Direct Sales Power Tips – Are FREE Consultations Worth the Time? – PLUS – Hostess Coaching 101

Free Consultations . . .
Marketing Bonanza or Waste of Time?

Many direct sales organizations are based on the idea of offering free consultations and complimentary sales presentations in order to get their products and services in front of customers with the hopeful end result of sales and future re-orders.

When offering free samples and free services, be sure to leave your potential customers wanting more. For example, if you sell beauty products and offer pampering hand or foot treatments, you may wish to only do one hand/foot. It will show the results and leave your customers wanting to have the same results on the other hand or foot.

If you sell food items, you could have a self-made cookbook of many different time-saving recipes using your products. You could give one or two of these during your presentation, but offer to include it free with a purchase (today!) of $40.00 or more.

The idea is to give a “taste” or sample of what you offer, and leave your customers interested versus fully informed. This freebie needs to be done with the full intention of booking a future consultation, party and/or sales or products. Offering freebies gives the prospect a chance to sample your products and services, but you should have be prepared to entice them to buy, book or recruit.

Hostess Coaching 101

Have you ever booked a party only to have it cancelled? Have you worked a party to only have one person show up? Have you worked a sales events with very meager sales?

If you can answer yes to these, you may need to re-think your hostess coaching . When you book a party, you need to let the hostess know you are counting on it. You have it in your schedule and you WILL be there.

One idea is to consider getting the names of the invitees and sending invitations yourself. This way you can have the names and addresses of the guests and you are in control. If you leave it up to your hostess, she may get caught up in life’s many tasks and forget. Even if a guest cannot attend, you can follow up and send her a catalog, samples, etc. If you have the guests names and contact info, you have them to add to your prospect list even if they don’t show at the party.

If you check in with your hostess at least twice before the party (to get directions to her home, to verify the date/time, to let her know how many participants there will be, etc.) you will keep her on-track with the event.

Call before the event to confirm and let her know how excited you are about the party. Be sure she understands you are really looking forward to it and counting on her and she will be more apt to follow through with the party. Be very firm but professional. Remember, this is your business.

A Simple Technique To Boost Your Direct Sales Without Cold-Calling Or Begging For Sales Parties

Have you considered working with another seller to maximize your marketing dollars? This is called cooperative (co-op) advertising and marketing. It means you team with another seller of a complementary product line to run ads, work shows, etc. It’s a great idea and one that is used by all types of industries.

To get the most from your cooperative efforts be sure to align yourself with sellers of products that your own customer base would enjoy. For instance, if you sell candles, you could co-op with sellers of other women-oriented products (skincare, cookware, children’s items, etc.).

You can swap leads with each other, run ads together, work shows, develop brochures promoting both product lines, etc. By doing this, you both get to promote your products and share the costs of doing so. Instead of footing the bill for a monthly promotional flier to be designed, printed and mailed, you would split the costs 50/50.

Co-ops have advantages besides just the financial savings. By working with another motivated seller, you are holding each other accountable for moving your businesses forward–much like having an exercise buddy. If you don’t show up for your morning walk, wouldn’t you feel guilty letting her down?

You can each develop goals and a simple marketing program for the upcoming months. Then you each know what you are working toward and what will be expected of you. You can lay out a budget for each task and agree up-front on who pays what so there are no surprising developments down the line.

One interesting idea is to join up with a seller of similar items and run an ad in a local publication. Normally it may be too expensive to run such an ad yourself, but by teaming up with one (or more sellers), you can cut your costs considerably and keep you business in front of the eye of your community.

If you run ads, don’t just have the run-of-the-mill “We sell such and such and we’re great!” ads. People see way too many of those. You need something that will catch the eye or something people will save. One such idea is to do a recipe in each ad. If your prospect is interested, she’ll cut it out and keep it–also keeping your name and business with it.

The recipe can have a slant for each of the co-op seller’s businesses. For instance, if you sell skincare and your co-seller sells children’s items, you could run recipes that are good for your skin/anti-aging and healthy recipes. Items such as salmon/fish, fresh veggies, etc. would work. Scour the internet and your cookbooks for recipes that contain anti-aging properties (there’s lots of information out there). In turn, you co-seller could run kid-approved recipes (things kids like).

Moms are constantly trying to find kid-friendly recipes that are also healthy, tasty and easy. If your recipes are unique and state that they are anti-aging or kid-friendly, etc. in ties into your advertising message.

For instance, if you run an ad with Salmon in Papillote with Garden Veggies (really a simple salmon cooked in parchment paper with veggies), be sure to promote it as a Beautiful Skin meal. At the bottom of the ad, invite the reader to call or email you for more Beautiful Skin ideas, including XYZ products, etc. Add a promo line to get them to call you. Something like “Call me before xx-xx-xxxx and mention this ad get a free skincare sample set.” Make certain your promo is good and legible. Don’t make the recipe section so large, your promo doesn’t have space. It is an ad for your business, after all!

If you run you ad consistently you will see return. The thing with advertising is that you must be consistent. Don’t run your ad once or twice and then give up. People will begin to count on seeing your ads and recipes and they’ll even look forward to them. If you make your recipes good and your promotions great, they will start calling! Switch off months with your co-sellers so you can each share the spotlight.

Your ads need not be large, just big enough to run a short recipe and the offer for both sellers. If you can afford ad space large enough, you can run two recipes and two offers. Work with a graphic designer or design one yourself on your computer. The publication will likely re-design your ad to fit the space. Be sure to get the space (mechanical requirements) of setting up the ad. You can call the publication to request a media or advertising kit.

One more note, those cheap little ads in the back of publications are great for one simple message, but will not support this type of advertising. These larger ads are more likely run-of-the-paper (ROP) ads. That means they will run in the general sections of the paper, not in the back classifieds. ROP ads are pricier, but since you have a co-seller or two to work with, you should be saving a significant amount! You may be able to request to run your ad in a certain section (Food, Lifestyle, etc.). These ads are an investment in your business and like any investment, may take a little time to pay off. Be patient!

Project Management Office Provides Better Marketing Results

Many people believe the rigor and discipline of project management mixes with the creative nature of marketing like oil and water. While it does takes some getting used to, once the routines are established, the relationship not only works, but the marketing effectiveness actually improves. The more marketing channels: TV, radio, print and digital media, and the greater the frequency of creative refresh, the larger the benefits become. In marketing, media, and advertising, a cookie-cutter approach to project management will not work. There has to be a better way!

Firms often implement a Program or Project Management Office (PMO) to manage the large, complex, or costly projects. The differences between a Project and Program Management Office will be left for another discussion. Marketing budgets in some cases represent a significant portion of a company’s overall operating budget. When viewed holistically, marketing projects potentially require complex coordination between multiple agencies and across channels. Therefore, marketing is a logical candidate for a PMO. Unfortunately, marketing departments often view the full rigor of the Project Management Institute (PMI) prescribed approach as too structured to support the creative process. Also, many marketing organizations believe the PMI process requires too much overhead for the required agility to quickly adapt to the marketplace. The solution is to use an approach that balances rigor and flexibility while still providing the necessary status visibility and control of marketing projects using only the highest value components of the PMI process.

The PMI is a large project management training and certification organization. The PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) is only one available certification for project managers and is a widely known and accepted form of accreditation. The quantity of PMI certified project managers influences most Program or Project Management Office s (PMO) to follow PMI established approaches. The commonality fostered by the PMI results in very similar documentation templates and processes regardless of department or industry. While this similarity simplifies staffing and training issues, perfect for information technology projects for example, it does not establish the flexibility marketing and advertising organizations require. The PMI certification is only one indicator of project management competence in an individual. The marketing project manager will require more than project management skills to successfully manage marketing projects or establish a marketing PM. The project manager will have to become agile in managing multiple work streams in a fast paced environment, where market forces can and often do dictate sudden changes in direction. The project management approach cannot slow down the marketing process.

Establishing a PMO in a marketing organization presents a special set of challenges that calls for creative approaches. Success of the PMO requires deep understanding of project management principals. The experience to strike a balance between the prescribed project management methods and avoiding interruption of the creative development is essential. The correct approach to establishing a marketing PMO adds value by:

· Providing just enough process to maintain financial and status visibility to organizational leadership through the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and above

· Establishing a communications process to enhance coordination of on-brand messaging across marketing channels for consistent impactful marketing that motivates clients and consumers to purchase goods and services

· Flexibility to adapt to our clients’ specific goals and market needs, as well as consistently deliver outstanding service

I have found that the use of a PMO approach tailored to the special needs of the marketing department offers extended value beyond the points listed above. These will differ by organization but often include the following:

· Raising senior management’s confidence in the solution. Project sponsors and decision-makers must believe the creative direction is sound and well supported before they can accept it. Regardless of the specific creative approach, senior management will have higher confidence when the brand managers and other key stakeholders have all contributed to a comprehensive consideration of the issues involved in the selection process.

· Aligning Stakeholders. By establishing coordination of multiple activities and providing a forum for all stakeholders to contribute they will be informed of direction as ideas transform into on-brand, marketing content and effective in-market execution.

· Improving efficiency. Deploying marketing materials usually requires significant effort. There are planned events that need to be addressed like sales conferences, new product launches, sports events, concerts, etc. that require material be available at specific times. The PMO provides planning to enable the highest quality materials without the inefficiencies and lower quality of a last minute scramble. I have encountered situations where important opportunities to connect with the consumer were missed, or met with lackluster content – all due to lapses in the planning process.

· Enhancing Marketing performance. I have witnessed situations where after the PMO was established, the marketing team was able to reverse declining sales and generate significant growth by improving the cross channel communication and consistency of consumer oriented messaging.

When all of your departments within your brand’s marketing group are working toward shared goals with a coordinated timetable, you will know your PMO is working. You will be able to consistently present your brand across channels, and your marketing efforts will be increasing sales.

Stock Market Trading and Newton’s Laws of Motion

What new stock market investor should know?

We run a small stock market investment club and we educate all of new investors in our club using articles, software and stock market game. Currently, there is euphoria in the stock market and several people are investing money with some highly ambitious return of investment.

In this article, we will share with you some basic facts on stock market investment.

What is equity market?

Common stock is ownership of a company and sometimes it referred as shares, securities or equity. This means you are entitled to a portion of the company’s profits and any voting rights attached to the stock. The most common method for buying stocks is to use either full service or discount brokerage firm.

Why people invest in share market?

People invest in stock market for a possible high return for the entire duration of the company.

What are the risks of stock market investment?

However, your original investment is not guaranteed in share market. There is always the risk that the stock you invest in will decline in value, and you may lose your entire investment. As a stockholder, you will not receive money until the creditors, bondholders and preferred shareholders are paid.

How you can interpret Newton’s law to become better stock market trader?

Rule 1: “A Stock is not moving tends to stay at rest and a Trending Stock tends to stay in trend unless acted upon by an equal and opposite reaction or an unbalanced force.”

This means you should always trade in the direction of a trend. You should look for a force may take the form of a drastic change in the market sentiment or drastic change in the performance of the specific company.

Rule 2: “The acceleration of a stock as created by a market vote is directly proportional to the magnitude of that consensus, in the same direction as the agreement, and inversely proportional to the mass of the stock.”

This rule teaches us that a stock moves up or down into a trend due to a force created by market consensus. Movement of stock is determined by the price of stock and the amount of total agreement in market sentiment.

Stocks market is a zero sum game. In the realm of stock market investment we can interpret Newton’s third law as “for every buyer, there is a seller.” This is 3rd law of Stock market trading.

This means there cannot be more buyer than seller however there may be a very high or low demand for a particular stock.

Once you follow the Newton’s law of stock trading, you will under how easily you can invest in equity market and make good profit regularly irrespective of bull or bear market.

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