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Online Prospecting That Can Significantly Boost the Number of People You Sell To…

Gem Mine parking - Cherokee, NC

Before the holidays, I offered to spend 90 days helping you establish those business systems that are specifically designed to bring in the cash.

As your Income Advisor, I want to help you install 12 different systems—just like your accounting system, payment system and inventory system—that will become part of the fundamental underpinnings of your well run, efficiently managed business.

For most businesses, getting new customers is their #1 priority, which is why I discussed how to establish a simple offline Prospecting and Lead-Generation System in the first post in this series.

And System #2: Customer Relationship Marketing is here.

Today, I want to help you establish System #3: Your Online Prospecting Platform and Website Marketing Path

Most business owners understand the need for a website, but all too few understand what a website is really supposed to do. Your website is a delivery vehicle for your message, just like newspaper ads, postcards, telemarketing or direct-mail packages. And like those other devices, the Internet has its own checklist of requirements you must follow to make any campaign a success.

Your website must convince visitors to provide their name, email address and other identifying information in order to access a free buyer’s guide, online tutorial, downloadable checklist, subscription to valuable information, evaluation, self-audit or other instant giveaway that has value. The format of your giveaway item doesn’t matter—whether PDF, audio MP3 or other format—just as long as it can be easily opened, read, listened to, viewed or otherwise used by the people who opt-in at your site to get it.

It should be downloadable at your website to keep your delivery costs at zero. And it must be compelling. More »

Customer Relationship Marketing: CRM and Marketing to Past Buyers.

Overcoming Unpredictable Revenue and Boosting Stagnate Business Growth

System #2: Marketing to Your Existing Customers…

I want to help you install systems—just like your accounting system, payment system and inventory system—that will become part of the fundamental underpinnings of your well run, efficiently managed business.

For most businesses, getting new customers is their #1 priority, which is why I discussed how to establish a simple Prospecting and Lead-Generation System in the first module in this series.

Today, I want to help you establish System #2:  CRM and Marketing to Past Buyers.

CRM is the acronym we marketers use to say “Customer Relationship Management”. It’s also sometimes used to denote software applications that capture, store and communicate with customers in a database.

Why is managing the relationship with past buyers important?

Because you can often make more profit from existing customers (than from constantly bringing in new ones) simply because there is no cost to acquire that new customer. The entire purchase amount from that customer goes solely to (1) the cost of delivering the product or service, (2) the low cost of sending an email or letter to that customer to alert them to a unique offer, and (3) your profit.

What’s the checklist of tasks for setting up a CRM system and marketing to your past buyers? More »

The Steps To Overcoming Unpredictable Cash Flow and Stagnate Business Growth

finding cash flow

New 12-Week Series Dedicated to Finally Overcoming Unpredictable Cash Flow and Stagnate Business Growth

Spend the Next 90 Days (With My Help) Establishing Those Business Systems That Are Specifically Designed to Bring in the Cash…Predictably, Repeatedly and Easily

As business owners, we’re familiar with accounting systems, payment systems and inventory systems. Not only are these functions important, they’re also among the fundamental underpinnings of a well run, efficiently managed business.

And while most small businesses and consulting practices have these basic systems in place, unfortunately that’s often where the efficiency and management ends. Far more important areas of the business are run by gut instinct, with only random attention.

Spur-of-the-moment marketing… emergency sales efforts… an outdated website… lackluster new business development… these are the results of critical drivers that all too often go unplanned and unmanaged.

Yet marketing, sales, new business development and similar measures are the only business activities that actually bring in the cash.

Wouldn’t it be a relief to have pre-programmed, scientifically developed and intentionally planned systems (just like the ones that handle your accounting and inventory) looking after the cash-flow activities of your business?

Over the next 12 weeks, you CAN put these kinds of systems in place. And this newsletter is where you’ll find guidance on how to do it. More »

Could you sell more products and services outside your own country?

Going Global With Your Business Can Add Substantial Revenues You Never Knew Were Available

Now It’s Easier Than Ever to Get Into Relationship With People Who Are Market-Influencers Overseas

I’ll never forget the first month my business sold products and services on the Internet. Suddenly, we got calls, customers, and cash from business owners as far away as Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Israel, Dubai, Ireland and Argentina. Years later, the Revenue Report newsletter and free downloadable Instant Income reports are read by businesspeople in more than 80 countries–with product sales that nearly match that worldwide reach.

It occurred to me that your business, too, could benefit from “going global.” So I’ve dedicated this issue of the Revenue Report to showing you how to get started connecting to customers around the world.

Global Strategy #1: Decide if your product or service can be used, sold and shipped worldwide– and whether buyers in other countries will need it or want it. If you own a business, you should know that business knowledge, consulting services and advice are some of the most valuable and most exportable commodities Americans have. Take a look at the consulting work you do.

Are there people in other countries that need your type of expertise? How might you advertise it, sell it, and deliver it?

If you produce a unique, non-commodity product, can it be used and enjoyed by people overseas with different lifestyles, infrastructures, electrical systems, languages, monetary or tax systems, and other differences? If not, could you find someone to “localize” your product (or expertise) for foreign markets? More »

Cool Sales Tools for Solo Entrepreneurs and Small Companies.

Technology Makes Launching a Professional Sales Effort Easier Than Ever Before

Even If the “Sales Team” Is Just You…

If you operate with a very small staff or run the business by yourself (whether by choice or because of a limited budget), you can still launch an effective sales effort and convert prospects to buyers.

Technology makes it possible.

I’d like to introduce you to some “cool tools” for salespeople (even if the sales team is just you). We’ve used many of these tools for years in my company with great conversion rates. Others are newer technology you should become familiar with.

Here’s the short list:

Online Schedulers Eliminate the Need for Human Appointment-Setters And Reduce the Number of Prospects Lost to “Phone Tag”

One of the newer technologies that’s a tremendous benefit to salespeople is an online scheduler that lets prospective customers choose their own appointment time from a pre-programmed calendar. You send prospects to this online scheduler function either directly from a sales letter at your website — or from offline marketing activities such as your newspaper ads, business cards, flyers and brochures.

You don’t need to even go through the hassle of adding a page to your website, since the scheduler “resides” at the scheduler service’s website. Simply provide a link such as www.yourwebsite.com/get-information-by-phone or www.yourwebsite.com/book-an-appointment — with that URL re-directing to the scheduler.

You determine which days and times you want to make available for sales calls. And when prospects book an appointment, that time is removed from the available inventory. Also, their name and information is never seen by other people booking appointments.

One benefit you’ll really appreciate is that prospects book appointment times themselves — one more action-step that qualifies them as a motivated buyer. Additionally, you’ll no longer need human appointment-setters since the software does it all…24 hours a day. And far fewer prospects are lost to “phone tag” since the system sends an email reminder to the prospect to be ready for your call at the appointed time.

Of importance to solo entrepreneurs is that it also makes your small business seem bigger to prospective buyers.

Best of all, online scheduler services can be had for as little as $30 per month.

The service we like is TimeTrade.com. (I don’t get anything for recommending it, I just like the system and know it has worked well for us.)

Voice Broadcasting Lets You Call Hundreds of Prospects With a Sales Message, Yet Never Pick Up the Phone

I’ve written before about voice broadcasting and its benefits for solo entrepreneurs. For about 11¢ per name, you can record a one-minute (or longer) sales message, then broadcast that in your own voice to thousands of customer or prospect phone numbers. The key is to record a message in your natural speaking voice—as if you had just dialed that prospect personally. This provides a high-touch effect with very low-touch technology. Just the fact that you called is very powerful because so few small businesses (perhaps not even your competitors) use this technology effectively. More »

Contrary to Popular Belief, Newspaper Advertising and Other Print Advertising Still Works.

In Fact, for Some Businesses, It’s Actually a Less Competitive Environment Today.

Here’s a Contrarian Strategy You Can Profit From…

I’ve always been a fan of newspaper advertising, so when I sat down to write this — lo and behold, I was surprised at the negative comments newspaper and other print advertising is getting from the small business community these days.

It doesn’t work, they’re saying.  I’m doing all my advertising on Craigslist for free, others claim.  Print is dead, many advertisers opine.

But even though newspaper subscribership is down and advertising in major metro papers has followed suit, smart advertisers are using these facts to their advantage.  For one thing, with fewer ads appearing in newspapers, the ones that DO appear are much more effective — either because there’s little competition in that business category or there are simply fewer ads on the page.

And if you own a business that serves a local market (versus a national or international clientele), it’s quite possible your ideal customers are STILL reading one or more of your local newspapers regularly.

Who Might These Potential Customers Be?

More »

Recapture Momentum In Your Business

If Your Business Lost Customers and Revenue During 2008, 2009, and 2010, Here’s How to Recapture That Momentum — and Build for the Future.

STEP #1: ASK PAST CUSTOMERS TO BEGIN DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU AGAIN

If you have yet to make an effort to reactivate past customers — or if you haven’t yet looked at your customer list to see how many inactive customers or clients you have, you may be sitting on a gold mine of instant income.

Often times, past customers have no idea why they stopped purchasing from you or stopped using your services. All they need is a reminder of why they enjoyed buying from you…and a special incentive to begin doing so again.

If you’re a retail location, why not contact customers with a special item you don’t normally carry but that they might be interested in? For service businesses, you could contact past customers by phone and suggest they come back to finish their services (if they didn’t already) or that they may need your service again after going for so long without it. If you’re a doctor, why not offer a mini-physical or other type of test your patients should be doing every year but aren’t. Explain to them in simple language the benefits of staying on top of their health and the downside of not doing so. You can even contract with an outside service to bring in specialized equipment to perform tests over a two-week period–then invite past patients to come in for evaluation.

What Else Works Well for Reactivating Past Customers?

More »

Are You Strategically Prospecting?

A Girl and Her Mascot

Strategic prospecting means using new-business development approaches that enhance all your other marketing and sales efforts.

For example, let’s say you have a bonus or special customer benefit that seems to be the common thread helping you close sales.  Strategic prospecting means you would make sure all your marketing and advertising prominently communicates that bonus or benefit to prospects.

In fact, if you make that bonus or benefit the cornerstone of your marketing effort, you could easily have twice as many prospects… and close many more sales than you are now — because you’ve ‘pre-sold’ them with your prospecting effort.

Strategic prospecting also means that generating leads — who can later be converted into buyers — needs to be a continual, consistent process… not just an emergency effort when you desperately need more business.

This ongoing lead generating is especially difficult for consulting businesses, one-person businesses and other kinds of businesses that must stop prospecting once they land a new client or customer… in order to deliver the work.

It’s a vicious cycle, this constant stopping-and-starting.

But there are ways to prospect continually, not only so you generate potential new clients, but also so you build momentum and ‘leading expert’ status in the marketplace.

Another benefit to daily prospecting occurs when you invest in prospecting beyond what your industry “norm” has always been — when you find a new way to reach and communicate with your ideal prospects that’s different from what your competitors are doing.

Why get better at prospecting the same way everyone else does when “getting better” will improve maybe 5% to 10% — at most — upon what others have already refined?

Try something new and different, and suddenly you become a helicopter soaring over the competition — doing 25% to 500% better in your prospecting efforts.

See the difference?  Strategies from outside your industry can provide tremendous pedal power.

In my next blog post, we’ll dig into strategic prospecting in earnest by discussing how to begin looking for these prospects — including who to look for, where to find them, how to communicate with them and more.

Have you registered to get the blog feed yet?  Don’t miss what’s coming up.  Click here to subscribe to my RSS feed.

Finally, feel free to comment on what you’ve read so far. Are you beginning to think differently about prospecting and lead generation?  Tell me by leaving a reply below.

Until next time,

Janet Switzer

Help Your Customers Sell More to Their Customers

If your customers resell your products or services to someone else, the best way to improve your sales is to concentrate on helping these accounts sell more.

One way to generate instant income is to help your dealers, distributors, retailers and accounts sell more to their own database of names — through a proven strategy called “co-op marketing.”

With a co-op marketing program, you put up promotional items and/or bonuses that help your accounts sell more to their end users.

While your first reaction might be that co-op advertising is too complicated for your small business, rest assured that it doesn’t need to be.  In fact, you can create a simple program that’s easy to manage and low-cost, too.

Start by surveying your dealers and distributors with the message that you want to help them sell more.  Survey your least active accounts first.  Ask them what they need in order to sell more of your products and services:

  • Do they need training, stand-up displays, special incentives for their sales force?
  • Do they need a smaller sized package, different case quantities, or a different bundle of services than you offer?

Based on the answers you get, offer to deliver on their requests if a dealer will present a special offer to their customers.  What you’ll create is a true co-op program — meaning that both of you must take action.

Be aware that some dealers might want cash rebates made directly to dealers.  Or they may ask for manufacturer’s discounts, that are then rebated to the stores selling the product.  Avoid these cash giveaways. Investigate other ways to sell your products and services instead.

Wow.

Winding Roads - Somewhere in Arizona, USA

We’ve set a record for a Sunday… so far today there have been over 100 people per minute signing up for the Instant Income Planner.

I’ll chalk it up as a sign of the times, and that my plan is just what the doctor ordered.

I am sorry If you faced a delay in accessing the page – we’ve brought in our web server team and they are monitoring it to make sure everyone gets in.

Also, be sure to watch your email for my second part – the Instant Income 10-Day Turnaround – where you can put your whole company on a path to finding the income you need.

Janet

Creative Commons License photo credit: gTarded

Does Your Business Need Instant Income?

As a small business owner,  you realize that you are losing out on money you could be making from your existing business.

You’ve spent a lot of time, effort and money to get where you are today.  You probably put your own money into starting your business… you hired employees or established outsource relationships.

You spent time and money developing a product or service… and every day of the year you spend even more time and money advertising it, selling it and delivering it.

Along the way – without even knowing it – you created something else, too: Marketable assets.

Assets that don’t necessarily show up on your inventory or balance sheet.  Assets like your customer list, your relationships with suppliers, your advertising calendar, your Internet presence, the knowledge of your key employees, the sales pitch your salespeople use… and on and on.

I’m going to help you turn those uncommon assets into desperately needed income… instantly.

I’ll show you to the dozens of simple strategies that can turn idle inventory, excess capacity, key relationships and planned expenditures into significantly more revenue – with virtually no additional effort on your part

My goal is to show you how to:

* Sell more to your current customers

* Reactivate your past customers

* Generate new customers at no cost to you

* Increase your prices

* Lower your costs

* Get others to do your marketing for you

I am  sharing ideas and strategies, along with my guide of specific tactics you can follow to start generating extra income right away.

Best of all, it’s free – all you need to do is sign up for my FREE Instant Income Planner by clicking here now.

If you’ve already read the Planner, we want to hear from you! It will help guide me as I prepare a second Instant Income plan for you.

Please Leave a Comment Here…