Sales Sells The First One, Service Sells The Rest

No business is just a buy-and-sell business in todays competition driven world. Customer service and superior after-sales have emerged as the two critical success-oriented techniques and the core drivers of competitive advantage.

Excellent after sales support can help improve customer retention, streamline service process, maximize efficiency and reduce overhead costs. But there are still a lot to it- customers of a business can be new ones, or current ones returning to buy more. The significance of good customer service can be seen in the fact that it costs 5 times as much to win a new customer than it is to retain the current one. This particularly goes well with short-term growth as the cost of acquiring new customers is typically much greater than the cost of retaining existing ones. With excellent after sales the repeat business is generally much cheaper for the company as their sales process is usually less intense. This is how the dictum goes Sales sells the first one, Service sells the rest. Let us understand this better with the help of an example. A mobile phone manufacturer may be a market leader, but if it has poor customer service, the customers may switch to its rivals. To stay ahead of the competition, he has to provide exceedingly good after-sales support that could bring back the customers- repeat customers we say them.

This repeat business can become much cheaper for the mobile manufacturer as its sales process would now be less intense and become more of an “order” taker effort. In contrast, poor after sales support could have made the sales process much more intensive. This would have required the sales function to overcome that poor after-sales support with more sales techniques like demos, sales calls, presentations, etc., which inculcate a higher cost.

On the flip side, happy servicing brings in loyal customers, and loyal customers are free advertising as they will not only tell others of the great service they have received, but also come back to buy again.

Why Companies are Unable to Provide Quality After-Sales Support

Many companies are unable to provide the high degree of after-sales support because they consider customer service as a cost and investment, and not a profit center. It does not make good sense as spending few bucks for keeping your customers happy would not only make them your regular customers, but would also act as revenue stream for you. Effective customer management with the help of Service Management Software and other service automation tools can actually be bundled into the original sales offer.

There can never be more opportunity to invest in sales and foster valuable connections by delivering excellent customer service and support.

Why It Pays To Be Honest In Sales By Matthew Coppola

To many business people, the belief is that honesty pays, but not enough. To survive in the cut throat world of business and sales, many feel that they need to lie or bend the truth to get anywhere in business.

But is that the case? Does being deceitful, dishonest and untruthful in sales and business really the answer to gaining success? In this article I am not just referring to small amounts of dishonesty or bending the truth, I am talking about all types and degrees of dishonesty no matter how big or small they are.

There is no such thing as a white lie. A lie is a lie.

Any type of dishonesty is created by greed for dishonest gain. Greed leads many business owners and sales people to lie. But you may justify by reasoning that “its business” and “business is business”. Many sales people even put the responsibility back on to the customer, saying that its the customers end decision and “let the buyer beware”.

But, can a theif justify his robbery by saying “let the victims beware”? Of course not! Same with in sales. If a salesperson is dishonest and makes a sale, they are just as bad as that theif. Both the thief and the salesperson have been dishonest.

The theif is dishonest by taking someones possessions without their permission and not telling them. The salesperson is dishonest because they sold the customer a product and not told them the truth about the product. The salesperson sold the product knowing all too well that if the customer knew the truth, they would not have bought the product in the first place.

Yes, honesty in business and sales may require greater time and hard work, but the satisfaction and joy from honesty and truthfullness far outweigh that from dishonesty!

But is this view realistic? Can salespeople who need to meet weekly targets follow it? Well yes they can! To illustrate, lets use an example of an employment placement coach whose job it is to place all types of people into employment, even those who are not the most preferred people to employ.

When you are advocating a candidate for a job, you may find it pays to be honest and upfront with the employer in the beginning. If you hide the negative points about a job seeker and just focus on whats good about them, the employer will be trying to evaluate them and the reasons as to why they are unemployed.

Not only that, but if they actually get the job and their negative side is seen by the employer, it will not only affect the security of their employment but also affect the employers view of you and any other candidate you recommend to the employer in the future.

Human Channel Marketing

Human Channel Marketing was founded on the principles of discovering the most effective ways to train and motivate sales people to achieve the highest level of performance . Beyond saying that “People are our business” we believe that creating successfully people is the success of our business and that of our clients. HCM is committed to creating success through sales excellence in everything we do. We fully believe that people are our highest resource and investing in and creating opportunity for others is where our ” Tire hits the pavement”. Human Channel Marketing, Direct Sales, Marketing, Company Management, Sales HCM is focused on creating partnerships with all of our clients to co-manage the development of a sales objectives to expand the customer base in their markets. In creating effective programs to penetrate each market we are able to fully support our clients in both retaining and expanding their market share. Human Channel Marketing was founded on the belief that given the right support and opportunity people are able to achieve the life they want to live while creating value in the marketplaces. HCM was Founded by Tim Padden and Sam Custodio in 2007 with the mission of creating an organization that can create opportunities for other while delivering sales excellence for our customers. To achieve this we focus on 4 important concepts in everything we do. Intentionality – Keeping a focus on what you want to achieve and knowing what you are committed to achieving. Integrity – Becoming part of a structure where commitments are kept and communication is real and precise. Honesty – Being accountable for your commitments and having integrity in your actions. Results oriented communication- Measuring your live based on real results and setting measurable goals to achieve them. Backed by a team of industry experts, Human Channel Marketing’s unique hands on approach to marketing both penetrates markets and increases customer retention. With a focus on increasing company revenue for our clients we are constantly innovating marketing methods to more effectively convey value to our customers clients. Human Channel Marketing was founded around the idea of creating more effective methods to support our clients in reaching and expanding their customer base. With more than 40 years of hands on direct sales experience, our management team is constantly innovating our marketing proven methods of direct sales.

Sales Funneling – A Marketers Guide

Sales people often feel that all marketing needs to do is to drive loads of leads their way. If this is the approach in your organisation, then you are missing sales and lowering potential profitability. Careful management of the tone and quantity of your marketing content across a planned sales funnel can deliver pre-qualified leads to a sales person, significantly improving the chances of conversion.

Many of us will have experienced a sense of ‘information overload’ where we simply switch off, or the frustration of wanting to know more about a product or service before we commit and not being able to find it. Both happen regularly, and when they do – you’ve lost a sale.

For almost every purchase we make, we run through a broadly similar decision-making process (I say almost, as the impulse bar of chocolate at the supermarket counter is quite a different process). Typically, and particularly for more complex purchases, our thinking will go something like this: ‘My laptop is heavy – I saw that ad for really light weight ones, who was it again?’ (Latent need); ‘There’s that ad, it’s X-brand’ (Awareness); ‘I’ll just check out their site’ (Interest); ‘Hmm, well the weight certainly compares well, but can I afford it, what are the other options?’ (Evaluation); ‘I’ll pop into Y-shop to see what it feels like and ask a little more about it’ (Trial); ‘I’ve researched the best price, I’ll get it from there’ (Purchase). Kotler and others have spelt out various different versions of this process, there’s bound to have been one modelled for most markets. By understanding the way people make buying decisions, you can map your sales funnel: 1. Awareness, 2. Interest, 3. Evaluation, 4. Trial, 5. Purchase.

Against this process you should map and measure your sales funnel, you’ll steadily whittle down your audience at each step, with interested parties moving through the funnel and those who either don’t want what you offer or who are turned off by your messaging going elsewhere. To maximise the conversion at each stage, marketers should consider two key elements; tone and quantity.

What do I mean by tone? As short-hand, think emotion. Against the sales funnel, there is an appropriate tone at each step. If you imagine a continuum from emotional to rational, typically your marketing material will need to start at emotional and move to rational through the funnel. To really get noticed, you need to appeal to our most human side, our emotions. If you hit a nerve, they notice you. However rational you are, e.g. ‘we’re cheap’, if they don’t feel a need for what you’re offering they’re unlikely to notice your communications in the first place. Successful emotional appeals, in marketing terms, usually hit on a negative feeling and say that you can take it away. This is called finding the point of pain. Once you’ve established that emotional appeal, your communications need to move into more rational territory, where proof is needed. As a sanity check on the tone of your marketing materials, map out each stage of the sales funnel and look at the material (offline, online, sales person, in-store, etc.) and then judge the emotional appeal – are you delivering rational messages too soon? Is your material providing further emotional messaging, when your buyer is looking for rational proof?

Quantity, in regard to sales funnelling, is a fairly straight forward concept – start ‘short and sweet’ and then provide more information at each step. Where most organisations fall foul of this is on their websites. Home pages are often jam packed with information. In a typical sales funnel, an organisation’s website is the second or third step – this means that people typically reach you looking for an emotional appeal (what’s the benefit for me?) and they are looking for key messages. Again, map out your journey and assess the quantity of information you are serving at each stage, it should start small and increase at each step.

So, if you’re experiencing lots of web traffic, but low numbers of enquiries – or lots of footfall and low sales, think about the sales funnel. An initial assessment against tone and quantity will signpost where your blockage might be and put you on the path to a free flowing sales funnel that has a tangible link to your bottom line.

Copyright (c) 2008 Bryony Thomas

Is Being A Silpada Designs Independent Representative Right For You

In 1997, Teresa Walsh and Bonnie Kelly had founded Silpada Designs. They happened to be room mothers for children in the same classroom. The two women struck up a conversation and discovered that both had a common interest in sterling silver jewelry. They tried several business ventures but each time were unsuccessful. This prompted them with an idea to design their own jewelry and show them at their own jewelry parties. Since those humble beginnings, their Company, Silpada Designs has had phenomenal growth over the years empowering a vast number of Independent Silpada Designs Representatives all across the country.

Silpada home shows and jewelry parties can bring in several hundred dollars at each party. Typical sales can run around seven to eight hundred dollars for the jewelry collection. Silpada Home Designs are very lenient on how their representatives run their jewelry parties. The representatives are free to run their parties as choose. This gives a large advantage over other home parties that specializes in the jewelry market, a definite advantage for those that are seriously considering this type of venture. Representatives do not have to follow any sales script, push a particular product, or for that matter required to throw any parties. Silpada Designs even allows you to be creative in your marketing by allowing you to sell jewelry directly, over the internet, by phone or any other creative ways provided that you do not miss represent the product. Many representatives are so enthusiastic about the jewelry line and they sometimes are their own best customers. What better endorsement can you possible have?

Make no mistake; Silpada Designs is a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) opportunity. But do no let that scare you. A Silpada Representative is not bound to hold a certain number of parties or is under any quotas or minimums for sales. The number of parties is strictly up to you. However, holding as many parties as you can earn you a great deal of money. In addition, like other MLM opportunities reps can earn prizes, jewelry and vacations for doing an outstanding job. The general commission for representatives is thirty (30) percent of retail sales for jewelry and fifteen (15) percent for accessories. You can also earn residual income from down line sales made by your recruits. Again, no requirements to recruit or have a down-line sale force.

Sound good right! So the question becomes, “How much is this going to cost me?” Unfortunately, for those that are on a real tight budget, its going to be a little costly. Its going to cost you for a certification fee, learning materials and of course some product. Figure almost two hundred dollars for the certification and learning materials and two to five hundred dollars for some starter product (cost of product to reps are at a fifty percent discount) to show. So I would estimate four to seven hundred dollars to get you going.

If you want to do this but you are concerned about the startup cost, I suggest that you go to a couple of Silpada Design parties and just see for yourself how well the jewelry and accessories sell. If you truly belief that you can make a go at this and you want to be in business for yourself, but have the startup cost, save up over several months or borrow it from family or friends if you feel the need.

Go into this venture with both eyes open and your feet firmly planted on the ground. Remember not to take on more that you can deliver. We all believe that it is easy to sell anything, but retail sales are very volatile and have a lot of ups and downs to it. Keep a keen eye on seasonality and run your business like a professional CEO. Never the less, this is well presented business model and is generally a very easy business to run.

The best part of the Silpada Designs business plan is that this opportunity has instant credibility in that the Silpada Designs Representative receive his or hers commission upon making the sale. You simple collect the money, take your commission and send the remainder to the company for payment and shipment. Other companies do it differently than Silpada Designs. They require all sales profits to be delivered to the company for payment and shipment of the product, then the company sends a commission check, sometimes have the representative wait weeks on end to get paid.

So, is being a Silpada Designs Independent Representative Right for You. I would hope so. Build a career, have fun, set your own schedule and make money at the same time. No experience is necessary, and you can learn as you go. Its one of the easiest ways imaginable to have your own business.