Turbocharge New Sales with a Marketing Database

What is the most valuable asset your company owns? Inventory? Equipment? Employees? If you’ve got customers, your number one asset is your customer list.

You’ve heard the old adage, “It’s 5 times easier to sell an existing customer than to find a new one.” Selling an existing customer is easy because you’ve got the right message at the right time going to the right customer. There are two proven ways to do this. First, you position yourself as the obvious expert and ask for your deserved referrals and for the next sale. Second, you practice solid customer relationship management and mine your database for all that it’s worth. The first way is passive and takes a really long time.

The second way actively places you on your customer’s radar and keeps you top of mind for his next buying decision. But if your customer information resides in 10 different places, like your accounting software, Excel spreadsheets, little Post-It notes on your monitor and a PDA, you’ve greatly diminished or erased your ability to “be there” for your number one asset when he’s ready to buy again.

Take this 12-point true/false quiz to see if you’re prepared to profit from your database. Give yourself 1 point for each “true” answer:

1. I collect complete contact information (name, address, phone numbers and email address) on every customer who buys from me

2. I collect complete contact information (name, address, phone numbers and email address) on everyone who inquires about my services

3. I keep all my contacts in a single database

4. I keep track of how each customer or prospect found me so I can duplicate my successes and thank my referral sources

5. I have an easy-to-use automated response tool to follow up with prospects before, during and after the sale so I never lose an opportunity because it fell through the cracks

6. I have an easy-to-use system to cross sell my customers on my other services because I track what they bought previously

7. I have a system to track opt-outs to my email campaigns so I can stay in CAN-SPAM compliance with my e-marketing

8. I can forecast my sales for the next week, month or quarter based on opportunities in my sales pipeline

9. I have a customer database clean-up plan to update my contact information at least once per year

10. I have an effective system for tracking open and closed customer service issues

11. I can download leads from my website and schedule a call back for myself in 1 hour or less–everyday!

12. It takes me one hour or less to launch an important email campaign to my customers.

What Your Score Means

If you scored a 7 or less, you’re working way too hard for business and leaving money on the table. Most likely, you’re developing one account at a time instead of creating a sales process that can run on auto-pilot until someone is ready to buy from you. While that’s certainly the way most of us were taught to get more business, and it’s been done like that for decades, it’s not a very efficient use of your time, or a very profitable way to spend your day, or much fun.

If you scored an 8 or above, you’re doing a great job of marketing to and reselling your existing customers. You should look for new sales opportunities with a targeted prospect list or try online advertising. Redouble your efforts with existing customers. Customers think of you as a trusted friend and treat your communications as information, not advertising. A good customer contact program includes 12-18 “touches” per year.

Modern Marketing With Postcards

Postcards may be one of the best kept secrets of modern
marketing. They produce even better results now than in the
past. That’s probably because postcards deliver information
the way people want to get it today …fast and with little
or no effort.

Use Postcards to Generate Website Traffic and Sales Leads

A brief captivating message on a postcard with an enticing
offer sent to the right prospects will generate a flood of
traffic to your website – or a large number of sales leads.

Keep your postcard simple. Make it look at first glance like
a message from a friend instead of like an advertisement.
This creates a pleasant emotional response from readers even
though they quickly realize that it is a commercial message.

State the biggest benefit you offer to customers. Then
briefly add a few other advantages or features you provide.
End with a compelling reason for prospects to contact you
…or to go to your website for more details. It’s that
simple.

Tip: Don’t try to close sales directly from a postcard.
There’s not enough space on a postcard to provide all the
information your prospects need to make a buying decision.

People Read Postcards

Almost everybody will read a postcard – even those who
usually throw out other direct mail without opening it.
That’s because it’s almost impossible to throw out a
postcard without looking at the message.

This high rate of readership is the main reason why
postcards produce a bigger response than other types of
direct marketing. With other types of marketing you often
lose prospects who would have responded to your offer – but
they never saw it.

Tip: Postcards are an excellent low-cost alternative to
email. People get so much email today that even legitimate
messages are getting deleted unread. But they get few if any
postcards. Your message is guaranteed to get their attention
when it’s delivered on a postcard.

Postcards are Cheap to Produce

Postcards cost less than 2 cents each to produce if you
print them using your own computer. You can print postcards
individually on blank 4 x 6 inch index cards or print 4
postcards on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of index card stock and cut
each sheet into quarters.

Your postcards will cost between 4 cents and 9 cents each to
produce if you use a commercial printer …depending on the
number you have printed and the quality you want.

Postcards are Cheap to Mail

Even the postage for mailing postcards is cheap – 23 cents
each to send them by First Class Mail in the US. The only
requirement for this special rate is that the dimensions of
your postcards must be at least 3 1/2 x 5 inches but not
over 4 1/4 x 6 inches.

Tip: Always use a real 23 cent stamp on your postcards. It
produces more replies than a printed indicia (imprinted
postage) …probably because people associate a printed
indicia with junk mail.

Don’t overlook postcards the next time you want to drive a
huge amount of traffic to your website or generate a flood
of new sales leads. They’re simple to use, highly effective
and very low-cost.

The Basics Of Multi Level Marketing System

Multilevel Marketing System is a type of business where sales representatives do a double duty: selling products and recruiting new sales representatives like them. The incentive for selling is the usual profit out of the sales.

On the other hand, recruiting additional sales personnel is sometimes more lucrative than the product selling itself. The recruiting salesman will get a commission out of the revenues of the sales people he recruited (usually called a “downline”).

The setup is repeated when these new recruits do their own recruitment of more sales people. The original recruiting sales guy will still get an additional overriding commission on the revenues generated by this second generation of sales people (still part of the “downline” of the original salesman-recruiter), albeit on a reduced scale.

MLM appeal

Also known as network marketing, direct selling and person-to-person marketing, multilevel marketing (MLM) is already an entrenched industry and one of the most lucrative in the world. (Some of the biggest corporations in the world are MLM companies, or companies who utilize the MLM sales concept.)

Multilevel marketing appeals to a wide variety of people (wives, mothers, students, laid-off workers, etc.) because the work can be done part-time and the schedule is really flexible.

They also attract people who are dissatisfied with their present work situation. A writer once called it ‘the least expensive, lowest risk, fastest path to achieving the American dream.’ He also called it the “core of the exploding E-home-based business’ segment of the economy.”

Incentives

Aside from the relative independent quality of work efforts and time (consumer products are sold usually in customers’ homes), the multilevel company usually encourages the salesman to build and set up his own sales force.

The salesman can recruit, motivate, supply and train newcomers to sell the company’s products or services. Compensation is usually based on the sales efforts of the new army of salesmen, plus the originating salesman’s personal sales.

Criticisms

The bulk of the criticisms hurled against multilevel marketing stemmed from past pyramid schemes that used network marketing techniques. The illegal rip-offs had participants expect huge amounts of monetary returns from substantial initial investments while doing little work.

The people who started the scam were paid off by those who came and joined later. Soon, many participants were not paid at all.

Today, the complaints on MLM are mostly on being pressured to join parties where participants are coerced to buy products of questionable qualities, and being bombarded by proposals to join the downline.

MLM benefits

One of the biggest reasons people sign in to multilevel marketing is flexibility. Sales people may work only on part-time and set their own choices of working hours.

Research had shown that 90% of MLM sales representatives work less than 30 hours a week, and 50% even work less than 10 hours per week. Moreover, multilevel marketing businesses do not tie their sales people to long-term commitments.

Another basis for the appeal of multilevel marketing sales model is that it enables people to start their own business with only a modest investment. (The average investment is around $100.)

Like any other enterprise, going into the multilevel marketing system still needs the salesman’s mastery of retailing techniques, establishing goals, and having plans to execute them.