Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families

Critical early steps in a sales conversation

When meeting a prospective client, patient or customer (I'll use "customer" for all three), the new salesperson or service provider is eager to lead the conversation with a "sales pitch" about the features and benefits of the product or service they represent. It's usually too early to share that information.

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Boost your web page with video testimonials

Videos have an advantage over text and photos because the viewer experiences them with a combination of senses: sight and sound, experiencing the personality and emotions of the subject of the video.

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A Thanksgiving memory

Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. It was the one day of the year all of his loved ones surrounded him.

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What’s IN this thing?

One of the hurdles for promotional messages is simply to have the recipient open the envelope (or email) and hopefully read it. "Lumpy mail" is one way to get over that hurdle.

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Does your business “pencil out”?

When someone starts a business or introduces a new product, they are very excited.

It’s good to be enthusiastic, but you don’t want your emotions to blind you to the reality of whether your business will work or not.

Before charging ahead and investing a lot of money in marketing and infrastructure, put together some estimated numbers about how your business will work.

What will be your business model? How will the business generate ongoing revenue? Most businesses can’t survive as a “one product wonder.”

How many sales can you hope for? What will be the cost of fulfillment? What is the estimated cost to promote the product or service? What infrastructure (rent, employees, independent contractors, equipment) will be required?

An accountant can help you put these figures together into a financial projection or business plan. The projection is only as good as the assumptions and information provided to the accountant. You might need additional information from engineers, marketers and other individuals with experience with a similar business to assure the assumptions are realistic.

Marketing teacher Dan Kennedy shared an experience about a client who had a great skin care product. It was costly to produce because the ingredients were rare, exotic and expensive. The product would have to be sold for $149 per month to be profitable. Dan’s experience was this type of product wouldn’t sell for more than $49.95 per month. (That’s an amount that goes “under the radar” on a monthly credit card statement.) He spent a day explaining to his client that the economics didn’t work for this product, and no marketing strategies could overcome bad economics.

Avoid sending your money down a “rat hole”. Pencil out what the likely outcome will be from offering your products or services. If the business can produce a profit and you’re still excited, then go ahead.

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Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families