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Archive for the ‘Business 101’ Category

Diamond Crest Consulting

714.510.6037
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How do I broadcast my message?

In this modern environment, people are bombarded daily with numerous advertisements through email, telephone, television, radio, standard mail, magazines, movies, and so on. We live in a time of advertisement overload. People will delete unread emails, toss unopened envelopes, fast forward through commercials on the TV and change radio stations during commercial breaks. With all these seemingly impenetrable walls in between your message and a possible client, donor or vote, how do you get others to pay attention?

The answer can me summed up in two words: RELEVANCY and COMMUNITY.

Relevancy – People will seek you out if you provide a product or service that is related to what they are interested in. You want to create a product or service that improves the lives of individuals or groups.

Community – A community is a group of similar-minded individuals who communicate with each other related to a specific subject matter or idea. You want to build a community of like-minded individuals that know what products/services you offer.

If you master these two concepts, you will develop trust and through it you will accomplish much. The following information takes these two concepts and turns them into specific task-oriented activities that will, over time, generate results, and save you a lot of money and headaches.

1) Get Organized

Being organized is the first and most critical step for managing any campaign or event. The more difficult the endeavor, the more crucial it is that people know exactly what is going on. During the Summer Olympics, there is much to do and keep track of. There are dozens of competitions with thousands of athletes, trainers, and employees, not to mention the millions of fans who will be attending events in multiple venues.

So how does one get organized? The most fundamental of tools is the business plan. Before you spend a large amount of money and time, both you and your investors what to know what you plan on doing with the money and labor that is, or will be, available to you. The business plan is generally organized into the following sections: Executive Summary, Company Description, Products and Services, Marketing Plan, Operational Plan, and Financial Plan. There is a new section I would strongly recommend adding: Technology Plan.

Action Item(s):
* Create a Business Plan

2) Technology Infrastructure Recommendations

You will want to determine the hardware and software you will want and need to efficiently and effectively operate and manage your organization. How many computers will you need? Will you need a server? What software do you need? What other equipment will you need? Do you have a person that will manage your technological infrastructure?

The #1 mistake I see organizations make when it comes to technology is to hire or contract someone who does not have integrity. Integrity is much more important than ability. Your “Tech Guy” will often have access to credit card information, personal emails, login passwords, customer contacts, etc. They could easily, and often legally, control your access to the technology that you paid for. You as the leader of the organization must be able to trust that person to not only get the job done, but to not take advantage of you in the process.

Here is some more advice that could save you thousands of dollars. Software can become very expensive. Microsoft, Adobe, and Norton are companies that provide common mainstream software solutions. The price tag for each of these products can run into the hundreds of dollars. There are free alternatives to these products, but keep in mind that free software does usually not have all the features paid software has. But if you are on a tight budget, they are good enough to at least get you going.

Brand Software {Free Alternative}

Microsoft Office {Open Office (openoffice.org)}
Adobe Photoshop {Gimp (gimp.org)}
Miva Merchant {Zen-Cart (zen-cart.com)}
Norton Antivirus {AVG (free.avg.com)}
Adobe Acrobat {Open Office (openoffice.org)}

Action Item(s):
* Setup Your Technology Based Systems (Internet, Document Development, Financial Tracking, Customer Relations, etc.)

3) Websites

Over the last few years, I have built dozens upon dozens of websites that rank very high in Google searches, automate the ability to purchase products online, and send direct messages to and from clients. A website is part of the marketing arm of an organization. It, if designed properly, will do much of the heavy lifting necessary to create social and political change. If you plan on operating a business, non-profit organization, or political campaign, it is critical that you have a website that accomplishes 3 goals:

a) Branding

People need to quickly look at your logo and website and instantly recognize who you are and what products or services you provide. Many American political campaign websites are in various shades of red, white and blue with a visible American flag. When you look at the top of Storiesofusa.com, you see American patriotic symbols and images, such as the American flag, Abraham Lincoln and the Liberty Bell.

b) Usability

The site must be easy to use. You want to make it easy to receive feedback from people that are using your website. Put yourself in the shoes of a visitor. Can you find the information you are looking for? Are all the links working? Does it load quickly? Is all the content spelled correctly and easy to understand? You will want to make sure you add photos, graphs, and videos to improve the comprehension of the ideas you are trying to explain. StoriesofUSA.com contains hundreds of photos and videos. The website is composed of over two thousand pages of content. If I had two thousand links on every page, a visitor would quickly feel intimidated and would quickly leave the site. There is a visual menu on top with seven choices. And if you click on the image of Abraham Lincoln, it takes you to a page with a list of major historical events in US history that are in chronological order. A person looking for information on the Civil War can quickly find it.

c) Searchability

A website must be tailored for a human being. It must also be developed to be compatible with search engines, such as Google and Bing. Content must be visible and organized properly. Content on a website is not all treated equally. I could write an entire book on the subject of the relationship between a website and a search engine. I will instead try to highlight the most important items. If I were to tell you that StoriesofUSA.com gets thousands of visitors daily and that we do not pay for any of that traffic, would you believe me? So how did I accomplish this?

Action Item(s):
* Create a Properly Designed Website

4) A Memorable Name

Create a business name that people will remember and that reflects the product or service you provide. When selecting a name for your website, there are 2 trains of thought:

A) Choose a domain with your business name (ex: facebook.com)
B) Choose a domain that contains keywords associated with your business (ex: socialnetworking.com)

Now that you have chosen a domain name, go to Godaddy.com and register it. I recommend Godaddy over the other website domain and hosting companies because of their pricing, reliability and customer service. There are other many options, such as Network Solutions, 1 & 1, and Host Gator.

Action Item(s):
* Register Domain and Hosting with GoDaddy.com

5) On Page Content

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) was initially developed to put newspaper articles online. HTML provides the ability to control style and position of content on a web page. Great content is the most important part of great search engine rankings. If people like your content, they will read it. If they love your content they will link to it and tell others about it.

Writing for the Internet is much different than writing for printed media, such as postcards. At the heart of Internet search is keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that people input in search engines such as Google.com to find information online. Make sure you choose keywords and phrases that are searched often (ex: car repair, auto repair). You will also want to use keywords that are searched often that have less competition than other terms (ex: bmw auto parts, auto repair los angeles).

It is very important to keep the content on the website fresh and new. The fundamental philosophy of a search engine is RELEVANCY. A website that has fresher well-written content will usually be ranked higher than websites that have little to no content.

Action Item(s):
* Good copywriting (On page content is readable, relevant and contains keywords)
* On page content should contain relevant bold words, links to other pages and bullet point lists
* Routinely add and edit content on the website

6) Offsite Content

Once you have your website up and running, it is now time to get your message out there. The basic concept is to cast a wide net. And do it over and over again. There are a number of strategies that can be used that can increase the number of visitors to your website.

A) Register your website domain name with search engines and directories, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, DMOZ and Ask. There are search engine submitters that will submit to many search engines at the same time. Use http://www.submitexpress.com/free-submission.html.

B) List the website on all marketing material, including emails and business cards.

C) Link Building – A link placed on another website that points back to your website. Talk to your friends and associates. If they have a website, have them place a link that points back to you. This is an ongoing process, and I would recommend hiring someone to do this for you, or at least train you how to do it correctly.

D) Article Submission and Content Syndication – Write articles, newsletters, and press releases related to services you provide and events that you will be hosting. If you are not a good writer, you will either learn to become one or hire someone who is. Once the articles are written, you will want to distribute them to many locations. You can submit it to article submission sites, like: Articlezilla.

http://www.styopkin.com/article_submission_sites.html contains a large list of sites to submit to. You will want to setup accounts for sites like Technorati, BlogCatalog and Feedburner. Then you can automatically submit your content to these sites.

E) Blog Commenting – Find blogs and websites that you can leave comments. Then find articles on those sites related to your message. Comment on the article and add a link pointing back to your site. You want to portray yourself as someone who is knowledgeable in a subject. Don’t just leave a comment that says, “Look at me. Buy my product.”

F) Videos, Images, Podcasts and mp3s – Create or leverage existing video and audio files. Create accounts on Youtube, iTunes, Vimeo, Metacafe and other sites where you can upload media files. You can often link back to your website from these accounts. And you can advertise your website within these media files. These forms of media make your content more interactive and increase the opportunities for others to easily find you and tell others about you. This is the essence of Viral Marketing. People like to share interesting content and links with their friends. So go and create interesting content, post it to your website, and share it with your friends.

Action Item(s):
* URL submission for new website – http://www.submitexpress.com/free-submission.html
* Create profiles and content with links on MercantCircle.com, Yola.com, Squidoo.com, Hubpages.com, Blogger.com, WordPress.com, and Tumblr.com
* Research competition and place links where they have links
* Reciprocal links with industry related sites, friends, clients, etc.
* Create accounts and submit articles to EzineArticles.com, ArticlesBase.com, ArticleSnatch.com, ArticleAlley.com, ArticleDashBoard.com, IdeaMarketers.com, ArticleCity.com, SearchWarp.com, GoArticles.com, ArticleClick.com, ABCArticleDirectory.com, uPublish.info, CarolinaArticles.com, ArticlesJust4You.com, ArtiPot.com, ArticleSphere.com, and ArticlesMagazine.com
* Comment on other blogs and online news articles with a link back to your site
* Viral Marketing through video, podcasts and mp3s – Submit to Youtube.com, Vimeo.com, Metacafe.com, iTunes.com, 5min.com, Buzznet.com, Blip.tv, Dailymotion.com, Veoh.com, Video.Google.com, Flickr.com, PhotoBucket.com

7) Standard Networking

Join business networking organizations and online groups, such as a chamber of commerce and Meet Up to create business connections and opportunities with local and similar minded individuals.

Action Item(s):
* Join Groups: Chamber of Commerce, MeetUp.com, Business Networking Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations, Political Organizations

8) Public Relations and Social Media

There are numerous ways to improve relationships with the general public, including newsletters, email campaigns, blogging and online social media.

A) Newsletters and Email Campaigns – Capturing email through your website and then sending follow up information to them through email is an important element of Internet marketing – sites that make this easier are: http://www.mobilestorm.com, http://www.contantcontact.com, http://www.aweber.com, http://www.icontact.com. Some content management systems (such as WordPress) have the ability to integrate these features. There are many sites that do this, so do your homework and find one that works for you.

Also, keep your emails simple. Most people will not take the time to read every word that you write in the email. Your main goal in the email is to get them back to your website and to follow further instructions. Setup a web page that has a clear Call to Action (What do you want them to do once they are there?). And then in your email that you submit, create short, but interesting, content that links to this Call to Action page on your website.

You will want to create a campaign in Google Analytics to track email campaigns and use a url tracker. (http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578)

And one last thing, everyone’s email is setup differently. Some can receive fully formatted emails with embedded images, links and videos. Others only receive text only email, that have no formatting. You will have to develop emails that are flexible enough in design that will still be able to get your message to them, no matter what type of email system the recipient has.

B) Blogging
* Blogging is a science and artform. Essentially, you want to create relevant content that is related to your industry, that people want to read about, that will create positive name recognition, and that will drive traffic to your website. If you are in the insurance industry, you will want to write about new insurance laws, new insurance companies, and new types of insurance programs that are available. There are numerous easy-to-use blog platforms to choose from, including: Blogger.com and WordPress.com.

C) Social Media Optimization
* Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and others help create social connections and a following of like minded individuals. It is not enough to just create a profile. It is an ongoing process of generating contacts, describing yourself and fostering stronger relationships. These are great places to foster niche and relationship marketing. Find like-minded individuals with similar hobbies and interests. Encourage them to be your “friend.” As a friend, you can send out info to them. Like-minded people are more willing to purchase from you, vote for you, or give you money. I strongly recommend starting with a Facebook Fan Page. – http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904 and joining a Facebook “Group”. Once you get a lot of “friends”, you can send them messages to encourage them to do what it is you want them to do. Also, Twitter can be a way to encourage backlinking. Create a bit.ly account (url shortener). And when you want to post a website, post it as a bit.ly. It will shorten your url and it will allow you to track where you are receiving Twitter traffic from. Use the search features (http://search.twitter.com, etc.) to find discussions related to your topic. Remember that people will buy more from people they like or want to be around. Do not be pushy or overly aggressive. Social media is a complex area, not because of its difficulty to use, but by its myriad of options and the complex social interactions involved. Use a service like Ping.fm to coordinate your postings with various social media accounts.

D) TV, Radio, Newspaper – There are cost effective and creative ways to get media attention without having to spend a large amount of advertising dollars. If you get media attention, exploit it by posting the image, video or podcast on your website. Encourage them to link back to your website.

E) Be an Expert – Display your knowledge of a certain field. There are various ways to do this, but the bottom line is that you want to be perceived by a lot of people that you know what you are talking about related to concepts that they want to know about. Here are some suggestions: Be an expert on a radio or TV program, setup a profile on Yahoo Answers and answer some questions, etc. If you are a plumber or electrician you might want to be a keynote speaker at a Home Owners Association meeting.

F) S.U.C.C.E.S.S. – Secrets of Viral Marketing – Submit content that is Simple to follow, Unexpected, Concrete and tangible concepts, Credible thoughts and results, Emotional connection, tells a Story and is Shareable.

Action Item(s):
* Create newsletters and email campaigns
* Blog for more content – Blogger.com, WordPress.com
* Leverage social media for relationship marketing: Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Youtube.com, MySpace.com, Google.com/Buzz, LinkedIn.com, Indenti.ca, BrightKite.com, FriendFeed.com, Plurk.com, Jaiku.com, Bebo.com, Posterous.com
* Use Ping.fm to coordinate posts on various accounts
* Find creative ways to be mentioned in TV, radio or newspaper
* Be an expert and answer questions
* Viral Marketing SUCCESS (Simple – Unexpected – Concrete – Credible – Emotional – Story – Shareable)

10) Track and Analyze

It is critical to be able to objectively analyze where you are obtaining your clients from – http://www.google.com/analytics/. This tool, once integrated onto a website, provides a wealth of information about traffic on a website. Also, if you are spending money on banner ads, directories, etc., you need to make sure you are tracking the response.

Action Item(s):
* Attach Google Analytics tracking code to your website

11) Purpose, Goals, Passion

Technique is only half the battle. It is critical that you believe in your product or service, be willing to put in the effort, and have the passion and commitment to see it through.

List of Characteristics of Successful People:
Taken from: http://storiesofusa.com/top-characteristics-of-successful-people/

Passion, Purpose, Creative, Integrity, Initiative, Character, Dream Big, Hard Work, Innovative, Persistence, Clear Vision, Independent, Self-Confident, Have a Mentor, Inquisitiveness, Expert in a Field, Strong Leadership, High Energy Level, Tolerance for Failure, Calculated Risk Taker, Problem Solving Skills, Goal Oriented Behavior, Positive Mental Attitude, Effective Communication, Commitment to Excellence, Strong Management and Organizational Skills

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/08/why-isnt-apple-aaaa/
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/apple-most-valuable-company/

Spotlight on AJ Bombers

Posted by Augie Ray on March 28, 2010 (Forrester.com)

I moved to the Bay Area from Milwaukee about five months ago. Among the things I miss from my hometown are my two favorite burger restaurants – AJ Bombers and Sobelman’s. Both have used Word of Mouth (WOM) to become successful small businesses, but while one built its buzz over 10 years, the other used social media to become a success in just one year. The stories of these two businesses can provide insight and inspiration to much larger brands seeking to create benefits with social media.

Sobelman’s is a little hard to find – it’s located in an industrial part of the city rather than in a fashionable neighborhood – but that didn’t prevent it from building a broad-based following since opening in 1999. While dining at Sobelman’s, you’re equally likely to find guys with hard hats, students in Marquette colors and professionals in suits or khakis. Sobelman’s created its success the old-fashioned way – with a great story (Dave and Melanie Sobelman worked the grill and took orders), a delicious product and a smart mix of traditional marketing, such as sponsoring Marquette University events.

The road to success for AJ Bombers was considerably shorter, although there were plenty of reasons to think the business would fail quickly: It was launched in the middle of the worst recession in generations and was located at an address that had seen at least five businesses fail in recent years. AJ Bombers’ one-year path from grand opening to the pages of the Wall Street Journal speaks volumes about the way social media is changing business.

Of course, just like Sobelman’s, AJ Bombers’ success starts with a great experience and a great product. (All the tweets in the world won’t overcome a poor consumer experience.) But while the two restaurants share that much in common, it is AJ Bombers’ use of social media that demonstrates the power of the medium. The restaurant’s constant attention toward building awareness and energizing fans has included:

Active engagement on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, AJ Bombers has tweeted more than 10,000 times to its 3,000 followers. On Facebook, the restaurant updates its status several times a month and engages with 1,000 fans.

Offering new FourSquare mayors a free burger and fries, encouraging repeat visits and checking among its fan base.

A special event that drew a mass of FourSquare users who earned the midwest’s first “Swarm Badge.” Over 150 people turned out for the eventb-bmore than one-quarter of all FourSquare users in Milwaukee – and AJ Bombers saw revenue more than double from the same day the previous week. (AJ Bomber’s innovative use of FourSquare will continue: The restaurant was recently among 30 small businesses to test new FourSquare analytics technology to track user data and create more engagement.)

A promotion launched with a YouTube video, creating a contest that permitted one lucky winner to earn free burgers for a year.

Regular tweetups to draw fans to different events, such as a holiday party and Bloody (Mary) Brunch.

Turning a stolen sandwich board into a local news item thanks to a reward offer and smart use of Twitter.

A new campaign (in partnership with Sobelman’s) to attempt to bring the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” to Milwaukee for a showdown between the two competing burger bars.

While it’s interesting to point out everything AJ Bombers has done, it’s what they haven’t done that is worth noting. For example, the restaurant has not spent a great deal of cash on their social media success (although time is money, and clearly there’s been significant time invested into these efforts.)

Even with little monetary outlay, success can breed problems. I spoke with Joe Sorge, owner of AJ Bombers, and he noted that “in some ways we backed ourselves into a corner – guests expect immediate responses in social media” but he added, “I don’t mind the corner!” Sorge still enjoys personally monitoring Facebook and Twitter every day as often as possible, but he is beginning to delegate some of the responsibility. Sorge is training others to monitor and respond to fans on Twitter (with individuals’ initials at the end of tweets to make it clear the human behind the tweets).

Another thing AJ Bombers hasn’t done is turned their Twitter and Facebook stream into a string of direct marketing offers. Unlike some brands that use their Twitter and Facebook profiles as a replacement for FSIs (Free Standing Inserts) and direct email marketing, Sorge instead points to inspiration from Seth Godin to pursue “the opposite of interruption-style marketing.”

Sorge isn’t interested in one-way communication but instead praises the value he receives from input and feedback. “Customers are becoming the business,” he says. “We had no idea that the ‘Burger of the Month’ would be so popular and that we’d have to change it the ‘Burger of the Moment.'” In fact, one of their most popular burgers was created by a customer, @KateBarrie; the Barrie Burger features peanut butter, bacon and cheese.

Another thing Sorge does not (and cannot) do is measure ROI. He says he measures what he can – for example, he notes that FourSquare promotions have allowed AJ Bombers to increase sales 30% on select items – but that isn’t what Sorge sees as the true value of social media to his business. “This is a restaurant built by social media. This is the only way we know it. We can’t say what it would be like without it.”

The final thing AJ Bombers isn’t doing is waiting for someone else to prove ROI before experimenting with different social media programs. Sorge is unafraid to try new things in inexpensive and small ways. The owner of AJ Bombers knows his customers, understands his brand and recognizes that social media is a way to connect the two. Really, how hard is that?

http://blogs.forrester.com/augie_ray/10-03-28-word_mouth_and_social_media_tale_two_burger_joints

7 Marketing Tips for Meeting Your 2011 Sales Objectives

7 Marketing Tips for Meeting Your 2011 Sales Objectives
By Will Brennan

As any business owner is aware, the most significant way in which we can increase both the profile of our business and boost sales is through effective and almost aggressive forms of marketing.

A successful business can only be so if the market is aware of its existence. Just ‘aggressively waiting by the phone for customers to ring’ will not guarantee that your business will succeed, or even survive. However, by following these 7 simple marketing tips and tricks, you can confidently plan and meet your sales targets for 2011 (with even the potential to exceed your sales expectations).

7 Marketing Tips to Impact Your Sales

1) Competitive Analysis

To effectively use marketing for improving your sales, you first need to identify what your current situation is in terms of the success of your business and how you are currently positioned within the market. Look at your competitors’ current successes, observing and what has worked well for them or where they have failed in their marketing efforts. Think about where you would like your business to be within the next 3 years and what steps you will need to implement to make these targets achievable. Remember that being able to plan your marketing strategy effectively will require you to fully understand your business’ current status.

2) Marketing Budget

Although effective marketing strategies require some financial resources or budget, not all effective methods cost a ‘chunk of change.’ Look at your budget and what you will be able to afford and based on this number, investigate the most effective means of marketing which would work best within that target budget. Most modern online marketing tools are inexpensive or even free in some cases, which make them a perfect option for small businesses or firms stretched financially in the current economy.

3) Nurture Customers

Marketing should not just be used to gain new customers, but also to keep your current customers up to date, helping to maintain your relationship with them. Using different marketing tools to inform your customers how much you appreciate their loyalty to your company. Use email campaigns, newsletters and promotions directed at existing customers. Personal touches such as personalized emails are a great way to make customers feel special and not simply a number in your email list which can help your regular sales to continue.

4) Blogs, Articles and Backlinks

While your focus on existing customers is important, your focus on new prospects needs to be more aggressive. Whether you are a start up business or an established business, online sales content is a great form of marketing which not only promotes you, but can also help generate online sales through back links to your website. Blog content and article marketing is one of the most popular forms of online marketing today and has proved to be extremely effective when successfully executed. If you have the money required, you can also look to invest in banner ads on others’ related websites and/or blogs which will help to increase your overall traffic and increase your sales.

5) Marketing Resources

Although you can increase your sales effectively by using marketing tools which are popular at the moment, educating yourself on new and evolving trends can help you stay one step ahead of your competitors and increase your longer term overall sales. Using professional marketing books, the web, market research and in some cases, even the help of mentors; you can keep your knowledge of marketing fresh, helping to evolve new ideas to help you reach your sales targets.

6) Automation Marketing Tools

As your marketing efforts help you hit sales targets, now would be the time to use your profits effectively to further help with your marketing campaigns. Investing in marketing software, for example email software which can send out newsletters, promotions, etc. to your client base at the click of a button will not only save you time and money but will be a productive use of your time and your resources. Investment in other marketing tools can help attain specific targets.

Online marketing tools can rewrite a sales letter or article for you up to hundreds of times with minimum effort on your part. Yet another internet marketing tool will submit your articles, eBooks and white papers to article directories or eBook distributors online with the press of a button. These are all inexpensive and productive.

For example one set of marketing tool writes sales letters for you (almost). Another use your sales copy experience or the use of an outsource service to create effective, unique copy which is guaranteed to make your clients keep reading. Email is also useful since it can be a source of viral marketing. Should your customers become excited by what you offer, they can forward your email to their friends and family, providing you with a free form of advertising.

7) Marketing Plan and Strategy

Finally, as you gain the benefits of an effective marketing strategy and see your sales targets met, that would be the time to re-evaluate your situation once again and look at how you can change your marketing plans to help you reach new, higher targets.

Remember, your aim is to reach your targets and increase your sales so it’s important to stay motivated and strive to make your business as successful as possible.

Small business owners that want to increase prospects, improve revenue and retain customers use automated marketing tools & templates for maximum impact & results.

Will Brennan created the complete online marketing tools and email marketing tool kit, Marketing-Tools.co which provides hundreds of tools, tips and tricks for those who want to move their business forward by themselves without using expensive consultants, reading outdated eBooks or attending too-long seminars. Get the full story & reap the rewards Today at: http://www.Marketing-Tools.co

OK, your turn. Are you using any of these marketing tips with success? I know there are at least 20 more ways to drive business leads. Please add your tips to the list by commenting below.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Will_Brennan

Negotiation – Taking It to the Next Level

Negotiation – Taking It to the Next Level
By Sanjit Singh

Negotiation is one of the most important skills you can learn. It is intended to resolve disputes, foster agreement, and create proposals to satisfy various interests. All other things being equal, the party having the best negotiating skills will gain the most from a particular negotiation. Following are some fundamental areas to think about before entering a negotiation.

Prepare: Research all relevant information regarding the other party. Try to unearth any common ground that might exist between you. Decide on your minimum acceptable outcome and resolve to hold firm to your “walk away” scenario. Prepare multiple options so that you are ready for the inevitable “twists and turns” in the conversation.

Asking probing questions: What are the other party’s position and motivations? What is important to them and why? What else do you need to know in order to fully understand the other party’s position?

Thoughtfully assess your upside and downside: Ask yourself the hard questions: How badly do you want the deal? At what point are you willing to walk away? What do you lose if you walk away? Do better options exist for you elsewhere?

Trade concessions intelligently: If you must give a concession, always ask for one in return. Try to give concessions that are of low cost to you but high value to the other party. Conversely, try to get concession that are of highest value to you. Make sure that you never dip below your minimum acceptable outcome that you defined before the negotiation.

Get creative: If you and the other party reach an impasse, get creative by putting more factors into the sphere of negotiation. The more factors you have to discuss, the more opportunities there are for agreement.

Shift your position slowly: If you must shift your position in the direction of the other party, do so slowly. Patience is a virtue, but especially so during a negotiation.

Stay cool: Focus on the issues and not on personalities. Do not become emotional or allow yourself to be baited into being so. Also, learn to get comfortable with tension. The tension that arises in negotiation is very natural and it is usually the person who becomes uncomfortable with this tension that gives away too many concessions in order to relieve the tension. Therefore, you must stay in control of your emotions during a negotiation.

In summary, finding success in negotiation is related to how well you master a few fundamental skills. Hone these skills and watch your negotiation outcomes improve markedly.

www.salesthinkusa.com

Sanjit Singh is the CEO and Founder of SalesThink, an executive leadership and sales coaching company, and President of USS Logistics, a transportation company. Sanjit draws from his 18 years of award-winning sales performance in the software, medical device, and transportation industries to drive sales teams to reach a higher level of achievement. He has helmed a number of successful sales teams and is considered a turnaround expert for poorly performing sales teams.

In addition to speaking and consulting for private clients, Sanjit has lectured at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Pasadena City College, Mira Costa College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and UC Santa Barbara. Sanjit holds a BA in Biology and Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sanjit_Singh

Sales Training: Selling Ideas, Concepts and Solutions: How to Make Your Client’s Problems a Thing of the Past

Selling Ideas, Concepts and Solutions: How to Make Your Client’s Problems a Thing of the Past
By Steve Kloyda

Believe it or not, each time you make a sale, you’re not really selling your product or service. Most customers are attracted not by the bells and whistles, or by your stellar reputation, but rather by the ideas and concepts you present. Potential customers are won or lost based on the picture and the story that you provide.

Each time you meet with a potential client, which really could be anyone around you, consider the picture that you’re going to paint, the idea or concept that you’re going to present. How can your product or service improve their life? How can it make an unsatisfactory or even a satisfactory one that much better? Can it save them time? Does it reduce their overall cost of doing business? Can you provide a reliable service that is faster than their tried and true methods? Does it make them more productive and efficient? Or perhaps your product or device will one day save a life.

Whatever you are providing to your client, one of the bestselling techniques available to you is to move away from the nuts and bolts of your operation and into the bigger picture. Most potential clients, some say at least 90%, don’t really care how something works, only that it will work for them.

Every business wants to grow and improve their outlook for years to come. Many are actively searching for ways to do just that, and they often seek outside help. It is in these instances where the right concepts tailored to their needs can make all the difference. One example is the world of transportation. Let’s say that you are a manufacturer of screwdrivers. Would you be interested in hearing about how another company can provide the best railroad service, complete with detailed descriptions about their boxcars and railroad ties? Or would you rather see how a transportation service has helped increased delivery efficiency with the use of planes, delivery trucks and railroads?

Selling the benefits and abilities of your company also depend greatly on what you can deliver. Never make the mistake of promising the moon and delivering an apricot instead. You already know that you have the best service or product that anyone can provide. All you have to do now is tell the story that lets everyone know the truth.

What is the story that will solve your prospects or customers problems?

Visit http://theprospectingexpert.com and get my Free Special Report, 7 Steps to Become a Top Sales Pro, and watch your sales increase!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Kloyda

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