Archive | February, 2013

Increase Sales, Not Postage

19 Feb

78461784

If you’re looking for an easy way to get more bang for your buck on regular mailings, try inserting statement stuffers. These printed promotions can be easily slipped into an existing mailing, such as a monthly invoice or statement, without adding additional postage fees or the hassle of a separate mailing.
Here are a few tips to consider when creating statement stuffers:

  • Highlight a different product or service every month to educate customers about unique products or services they may not know you offer.
  • Insert valuable coupons to increase sales and show customer appreciation.
  • Use statement stuffers to introduce new personnel or include an employee spotlight as a way for customers to get to know existing staff.
  • Provide information about a customer loyalty or customer referral program.
  • Use statement stuffers to announce upcoming sales, open houses, holiday events, or corporate anniversary celebrations.
  • Reinforce your brand image by coordinating your statement stuffers with your company colors, imagery, logo, and brand.
  • To easily track offers, design them as a coupon that must be turned in to redeem the discount.
  • If you enclose an exciting offer, consider applying a label to the outside of the envelope to increase excitement. Have it read something like this: “$20 coupon value inside!”

We’re here to help if you need creative money-making ideas to stuff in your statements!

Your $325,000 Gift

17 Feb

Image

 

Ivy Lee was born near Cedartown, Georgia, on July 16, 1877. The son of a Methodist minister, he studied at Emory College in Atlanta before graduating from Princeton University. He went on to found a PR firm, among many other accomplishments, before becoming a management consultant.

About a hundred years ago, Bethlehem Steel found itself in trouble operationally. The company’s chairman, Charles M. Schwab, hired Ivy to study the company’s ills and report back.

After some research and interviews, Ivy handed the chairman his findings and recommendations on a small sheet of paper. He then said, “Follow this, and your company can correct its problems.”

This short list of recommendations was directed at all the executives of the company:

  1. In the evening, each executive was to write down the six most important tasks to be done the next day and arrange them in the order of importance.
  1. The next day, they would start the first task and finish it before starting anything else.
  1. After finishing the first task, they would start the second-most important task, finish it, start the third task, and so on down the line.
  1. After their day’s work, before leaving the office, they would spend five minutes reviewing the day’s tasks and making a list for the next day. Unfinished tasks could be put on the new list.
  1. Each executive was to do this for the next 90 days and check the results.

Ivy left the chairman’s office, asking him to put the plan into action but to pay him only if the company got results. He further asked to only get paid whatever the chairman thought the advice was worth.

In two weeks, Schwab sent Ivy a check for $25,000. At the time, the average worker in the U.S. was being paid $2 per day, so this was worth approximately $325,000 in today’s dollars. He added a note saying this was the most profitable lesson he had ever learned.

Did it work?

Within five years, the Bethlehem Steel Company had become the biggest independent steel producer in the world. Schwab became the best-known steel man of his day and went on to make a hundred-million-dollar fortune.

The story of Lee and the advice he gave to Schwab is well-known in the business and self-development world. But even if you do already know it, it’s still worth studying again and again until it’s ingrained into your daily habits. The lesson to be learned is the importance of defining top priorities and focusing on those important items until they are finished, rather than letting the mundane and unimportant distract us. Master this habit, and you might be able to write your own $325,000 check.

Sell with Sincerity

13 Feb

Image

 

In a sea filled with competitive businesses, sincerity is a must if you want to get (and keep) customers. Here are a few tips to help you sell with sincerity:

  • Sincerity is more than just a smile or a firm handshake. It can be heard in your voice, your words, and your actions.
  • Don’t read from a script. No one wants to listen to a sales pitch that sounds like a recording. Mix in your personality, passion, and even personal experiences with the product.
  • Ask questions and listen with interest. Show that you really care about what the person is saying (in contrast to simply listening because it is the polite thing to do).
  • Be yourself. Remember that people buy from other people. If they like working with you, they are more likely to remember you and return again.
  • Back off the business mode when using social media sites. Rather, use them for their intended purpose: to be social and build relationships.

 

  • Remember that sincerity has to last. It doesn’t end after the sale. If customers have a problem with a product or service, sincerity is a must to resolve their issue.

George Henry Lewes once said, “Insincerity is always weakness; sincerity even in error is strength.” Sincerity in sales can not only help you build a stronger relationship with your customers, but will also help your business receive honest feedback and suggestions for improvement.

What Does the Fortune Inside Your Cookie Say?

4 Feb

Image

 

A fortune cookie has an average taste at best. So why do people look forward to eating them? Because of the little piece of paper inside the cookie. You know, the one that tells a story: your fortune.

The text on the fortune is rarely profound, yet we still excitedly break open the fortune cookie to see what it says. Why? Because those simple and sometimes silly words illicit an emotional response.

Your products and services are like a fortune cookie. In your mind, they are second to none, but to your audience, you may be one of many.

Your values, vision, and especially your story are like the fortune in the cookie. Your prospects and customers want the fortune as much if not more than the cookie itself because that’s how they connect and how they will remember you.

Strive to make your services and products the best they can be. But don’t forget to tell the stories behind them, so you can connect with your clients emotionally. That’s the key to what will make you unforgettable.