How to Sell Like a Rock Star

Heather Nelson and Gene Simmons of KISS and Family JewelsWhat is it that makes rock stars different from musicians who can’t sell a CD? You might answer that it’s talent, but the real difference is “presence“, a pull that makes people want to stop and listen. It’s also what we hope occurs when someone reads about our products, but if we haven’t learned to sell like rock stars, that’s probably not happening.

Let’s look at some ways we can make our ads grab the customer’s attention. As we do, we’ll also look at some things we should all avoid in marketing.

For example, if people are clicking off your website to avoid being put in a coma, it’s time to revamp your copy. It’s a lot like listening to someone sing a great song in a monotone. It may have a great message, but who’s going to stay to listen?

Look at your current website copy and ask yourself, “What can I say about my products that will make people want to know more?” Acknowledge first what your customers really need. If you’re trying to sell to a demographic with no real need for your product, you’re in the same boat as a rock star selling tickets to country music fans.

If you’ve done your market research, you’re probably selling to the right crowd, so state their need then follow with your solution. For example, “Air Conditioner Running Day and Night? Our Insulation Seals Your House Up Tight!” Awfully trite, I admit, but do you think people reading the ad know what the product will do?

It holds their attention by stating a need and offering a solution. For as long as it takes to read the ad, it’s center stage in their focus. Compare that to, “Buy Our Insulation. It’s Got an R30 Factor and It’s Relatively Inexpensive.” Snoring yet? Advertising doesn’t have to scream the message, but it at least must keep the reader awake.

Going back to musicians; some singers become great without being brash. That’s because what they have to say is so enticing. Their songs create an emotional reaction the first time we hear them. Does your marketing do that, or is it full of distracting filler?

Especially online, we only have a few seconds before the reader’s attention span has moved to the next frame. Test your copy on your own senses. If there’s no reaction from any of the five, you’ve just put your audience to sleep!

Here’s one more tip for marketing with rock star attitude. Let it carry the weight of celebrity! How many times have you purchased something because someone famous recommended it? An endorsement from someone your customers recognize will go a long way to making a sale.

If your sales aren’t where they should be, consider what I’ve said. Project a rock star image in every aspect of your marketing. That’s when you’ll really start to get their attention.

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4 Quick Ways to Make Money Selling Online

Champion Assistants services for online salesI have often been asked: “What is the quickest way to make money selling online?”

This is such a hard question to answer because it depends on each person’s ability, financial back up and knowledge.  What I can do here is list some of the ways that do make money fairly quickly once it is up and running.   What a solopreneur would need to do is look at how long it would take them to get a particular business opportunity making money.

INTERNET MARKETING

  • Selling products online from your own blog site or website
  • Selling affiliate products (other people’s products for commission)
  • Promoting a service that you are going to run, like a consultancy business

With products you may choose to buy them or make your own.  There are so many choices in this field.  It is important to choose something that you like doing so that you can keep your motivation up because as a solopreneur you are it.  You have to keep yourself motivated.

SELLING ON EBAY

Some people selling on Ebay are making thousands of dollars a week.  There is a system that works and it would probably be a good idea to buy into that or research how these people are doing so well when others are making nothing.

PROVIDE WRITING SERVICES

Many people write for a living.  With the popularity of the internet there are thousands, if not millions of people who do not have either the ability or time to write for the internet, but really need to.  Very good money can be made from writing for the internet if you make it a full-time job.  There are writing sites like Elance, Guru and others where a writer can earn money.

SELL PHOTOS ONLINE TO PHOTO WEBSITES

Because of the growth in promoting online, site owners are always looking for Public Domain Photos.  What you do here is take photos and upload them to the photo sites and they pay you a commission on each photo that is downloaded by a buyer on the site.  This is quite a good way to get passive income coming in because once it is set up you can just leave it there.  For example, a site that uses these photos is http://www.isistockphoto.com

Customers Speak with their Feet

Champion Assistants - Sales Strategy Virtual AssistantsHave you ever had a customer tell you upfront that they are leaving because of poor customer service, underestimated delivery times, poor quality products or because they don’t like the way you format your e-mail responses to them?  If you have, lucky you!   You would be lucky to receive feedback upfront and have the opportunity to repair the relationship.  If you haven’t, you are with the majority whose customers speak with their feet.  Most times customers won’t give feedback upfront, and will instead take their business elsewhere.

It isn’t easy giving negative feedback, even if it’s constructive.  Especially for customers who receive offers from your competition, both local and international, it is much easier for them to take their business elsewhere than give you the opportunity to improve.  Customers generally only leave after a long time of feeling under-appreciated or frustrated and your competitor has addressed their need.  Sometimes you don’t even know your customer has left because they simply took their business elsewhere without giving notice.  They used their feet.

Oftentimes it isn’t price or competition that drives competitors away.  It’s perceived indifference.  When a customer perceives that their business is not valuable to you or they feel like they aren’t be handled like valued customers, they are more easily swayed to using another provider.  When it comes right down to it, prioduct or service is just part of the equation – customer experience makes all the difference.

What can you do to make your customers feel like they are the precious gems they are?

1. Let them know you value them!  Send occasional thank you’s just because they are a client.  Especially after they have made a large purchase, let them know how much you appreciate their business and how you will help them.  One thing my clients appreciate is that I send them a gift card for something special each year on their anniversary of being a Champion Assistants client.

2. Address their needs.  Make sure your products and services are tailored to your clients.  One size does not always fit all and customers appreciate individual attention.  Nobody appreciates being a customer ID number.

3. Offer proactive support.  Anticipate your customers needs and offer explanations of how you products or services work and the best ways to use them.  Especially if you sell products, make sure your customers know all the benefits and offer your support and guidance in installation.

4.  Make payment expecations clear.  Making payment easy for customers is essential.  There are few things more frustrating than researching a product, going through the sales process and then having a difficult purchase experience!  Offering various payment options and even payment cycles is helpful.

5. Ask for their business.  It’s important to involve your customers in your business by letting them know you appreciate them and are available to provide them with information and answer their questions.  What is also important is to follow up to find out what additional needs they have in case you offer other products or services that address those as well.

It’s infinitely easier to keep current customers happy than constantly be prospecting for new ones.  Treat your customers like the gems they are and they will appreciate your business as valuable to them.

Best,

Heather

Recession Mindset – Operate Lean and Mean!

Champion Assistants Business NegotiationBusinesses that start during times of recession or uncertainty tend to thrive, and a key reason why is they learn from the beginning how to operate lean.  Business that start during boom times get used to steady cash flow, access to venture capital, and a hungry customer base.  When economies start scaling back and consumers become choosier about how they spend their money, businesses that haven’t been careful about their internal cash flow and checks and balances can really get hit hard.  Reality can be harsh!

I would argue that the best way to run a business is as though there was a constant recession.  It’s always important to value every dollar whether earned or spent and never take customers for granted.  In boom times it’s easy to get caught up in the fever of success or the free flow of cash exchange.  By operating in recession mode, businesses can be more careful about how earnings are invested, or reinvested in the company, and extraneous purchases can be avoided.

Too many times excessive investment is made in technologies or services because they will some day become useful.  There is an attitude of preparing for the future even if the path to get there hasn’t been strategically thought out.  A recession mindset would help guide decision makers to create sound and realistic strategies for future business, instead of counting on continuous prosperity.

My argument is that businesses should utilize every resource they currently have and only upgrade when absolutely necessary.  That applies to technologies and services, because I have never seen an instance of scarcity.  Businesses also need to focus more on free resources – that is their current contact network. Are they optimizing sales with existing clients?  Are they treating prospects with white gloves?  Are they letting their network know their unique selling proposition?  Are they getting other people to do the selling for them through affiliate programs?

It’s important that companies operate lean by utilizing existing resources and resist consumer temptation to upgrade, purchase for optimistic future plans and buy anything that does not fit in with their core operating values.  With a lean and mean mindset, even the smallest businesses can tough out a recession!

To your success,

Heather

Write Effective Sales Copy

Sales copy, for those unfamiliar with the term, is structured text that entices people to buy. Though the most common form of sales copy is advertising, that is not the only form it can take. Articles, blogs and websites use sales copy as well as other mediums. You don’t need to hire a fancy marketing firm to write your sales copy. Just follow some basic principles and use your creativity.

Know the product: What is it? How much does it cost? Where can they buy it?

Know the target audience: How old are they? How will this product affect them?

If readers do not see the value in your product in the first few sentences, they will move on. In that short space you must convey everything above, using words everyone can understand. Always be sure to include where the product is available and why they need your product.

If the sales copy you want to create happens to be a full page in length, it is still important to convey what the product or service is and why they need it, but you do have a little more time to get to the price and place of purchase. Do not be fooled, you still have to grab your audience in the first few sentences.

There are many tricks to grabbing the attention of your audience. Some people like to use stories, while others like reverse psychology. However you choose to capture their attention, be honest and forthcoming. Learn what you can about your audience and their triggers. What pulls them to buy? Study the sales copy of your competitors and see what might be working for them. Use keywords that make your audience desire your product or service.

Improving Sales Through Social Interaction

Sales isn’t just about making money, it’s about building relationships. Business slows when companies forget the human factor. Businesses that maintain a connection with their customers thrive. Why is this? One of the basic fundamentals of human nature is a need for connections. When a connection is broken we feel it both physically and mentally.

The number one thing professionals forget is the importance of the human connection. Some of the best ways to maintain this connects are with: newsletters, promotions, and thank you notes. These things may seem simple, but they have a large impact on the way your customers perceive you.

Thank you notes are a simple way to make a customer feel special and know you appreciate their business. When someone feels special and appreciated, they tell others. A Thank you can be as simple as an email or a hand written thank you card. However you choose to do this, keep the customer in mind.

Promotions are a great way to drum up business. By sending an exclusive promotion to past customer you again make them feel special. Remember to always have a reason behind the promotion. The reason could be as simple as “we’ve run out of room” or more personal such as ‘My wife’s tired of my piles, please help clear out my closets’.  Putting a reason behind a sale or promotion can drive up business as much as 20%.

Newsletters are a good way to keep your clients interacting and up to date with your business. Giving out information on new products is only a small piece of this puzzle. The main draw and what will keep your customers reading your newsletter over time is to have articles that interest your customers. This can be a time consuming process because you have to stay current on market trends, new and existing ideas and anything and everything else relating to your market and products. Your readers are going to be relying on you to keep them informed, so in turn keep yourself informed.

There are many other ways to maintain a connection with your clients. Do what feels right to you and your business. Never forget that your customers are working for you only when they feel a connection. If you want the word of mouth advantage, work for it.

What are the results you’ve had with these methods?  What other methods have you tried that are effective?  We can all benefit from each other’s suggestions!

Best,

Kristi

Sales Strategies That Really Do Work!

Selling is not rocket science. In fact, if you know the basic principles behind why we buy, sales can be the simplest part of doing business. I know, you are staring at this article going, yeah right! But it’s true. No matter what culture we come from, what country we live in, or how old we are at some point in almost every day we will buy something. If you understand the reasons behind each sale, than increasing those sales becomes child’s play.

One of the basic fundamentals to remember, when thinking of human nature in relation to sales, is that everyone loves a deal. The reason we like deals varies from person to person. So what can you do to make people feel they are getting a deal? There are several paths you can take to reach this goal.

Short Term Availability – When something is only available for a short period of time there is usually a reason. If you let your customers know the reason they are more inclined to buy during that short window of availability rather than miss out on the product or the special price.

Have A Sale – Again, the time thing works in, but here they also feel like they are getting a deal. A bargain if you will. Would you rather pay full price for a book or get it at half off? Here again, describing the sale is a sure way to entice buyers. If something, especially something online, is marked down but doesn’t give a reason our first thought is that the product has a fault.

Quantity Customer Discounts/Rewards – Making someone feel special is a good way to make them return and when they do let them know you appreciate it by giving them a deal. A customer who returns and gets the same or better treatment is more likely to tell their friends, colleagues, or peers about it, which will in turn bring more potential sales your way!

Free Samples – The idea of giving something away for free is hard to swallow for some people, but it is a good way to draw in those unsure customers. When you give something for nothing it should represent your company and your products. This item will give potential customers a chance to try out your company and see if they truly want to do business with you or not. If they like what they get, they come back for the rest. But don’t go overboard with this item. Whether it’s a gift bag or an article on sales tactics, freebies are meant to give a glimpse of the possibilities your products hold.

Up Sell – When it comes time to checkout make sure to mention products that your customer may have missed that complement what they have in their cart. If they are buying shampoo, suggest a conditioner along the same lines. Whatever your products are, there are bound to be complementary products in your stock room.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to sales tactics, but the number one thing to keep in mind is that your customers are human. They are not numbers to be added or subtracted. Treating everyone with a personal touch will make them feel special and they will have the desire to come back and bring others.

Best,

Kristi