by: Ali Raza
If you own a business, one of the methods that you can use to reach your target market is to present sales letters. They will introduce your business and let your audience know how your products and services can benefit them. Coming up with an effective sales letter is not something that you learn overnight but it is possible to improve your skills by following a few tips. The way you communicate in your letter can have a great impact on the profitability of your business.
The first tip that you should use when coming up with one is to remember to focus your message on the prospective clients. Your prospective customers will want to know what the value of your services and products is and this is what you need to communicate in your message. Avoid paying too much attention to the history of the company.
The type of headline that you use also matters a lot. The headline will determine if your prospective clients will read the rest of the letter. The headline should let them know about how they will benefit. Make sure your headline is bold and big enough to get the attention of the readers.
The letter should also let your prospective clients know that you value quality. When a prospect goes through it, they trust your expertise from the message you communicate. Make sure you have a good reputation especially on the internet because some of the prospects will carry out a search to determine if you are someone they can trust to offer them advice and quality products.
If you are not sure about the components that you are required to include in the message, you can get a sample sales letter on the internet.
by:Lisa Robbin Young
Direct Sales is an industry that attracts people from all walks of life. This is both good and troubling.
It’s good because the diversity of the marketplace allows consultants to interact with a variety of people, learning new ideas, sharing products, and getting comfortable in their own skin as a business owner and salesperson. It’s troubling because so many of those same direct sellers assume that they must do business with anyone that crosses their path.
Targeting anyone that fogs up a mirror is a HUGE mistake!
It’s akin to committing direct sales suicide. Not only are you killing yourself working countless hours for potential clients that drive you nuts, but you’re also killing your joy for the business, your time with your family, and your income potential by chasing anyone with a pulse.
Instead of hounding people to take an interest in your direct sales offerings, focus on filling your business with clients that want to work with you.
How to Attract Clients You LOVE in Your Direct Sales Business
#1: Check YOUR Comfort Zone
Who are your best clients? Who are the hosts you love to work with and wish you could clone? Who are your best recruits? There are reasons that you work so well with those folks. For starters, they make you feel good when you work with them. So much so, that it probably doesn’t even feel like work.
Start a quest for the perfect-fit customer (or host, or recruit) by examining your current clients, hosts and recruits. Make a list of the specific traits, skills, abilities, and personality types and start to build a profile that is a composite sketch of all the positive qualities and characteristics.
#2: Check Your Discomfort Zone
Who are the clients you’d fire in a second if you thought you could? Make a list of all the annoying, irritating, frustrating, and bothersome qualities about these folks. These are all the reasons you need to stop doing business with them. Take a look at how much energy they are draining out of you. No one needs money that bad.
Face it, there are only two reasons to take on a client like this: as a favor for someone else, or because of a financial need. Cut them loose as soon as possible. If you’re really hurting for cash, think about how much more you could be making if you found new clients you actually like.
Then, take a hard look at the negative qualities you’ve listed, and think of the opposite, positive quality. Make a new list identifying the positive versions of those traits and add them to your original “Perfect-Fit Customer Profile”.
#3: Become a Gumshoe
Do a little detective work. Find out as much as you can about where your Perfect-Fit Customers hang out. What do they read? Where do they live? What commonalities can you find that might help you find more people like them?
Reading the same magazines, attending the same events, getting involved in the same activities all but guarantees you’ll meet more people just like the perfect-fit clients already in your client base.
Say thank-you to your existing clients by asking them out for coffee, one at a time. Start with your top five clients and offer to treat them to a cup of tea just as a way of saying thanks (and to pick their brain). Tell them you love working with them, that you’d like to find more clients like them, and ask for a referral.
If no one comes to mind, ask them questions to pinpoint activities and organizations they are involved in. For example, if your client just joined a book club, she may not know the members very well. She may be hesitant to offer a referral, but that book club may be riddled with your perfect-fit client.
By asking questions and getting to know your best clients even better, you develop a positive friendship alongside a growing business relationship. In addition, you open doors of possibility to find new clients just like your best ones.
#4: Get them “Addicted” to You
Create a “customer crack addiction”, meaning the experience you offer your clients keeps them hooked on you. Addicted clients come to all your parties, buy everything you recommend and can’t get enough of you! These clients will move heaven and earth to have more of whatever it is they think they need.
Creating a customer addiction goes beyond selling the products in your catalog. It means knowing your customers so well that you can anticipate their needs and help them improve their lives. In short, they don’t even think about looking at the competition because, in their mind, you’re the only game in town.
It could be your personal delivery service, your jovial nature, or the fact that you offer free gift-wrapping. There’s something that’s distinctive about who you are and the way you do business that your customers love. Give them more of that, and they’ll be even more loyal to you.
#5: Think Loyalty, Not Satisfaction
In Jeffrey Gitomer’s book “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless. Customer Loyalty is Priceless.” he asks this question: “When you think about your spouse, would you want them to be loyal or satisfied?” He draws the parallel to business.
Satisfied customers tolerate and endure. Loyal customers buy from you again and again. Your loyal customers don’t want to let you down, and evangelize for your business to their friends. A simple rewards program to encourage repeat business and thank clients for their loyalty goes a long way toward keeping their business in your back pocket.
None of these principles are new or that extraordinary. Get clear on who you love to work with, then serve them above and beyond their needs. Become their friends, and treat them like family. Cut loose anyone that doesn’t fit with your business model and keep refining what’s working to increase your business success.
It’s simple, but it’s not always easy. In the end, however, your wallet – and your clients – will thank you.
by Wayne John
Many people aren’t exactly clear as to how a recruiter or recruiting/staffing firm works. In fact, there are many types of agencies, niches and styles to fit every need. This is to give rare insight into a recruiting firm.
Firstly, we are not paid to place candidates; instead, we are hired to fill positions. While we develop close relationships with our candidates, we also develop close rapport with our clients. By doing so, we gain more insight into each other to determine the best fits.
When a staffing firm, whether permanent (like us) or a temp agency is contacted, great care is given as to the potential assignment. Since most agencies do not specialize in a niche, they will take on many types of searches over many different industries. Some are very successful but most are not since they don’t have any specialization in all of the areas for which they are searching. Niche recruiters (like us) utilize specific industry knowledge and real-world experience and expertise which assist in developing reputations over time; especially if they are successful and trustworthy.
As there has to be a fit between a client and candidate, there also has to be a fit between the company and the search firm. We have to be clear as to the client’s wants and needs, time parameters, residency mandates, compensation & benefits issues, amongst many others. In order for us to do a good job, and be able to locate the right candidates, we have to make sure that mutual respect and trust are clear. There are some companies, including distributor, rep and manufacturers that are not good fits for any particular employment agency for a variety of reasons; some are the same reasons why candidates do not get hired. These could be trust issues, poor reputation, ethical issues and yes, even cultural fits.
Here’s some real news for every job-seeker out there: You may be the most qualified candidate but the employer eventually decides whom they want to hire. Again, it comes down to the best-fit in the eyes of the company. We have been surprised many times when presenting those ‘star’ candidates who were the ‘slam-dunks’ and interviewed well during the process. For whatever reason, it really didn’t come down to experience or education; it came down to chemistry or personality.
We have found that companies will make exceptions to their search parameters if someone truly excites them. This is the quandary of every staffing professional; do we go by the book and give clients exactly what they ask for or maybe think out of the box and bring someone in from left field? Unprofessional staffers just send a pile of unresearched résumés and hope that one sticks out. Those people usually don’t last long in this industry.
We need to make sure that our successful candidate that is hired is a great fit. Why? We don’t want to replace them! Behind the scenes, there are guarantees that dictate the minimum time someone has to work for a company. What happens if they leave before a certain time? We have to find someone else who again meets all of the requirements. This is basically conducting the same search twice; only for free. No business in our industry runs their company like a charity and a recruiting firm is no exception.
Search specifications can change on a daily basis. This happens frequently but we all accept change and develop our new strategy based upon the new requirements. It is all a part of the recruiting game. It doesn’t matter that we have already spent two weeks conducting a search based on old information. We just deal with it and move on.
Most searches move more slowly than advertised. The reasons can range to interviewer availability to holidays to vacations, etc. What should have been a two-week interview process can now spread into months. No industry is immune; it happens everywhere. Gone are the days when a client would advise that they wanted to hire our candidate just to get them off the street so the competition wouldn’t get them. Companies today are way more discerning. They are checking backgrounds more thoroughly and checking more references and online communities to find out everything they can before an offer is made. It has been stated in this column in the past: look yourself up on the internet. You may be satisfied or even shocked with what you find. It is the recruiter’s job to be very resourceful.
Can we help everyone? Unfortunately, no. Time is very valuable and few recruiters will take the time to provide résumé and career progression advice. If we know that we can’t help someone, we’ll take some time to provide other options. To those that give a little extra to others, perhaps it will come back in a good way. Call it karma or ethics. People do indeed remember those who helped them along the way.
by: Todd Metcalf/For the Times-Standard
Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to acquire job-related skills and improve access to job opportunities. In a recent study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, almost 25 percent of adult volunteers report that they have become volunteers for this purpose — to make themselves more attractive job applicants in a tight job market.
The desire to improve employment prospects is a common motivation for volunteering among younger and unemployed volunteers. Ninety-four percent of employers believe that volunteering can add to job skills and 73 percent of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without.
Recent studies conducted by the Points of Light Network show that 75 percent of volunteers report gaining interpersonal skills as well as communication, organizational and management skills.
Not only does volunteering help with potential employment, volunteering also serves as a platform to develop social networks and form valuable ties within the community. These vital connections provide an opportunity to meet potential employers and/or those who may know of an organization that has an unadvertised job opening.
In returning to the paid workforce after some time away, a volunteer’s activities show that he or she has remained sharp and involved. If you want to change careers, it may be your volunteer work that tells a prospective employer that you’re worth the risk, even if your previous employment history is in some other field.
When looking for a job, your resume gets your foot in the door. One way to capture the interest of an employer is to show that you are an involved citizen — someone who works to make the community a better place in which to live. It is essential that you include your volunteer work on your resume. When preparing it, include a “Community Service” or “Volunteer Work” section. List highlights of your volunteering activities — show that you have breadth of interests, flexibility, energy, the will to improve your community — these attributes enhance your potential to be an asset to your new employer.
PwC’s Private Company Trendsetter Barometer tracks the business issues and standard industry practices of leading, privately held US businesses. It incorporates the views of 256 chief executive officers (CEOs/CFOs):140 from companies in the product sector and 116 in the service sector, averaging $294.2 million in enterprise revenue/sales, and including large, $300M-plus private companies.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of private-company executives surveyed for PwC US’s Private Company Trendsetter Barometer say they’re optimistic about the US economy’s prospects over the next 12 months. This is the highest level of confidence that Trendsetter chief executives have shown about the US economy since the second quarter of 2007 (when their confidence level was 64%) and up 24 points from the third quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, optimism in the global economy also rose, with 56% of private companies that have an international presence expressing their confidence in global economic growth, compared with 43% in the previous quarter.
“The positive momentum we have seen over the last several months among leading private companies continues to build,” says Ken Esch, a partner with PwC’s Private Company Services practice. “Throughout the recession they’ve managed costs and paid down debt, which has allowed them to strengthen balance sheets and preserve bottom-line growth. Now private companies are starting to see increasing demand for their products and services, leading to topline growth.”
Optimism about the US and global economies carried over to Trendsetter executives’ confidence about own-company growth prospects – 83% forecast positive own-company growth, up from 75% last quarter, with 40% projecting double-digit revenue growth and 43% projecting single-digit growth. The forecasted average growth rate among private companies overall stabilized, with a 9.8% average growth rate forecasted for own-company revenues over the next 12 months, similar to the 9.7% growth rate that private companies forecasted the previous quarter. Within the larger group, however, there was a jump in the forecasted average growth rate of domestic-only private companies (up from 7.7% to 9.8%), pulling them even with their international peers. The increase was due primarily to bullishness among domestic-only service firms.
Service companies in general – both domestic-only and international – were significantly more confident than product firms this past quarter. The revenue-growth rate forecasted by service companies rose to an average of 12.1%, up from 10.8% in the third quarter, while product-company forecasts dropped to 7.8%, down from 9.0% percent. This is in line with service firms’ greater optimism about the US economy – 69% voiced optimism, compared with 59% of product firms.
“A year-end boost in optimism isn’t so surprising if you consider that the fourth quarter saw key market and legislative developments, including a rebound of M&A activity, a resurgent IPO market, and temporary legislative certainty provided by Congress in December,” says Esch. “The continued uptick in optimism about revenue growth among Trendsetter private companies overall is also consistent with what we’re hearing from our clients and is certainly a welcome change from previous quarters.”
More Spending in 2011: International Companies Outpace Domestic-Only Businesses
Despite similar revenue-growth forecasts among domestic-only and international private companies, those operating abroad remained ahead of their domestic-only peers in prospective spending over the next 12 months. Forty-three percent of companies with an international presence are planning major new capital investments over the next year, as are 52% of private businesses that have a presence in China, India, and Brazil. That’s in sharp contrast to the 30% of domestic-only private companies planning to make major capital investments, though this figure is up six percentage points from the third quarter.
“Cash-fortified and newly optimistic private companies are looking to put their capital to work, and so they’re going where the growth is,” says Esch. “As a result, we’re seeing them steadily build and expand their presence in booming markets like China, India, and Brazil. And while it’s true that growth in emerging markets has slowed, those markets continue to accelerate at a much faster clip than mature economies. I think that, increasingly, this is where we’ll be seeing private companies train their focus.”
Significantly, the vast majority (74%) of private companies surveyed plan to increase operational spending. Of those companies, 84% that have an international presence plan to increase operational spending. The percentage was even higher for companies with a presence in China, India, and Brazil (98%). Planned increases focus on information technology, new products/services, and sales promotion.