in a competitive industry, up to 20 percent. Other experts advise a range between 1 and 10 percent, and even more depending on how long you’ve been in business, competitive activity and bottom line, what you are able to afford. These different opinions may lead us to believe that the percentage of gross revenue for marketing and advertising depends on whom you ask. I believe that investing in marketing and advertising is fundamental to growing your business so anywhere from 10 to 20 percent from your revenue should go towards these activities.

  • Spending Variables

Regardless of what others are spending, I know that there’s a limit to how much you can afford to spend. Affordability can actually be your spending guide. Also understand that certain internal and external factors may cause your spending to vary. Introducing a new product or service requires more spending than what you spend on an on-going business. You may of course want to reduce marketing spending while you are in the midst of activating your exit strategy – this is if your business is in its twilight years. If you’re selling high-ticket, high-margin goods or services, you need to spend more on marketing. If your competition is giving you a headache, you may have no choice but to increase your marketing spending.

  • Marketing Drives Revenue

Marketing and advertising are typically revenue drivers. Marketing and advertising spending in most successful businesses is task- or project-oriented. Task-oriented marketing requires a marketing plan, something I strongly recommend.

What are some of the challenges you face when marketing or advertising for your business? Would love to think thank with you!

Every Entrepreneur Must Master The Art of Selling

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If you can’t sell yourself, your ideas, your product or service, you will not stay in business. Selling is an essential skill every entrepreneur must master. Starting from the very first day you launch your business you are selling. The overall success of your business actually depends on your ability to sell. Fortunately there are many books, workshops and sales coaches that can help you. The first book on sales that I read a long time ago was How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins.

 

It’s quite easy to start a business. All you need to do is have a cool idea, a product or service to “sell” that idea and finish it off with a business card, right? Wrong. The problem is that this alone does not guarantee your business success. Growing and sustaining a business that provides income that you can live on is the challenge.

Entrepreneurs need to learn sales skills. You can have the best makeup, jewelry, lotion, or be the best coach there is, but how do you make money? Remember the movie “Field Of Dreams” with Kevin Costner? The line was “If you build it they will come.” Well, ladies, I am here to tell you that if you come up with an awesome simply amazing product, they do not just come! Ever! It takes marketing and selling, both of yourself and of your product or service, to bring in the crowd. Do you see how the word selling is the common thread, here? If you do not sell your product or service you do not make money. It will never sell itself and that just how it goes.

Every entrepreneur needs practical sales skills! They have to learn simple sales tools and strategies in order to grow and succeed in business. I have witnessed many great products developed with an incredible passion fail because there wasn’t enough money coming in to sustain the business.

The good news is that anyone can learn sales skills. Almost nobody is born a great sales person. On the contrary, the case is usually that the most creative people who established the best products have no sales skills at all! Everyone just needs to change their mindset about what selling is. My advice is, take sales classes. Make sure you read books on selling, and yes, even hire a sales coach. I promise, if you do these things and you have a great product or service you believe in, you will see your business not only survive, but grow and thrive!

Contact Me with comments or questions or just to say hello!

 

Your Marketing Checklist for 2016

I know you’re probably on ‘New Year, New Goals’ overload…BUT if you want to rock out your marketing in 2016, please bare with me.

 

You’re a smart entrepreneur and I’m sure you want to #StepIntoYourPower in ALL aspects of your life and business. Here are 5 strategies to give your marketing a powerful boost:

 

  1. Market less. Say what?!?!? What I mean by this is that you know what isn’t working. So do less of that and also, don’t overextend yourself marketing in places where you don’t have the ability to sustain a long term effort. Focus on mastering 1 marketing platform at a time. Become indispensable in 1 area and in 1 network. And, meet your customers where they are.
  2. Focus on subscribers. The way to do that in a digital arena is by sharing valuable content on a specific date and a specific time. It’s like making an appointment with your audience. Create anticipation and reliability for it.
  3. Amplify your distribution. Creating valuable content is one thing, getting eyeballs to it…another. Build momentum by focusing on your subscribers and audience BUT you may need to consider paid promotion/distribution. Yes, this looks like print/online advertising. Include it in your budget for the year as it’s imperative to keep your business visible.
  4. Align your assets. From a branding/marketing perspective what this means is that after taking a look at all your social media platforms ( Facebook Page, Twitter presence, LinkedIn Groups, YouTube Channel, blog, newsletter, etc.) can you answer this: If your logo fell off your marketing materials, would people know it was coming from you? If yes, AWESOME SAUCE! If no, take stock of your efforts and realign. They should all have the same look/feel as well as an improved user experience.
  5. Mobile is where it’s at. If there is one thing you need to make sure of is that your website is optimized for mobile. Believe it or not, between 75-85% of sales happen on a mobile device. Yes, you read that correctly…75-85%! That’s a crap load of sales or signups that you’re missing out on if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices. Get. On. It!

 

Make 2016 your most successful year ever! Step into your marketing power with these easy strategies to add to you marketing mix! Join me tonight for an in-person discussion! RSVP HERE!

Photo Credit: Mobile-Cuisine.com

Have a question? Please, leave me a comment below!

Workshop & Think Tank With Jalanda James

On April 9th, 2013 at The Goddard School of Marlboro, 15 School Rd. E, expert NYC videographer Jalanda James discussed the importance of video as a powerful marketing tool for business.

Social Media Explained, Part 3: Twitter

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks, with over 190 million users sending over 65 million tweets each day.

Twitter is a real-time information network that empowers its users to share and discover interesting content through status updates (or “tweets”). Twitter is often referred to as a microblogging service because it limits your status updates to 140 characters. But the brilliance is in its simplicity and brevity.

For businesses and organizations, Twitter is one of the quickest ways to get a message out to people who may be interested in your activities, ideas, products, services, or events. You can also use Twitter to get real-time feedback from customers, members, and event attendees.

Like Facebook posts, users can share your tweet with the simple click of a button. This is called a “retweet,” and it is the feature that makes Twitter such a great word of mouth platform that can help your message reach an entirely new group of prospective customers. (Hint: You should pay attention to people who retweet your message as that is a good indication that they are listening to what you say, and may be one of your best influencers. Your influencers are like your best friends because they can help you attract new followers and prospects.)

 Twitter is a public site, which means anyone can view your tweets. However, users can choose to “follow” you on Twitter to keep track of your tweets. The follower relationship is not two-way; you don’t have to follow someone for them to follow you, and vice versa. However, when you follow someone on Twitter, you’ll see his or her tweets in real time on your private Twitter feed, including updates from everyone else you follow. (If you follow many people, this can create a bit of “noise,” especially if those people are heavy users of the site.)

While you can only send private “direct messages” to people who follow you, you do not need to follow a user to send a public message to them; just include the handle (@username) in your tweet and it will show up in that user’s feed. This is called an “@reply” or “mention.”

 You may discover that customers are already talking about you on Twitter by indexing your name with the “@” symbol or the “#” symbol.
Twitter is a great way to get real-time feedback from your customers and to discover what people are saying about you, your competition, industry, or any keyword that is relevant to you. You can see what people are saying about any topic in real time using Twitter’s search tools. 

What’s good about Twitter?

• The “Timeline” (or the Twitter feed) is public, which can help to give your business or organization greater exposure in web search results.

• The site is like a public forum, so it’s easy to build a community of potential customers you don’t personally know.

• Customers and members can “follow” you without you having to reciprocate.

• There is a quick way to share links to content to help spread your message to a wide audience.

• Users are very vocal, so if they are happy with your business or organization, they’ll say so.

What’s not so good about it?

• It’s sometimes challenging to create a meaningful post in only 140 characters.

• Lots of “noise.” With so many identical looking tweets, you have to be creative to make a single one stand out in the crowd.

• Spammers are increasingly targeting the service.

• Users are very vocal, so if they have a problem with something, they’ll say so (which is really not a bad thing).

Twitter’s greatest strength is its vast reach. The more engaging and relevant your content is — whether it’s an article you’re sharing, a link to your newsletter, or words of support for the local lacrosse team — the greater the chances it will be passed on and retweeted to a whole new audience.

How are you using Twitter for business?

Growing Your Business Using Your Personal Story


Did you know that 90% of sales rely on emotion? 

Emotion lives in story telling.

Your story is the foundation of your business. 

How you present it and weave it into your marketing, could not only help make your business memorable, but it can also help you grow it.

Your story can help you define your marketing strategy and create partnerships that lead to sustainability. 

Your personal story can also be used to connect with new clients. This creates customer loyalty and therefore, brand evangelization.

So think about this, how personal have you gotten with customers about your story? 

Are you telling your story? 
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