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Following Up On Sales Prospects

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sales follow up

How do you follow-up a prospect without sounding annoying? This is a very hard question to answer, because following up on a prospect can be harder to do than cold calling. Most of the time, the answer depends on the situation. The good news is that there are ways you can follow-up that increases the chances of communication, while decreasing the chances of “prospect gone dark”. Here are suggestions you can try.

Ask the Client

One of the best ways you can follow-up without sounding annoying to the client is to ask them the best time to do so. Most of the time, we don’t really know many things about the client because we are still trying to have a relationship with them. When you meet or call a client and it seems like there is potential where you can work together, ask them how you can stay in touch with them in a polite manner while focusing on adding value. Let them know that you have information that might interest them or you might have a solution to a problem they have. Find out how you can add value to their industry so that you remain interesting.

Preferred Method Of Communication

This is not about the best time to follow-up a client but about their preferred method of communication and getting them to respond. Ask your client if they prefer email, text, or a phone call and then ask them how long it will take them to respond. This way you can get a commitment for your next meeting. It can be hard to get noticed if the client gets 200-300 emails a day so ask them what they want to see on the subject line to get them to read the email.

Lastly, set an expectation for responsiveness. If you can get clients to tell you their preferred method of communication and their response time, you can hold them accountable throughout your relationship.

Add Value In the PS

There are many clients who like emails because they are less intrusive than receiving a call or text message and they can take their time responding. One of the best ways to keep clients engaged and interested is to add value to what they are receiving in their emails. A P.S. or postscript adds value even if the client does not open it, because it says that you took time to put in a little extra. A P.S. can help you get remembered and gives them another reason to like you while expecting your follow-up call or meeting.

Call On Time

Time is valuable. Therefore, always remember to call on time. Calling late starts the relationship on the wrong foot. Calling promptly reflects respect and discipline which shows you, the product, and company in a good light.

Send A Thank You Card

After the initial meeting and before the follow-up, send the client a handwritten thank you note or card. Even something as simple as “Jane, thank you for the meeting today. I look forward to our follow-up on the 15th of June at 10:00 am”, will help you get remembered. In today’s busy world, taking time to write a thank you note is becoming rare. This will help you stand out and get noticed. It distinguishes you from all the others because you took time and effort to do something different.

Having a good solid strategy can help you get noticed from all the other sales representatives. A good strategy gives you edge and will differentiate you. Find out which strategies work best for follow-up to keep sales going.

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10 Side Jobs To Make Extra Money

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extra money

The economy has been unstable lately and every penny counts. Many of us already know why it is important not only to keep track of spending but also to have money for “rainy days” too. If you’re interested in ways to make extra money on the side, we have 10 examples you can check out.

1. Blogging

Blogging is one of the best ways to earn a few extra bucks on the side. Drop by ProBloogger.net for legitimate blogging jobs. You can also Google for blogging jobs if you can’t find jobs that suit you on the website. Once you find a blogging job, you can start writing immediately. It’s best if you find a field that you really like to make the job more fun for you.

2. Pet Sitting/Baby Sitting

This job is not just for teenagers but for adults too. Parents and pet owners need a time out from their children and pets from time to time and that’s where you come in. Some adults scoff at this kind of job, but money is money no matter how you earned it.

3. Online Bridesmaid

Saying “I do” is big business and by being an online bridesmaid you can also have a slice of the pie. Websites like Bridesmaidforhire.com provides professional services to brides ranging from just hanging out to helping to organize the bridal party. But don’t worry because the job is usually handled through emails and social media. You are basically there to help or to hold the bride’s hand.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Earn extra money through commission by joining affiliate programs. Businesses are always looking for new customers and will be very happy to give you commission every time you refer a customer to them. Whenever a customer clicks your personal affiliate link, you earn extra money when they make a purchase. You can join multiple companies at once or market different products simultaneously. Check out ShareaSale, Affilorama and Rakuten Affiliate Network.

5. Tutoring

You might have skills that you are able to teach like algebra, music or foreign language. Tutoring is very flexible because you can do it online through video chat or through personal meeting. Find clients through sites like Craigslist or post your services there. You can be flexible with your rates or tutor multiple students at once.  Tutoring is not only a great way to meet new people but also to help them too.

6. Sell Stuff on Ebay

You can make extra money from your old stuff by selling them on eBay. Many of us have clothing, gadgets, shoes or kitchen appliances we seldom use. Instead of letting them gather dust, you can make extra money off them by selling them online.

7. Bartender or Server

One of the best things about the service industry is the flexible hours. If you prefer to be a server, you can schedule shifts before or after your job. Bartenders usually have the late shift which is great if you don’t mind working into the night.

8. Sell Your Skills

You can sell your skills by freelancing. Sites like Fiverr, Upwork and People Per Hour are great platforms for people with different kinds of skills. You can find all kinds of work if you’re an accountant, CAD operator, writer, researcher or web developer.

9. Rent Your Parking Space

It’s not really a job, but if you have a parking space in a busy city; you can make a few extra bucks a month when you’re not using it or when you’re on vacation. Make extra cash by letting other people park in your spot in cities like Chicago by going to ParqEX. ParkingSpotter is a nationwide service while SpotOnParking serve major cities in the US.

10. Consulting

Help other people solve their challenges by becoming a consultant. The Second Shift and Hourly Nerds are good examples of websites that address the needs of highly skilled professionals seeking in demand talent. If you have marketing skills for example, you can serve as a consultant for people on Hourly Nerds looking for expert guidance. It is a good way to make extra money while staying at home.

These jobs are for everybody looking to make a few extra dollars on the side. They are great opportunities not only for full-time workers but for students, moms and people who don’t have jobs.

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Sales

How To Get Prospects To Notice Your Business

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It may be very easy to start a venture, but making it profitable requires a lot of planning and the right execution strategies.

When you start a business, you should be aware of the competition in the market. You need to grab the attention of your prospects to survive in the industry. This requires the adoption of some out-of-the-box marketing strategies to stand out in the crowd and make your presence known. You must customize and update these innovative ideas from time to time as per the market conditions and your projected roadmap.

1. Create quality marketing tools.

You do not have to spend a fortune on marketing at a very young stage. A step by step milestone based approach would be a great option. Understand what the consumer wants and have all the essentials which you may need to contact a prospective client or buyer. Keep the brochure, stationary package, and the presentation tools handy. Hire a designer or a copywriter to present the attributes of your business in the most professional way.

2. Conduct competitive intelligence online.

In today’s digital era, it is easy to get all the information about your competitors. The kind of clients they deal with or the price they charge for the services. Use this information to your benefit. You can customize your strategies accordingly to attract your customers by offering superior services or products at competitive prices.

3. Hold a giveaway.

Hosting an online giveaway is one of the most common ideas to catch the attention of your target audience for the B2C businesses. You can give away an attractive gift voucher to a lucky winner or offer discounts on some products. Get involved with people and ask them to follow your page on Facebook various social media platforms. As they get to know about your business, you get a chance to promote your products or services in the vast digital space.

However, you must be careful with the discounts offered, and they should not negatively impact your revenue model in a big way.

4. Feedback from happy clients.

Client referrals work wonders for a company’s image. The positive feedback of a happy customer is the best marketing tool and can definitely get you more clients. You can ask for LinkedIn recommendations or formal referrals from your older clients for B2B businesses and reviews and testimonials for B2C businesses.

5. Offer work samples.

To improve your client base, you can offer to do a complimentary work for them.  You can also send your product samples to some selected clients. They can inspect the quality of your offerings and endorse your brand.

6. Get local news coverage.

Get a personalized news release in the local newspaper. Improve your clientele by printing your success story.

7. Offer a warranty.

Most of the people will trust your products or services if you provide a warranty. It is perceived as the confidence of business in its offerings.

8. Attend network events

Attend more network events to get featured in online and offline publications. Keep your business cards ready to reach out to new clients. Participate in discussions, talk about your business and throw some light on your products. Talk intelligently and be informative in order to convince people.

9. Be creative to draw attention

To draw attention, you need to participate and socialize at events. You should host a fun event or an online contest. Create an interesting contest and give away some cool prizes. Customized t-shirts, hats, and backpacks are great options and is an excellent way to reach out to maximum people.

Use social media platforms to your advantage. Think and execute your plan correctly!

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Sales

Things You Must Do When Pitching Investors

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Pitching investors

Pitching investors will inevitably be a path many entrepreneurs will tread. Pitching is not just for entrepreneurs looking for money. Most of us at different points in our lives have experienced pitching for a proposal we want to happen. Whether it is getting mom to buy us tickets to a band’s concert or getting approval for a loan, a successful pitch is composed of the same elements. Here are points to follow to get that perfect pitch.  

Get To The Point Quickly

Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, especially when pitching investors. This is especially true for the new generation who are used to everything on-demand. Many things are becoming minimal, whether it is blogs, the news report, or websites. So as not to lose their attention, get to your point quickly and succinctly. Use Harvard’s Elevator Pitch Builder which gives you a minute to explain yourself, your goals and your business. Also, make sure your presentation is dynamic and lively. This article here teaches you everything you need to know about making that presentation go wild.

Use Less Slides When Pitching Investors

Since attention is getting shorter and you need to get to the point quickly, don’t use too many slides. Limit your slides to 10 if possible. The fewer slides you use, the quicker your presentation will be, which will keep you from going astray. Use downloadable ready-made slide decks.

Establish A Need

The best products that sell are those that are needed. When giving a presentation always answer the question “What problem does that solve?”. Convince the audience that there is a need by giving them a problem and telling them that you have the solution.

Message Map

For complex pitches, use the message map, a tool that will help you convey your idea simply and quickly. It helps explain an idea visually, all in one page in just 15 seconds. It involves a Twitter friendly headline, 3 benefits that support the headline and reinforcement of the 3 benefits.

Multi-Level Structure

Scott Berkun, author of How to Pitch Your Idea, recommends using 3 levels for your pitch: 5 seconds to explain your idea in one sentence, 30 seconds to explain to the audience how to achieve your plan. Once they understand this, use 5 minutes to broaden it so that they can get a clearer idea of what you’re proposing.

Competitive Advantage

Identify who your competition is and tell the audience your competitive advantage. Show them why your idea or product is better than what your competitor is offering. It is also a good idea to tell the audience who the potential entrants are and what you’re doing to shield against them.

Catchphrase

Include a catchphrase when pitching a product. The Macbook Air for example was “the world’s thinnest notebook” when first introduced. A catchphrase will help people and the audiences remember your product. Developing a good catch phrase is a huge part of developing your brand’s message. Learn more on reinforcing your brand here.

The Team

Listeners and investors like to know that you have a good solid team behind you. When pitching investors, make sure you also show them confidence by introducing your team. You can introduce them at the beginning or end of your pitch. Don’t go into every single detail about them. Focus on the highs and relevant accomplishments of team members. Building a dream team is critical for your success, check this article out to learn how to build that dream team!

Know When To Stop Selling

Learn to read the signs on when to stop selling. Pitching investors doesn’t always mean you have to be constantly selling the whole time. A good salesperson knows when the idea has hit home. When you continue to talk beyond this point you could say something that could reverse the positive direction of the pitch. To learn more about selling, check out this article here.

Don’t Beg

There is a fine line between showing passion for your idea and begging listeners to like it. A little nervousness is expected but adopting an attitude of begging does not serve well. If you feel that your idea has merit, pitch like you believe in it without sounding arrogant or obnoxious. Hone your pitching skills by watching shows like Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den.

Deliver a pitch that instills confidence in your team and communicate your idea with clarity. If you are able to do this, then you are on your way to a successful pitch.

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