Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Fundamentals Of Making The Sale – The First Rule Of Sales

Were you ever in a scout group as a child?  If you were, do you remember selling cookies or candy as an annual fundraiser?  I do, and I remember that people had many reasons for not buying.  Some were diabetic, or had other medical reasons for not consuming candy, while others didn’t consume candy because they felt it was unhealthy.  Some claimed they couldn’t spare the few dollars it took to make a purchase, and others gave no reason at all.

Why trying to sell to everyone is a bad idea

The scouts who sell their cookies and candies are like the door to door salesman.  They ask everyone they come into contact with if they will buy a box of their candy or cookies.  The problem with this method of selling is that most people will say no.  There is no specific target market to sell to.  Everyone is asked.

Every product has only a small segment of the general population that will be interested in purchasing that product.  Even products that everyone uses, such as shoes, are broken down by category and each category has it’s own specific market.  In the case of shoes you have three main categories – men’s, women’s, and children’s.  And then each of those categories has sub-categories: sports, casual, dress, and so on.  A 65 year old man probably is not going to be convinced to buy a pair of toddler girl’s dress shoes, unless he is buying for his granddaughter.

The Exception To The Rule

Sometimes people do buy something outside of their specific market, as in the case of the 65 year old man above.  When they do, they are usually making the purchase as a gift.  There were times in my childhood as a scout, when I was selling candy and cookies door to door, someone would tell me that they didn’t eat candy, but that someone dear to them did and they would make the purchase for them.  But, this is the exception in sales, not the rule.

Getting people to buy your product is difficult when you are approaching everyone.  Someone once said that you have to go through alot of “no’s” to get to one “yes.”  If you are approaching your sales this way, and offering your booklet to everyone, this is true.  But, if you do your homework, you can get far more yes’s than no’s.

The First Rule Of Sales

The first rule of sales is to know your market.  If you don’t know your market, you’ll end up trying to sell to everyone and the majority will not be interested.  The world may be small, but the world of sales is a very large place.  Only a small percentage of people will be interested in your booklet, and it’s far more efficient for you to find the ones who are likely to make a purchase than it is to waste time asking every one who crosses your path whether they would like to buy.

To do this you need to know who your booklet is for.  You need to create a profile of your most likely buyers.  How old are they?  Are they men or women?  Are they blue collar or white collar?  College grads?  Professionals?  Homemakers?  Married?  Do they have a family?  And the list goes on.  The goal is to have an idea of who your buyers are so that you don’t approach the people who don’t qualify as potential buyers.

Know your market, and you’ll know who your buyers are so you can offer them your booklet.  When you do, you’ll get far more takers.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

 

PS:  Have you heard about my free ecourse, “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash!”  Get it here now!

 

Get my ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” here!

 

And please friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

 

The Fundamentals Of Making The Sale – Is Your Refund Policy A Deal Maker Or A Deal Breaker?

When most people think about what it takes to make a sale, they think about what they are going to say to their prospective buyer to convince them to make a purchase.  They think about what they will say about their product – how wonderful it is and how it can help the prospective buyer.  They might also think about how they will close the deal and how much money they will make.  But, rarely does anyone consider whether or how they will give a refund – should it be necessary – as part of making the sale.

Why You Need A Refund Policy

Every company should have a refund policy.  You might have a no refund policy, or you might allow a store credit as refund, or you might give a full refund in certain circumstances or all the time.  But, you should have a refund policy and your prospective buyers should know about it before they make a purchase from you.

One thing that is always in the back of the customer’s mind is what will happen if they are not happy with their purchase.  Your customers need to feel safe doing business with you, and in order for them to feel safe you need to reassure them that their satisfaction is your goal.  This is why having a no refund policy is usually a bad idea.  It makes the customer feel like they are taking a risk.  When you remove that risk the customer is more likely to buy.

Refunds For Digital Products

There are many online and offline companies selling digital products today, and the majority of them have a no refund policy.  The common fear seems to be that the customer received the product and there is no way that product can be returned or resold the way a physical product can be, and therefore a no return policy is created for that product.  Sellers fear being taken advantage of.

Some companies will offer a store credit if their buyer is not happy and this is a move in the right direction.  But, in some instances you might want to offer a full refund.  You might give a full refund on a case by case basis – as in when a customer writes to you explaining their problem, an error was made and you feel they are truly sincere.  This is especially important if this customer has purchased from you before.  You’ve worked hard to create a feeling of trust with this customer and you don’t want to lose their future business over what is probably a low cost digital product.

Refunds For Physical Products

Just as giving a refund or store credit is important when you offer digital products, it is equally important for physical products.  Most companies require the customer to return a physical product in order to receive a refund.  A customer who returns a product to you has had to package it up and schlep it to the post office, where they had to wait in what probably seemed like a long line, and perhaps even pay for return shipping – unless you provided a return label with shipping included or you reimburse for return shipping.

When a customer is willing to go through that much trouble to return a product, you can be sure they are unhappy with that purchase and they are sincere.  They are not out to take advantage of you in any way.  Rather, it is they who have put their money on the line, and it is they who must now be inconvenienced by having to return that product.  These customers deserve a full refund, period.  Anything less means you risk losing their future business.

Be Up Front About Your Policy

Whatever refund policy or policies you decide to adopt, you need to make sure that these policies are provided in writing to your customers – whether online or off.  These policies need to be crystal clear and up front, NOT hidden.  First time customers are always suspicious, especially if you are online, and it’s important to gain their trust right from the start to ensure future sales.  And, customers who have purchased from you in the past will continue to trust you when you handle their refunds promptly.

Your refund policy can be a deal maker or a deal breaker.  Craft it with care.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  Are you ready to create that first booklet?  Click here.

PPS:  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Subscribe to this blog now.  Click here!

 

 

The Fundamentals Of Making The Sale – Why Your Contact Information Is Not Enough

Sales are important.  That’s how you make money.  But even more important than getting a sale is getting a repeat sale.  Once you have a customer it’s far less time, trouble and money to keep that customer coming back than it is to get a new customer.  But, a customer will only return if you have something new to offer them and if they’re happy with the way you’ve treated them in the past.

Why Your Contact Information Is Not Enough

If you read my previous post, then you know that you must provide contact information to your customers in order for them to feel comfortable doing business with you.  But, there’s another step in this process that you need to understand.  Providing an email address or phone number isn’t enough.

Once you’ve provided your contact information, you then need to be certain that every inquiry or complaint is responded to as quickly as possible.  The more time that goes by without a reply, the more frustrated your customer or potential customer will become.

Inquiries And Complaints

Most inquiries are made by potential customers, or customers who have bought from you in the past and need more information before they can buy again.  Inquiries are nearly always a delight to handle because you know that the person making the inquiry is genuinely interested in your booklets and other products.  If you take care of inquiries in a quick and friendly manner, you’ll make more sales than someone who drags their feet.

Complaints are another matter.  It’s even more important that you take care of complaints in a timely manner than it is for inquiries, because not only do you risk losing a customer, you risk that customer telling everyone they know not to do business with you.

Express Your Gratitude

Providing your contact information is essential, but what happens after your customer or potential customer contacts you is even more important.  Imagine you purchased something online and you emailed the company you purchased from with a complaint.  How would you feel if you didn’t hear back from them for two days?  And what if, once you did hear from them, they handled your complaint in an unfriendly, matter of fact manner telling you their policy and leaving it at that?  Would you do business with them again?  Of course not!

Your customers don’t have to do business with you.  They can find their information elsewhere or skip it altogether.  Each time someone chooses to buy your booklets and other products you should feel thankful that they chose to purchase from you, and you should do everything you can to express your gratitude to them.  Responding to them promptly is one way to do that, and it builds trust with your customers.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  Are you ready to write your first booklet?  Click here.

PPS:  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Subscribe to this blog now.  Click here!

 

 

Fundamentals Of Making The Sale – The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Build Trust With Your Customers

In a perfect world every customer would say yes on the spot, buy your booklet, and live happily ever after.  Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.  People hesitate.  Often they hesitate because they need more information.  Or, they buy but, later, regret their decision because the product didn’t meet their needs.

How To Lose Your Credibility

When things go wrong, and no matter what business you’re in they sometimes do, your customers need to be able to contact you.  The single, most important thing you can do to build trust with your customers is to give them a way to contact you should they have a question or wish to make a return.

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than not being able to get a simple question answered or find out how to return an unwanted product.  And frustrated customers don’t buy from you again.  It doesn’t matter who you are or how much credibility you have, you will lose credibility with a frustrated customer.

When Frustration Turns To Anger

Frustrated customers usually become angry customers, and angry customers will feel the need to blow off steam about your company and products to whoever is available.  They might blow off steam to people they know, or they might do it online.  Often they will do both.  This damages your reputation as an honest business person, and the effects can be farther reaching than you might think.

Turning Hesitation Into A Sale

All of this is avoided when your customer knows that they can reach you.  This is as simple as providing an email address – one that you actually monitor and will answer.  You can also provide a phone number for your customers to call, but if you’re running your booklet publishing company from home and you’re a one man operation, an email address will be fine.

With an email address, your hesitant buyer will be able to ask you their questions.  Now you have the opportunity to aleviate any fears that potential customer has, and turn that hesitation into a sale.

And your customers who decide that your product isn’t for them after all will not feel stuck with your product.  Rather, they will be able to contact you in order to make a return.  And if there is any other problem, such as the customer received the wrong item or extra items they didn’t order, they’ll be able to get in touch with you for an exchange or instructions on what to do.

Your customers need to know that you’re there for them and that you care.  Giving them a way to contact you if a problem should arise will help them to trust you and feel comfortable doing business with you.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

 

PS:  Have you heard about my free ecourse, “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash!”  Get it here now!

 

Get my ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” here!

 

And please friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

 

Fundamentals Of Making The Sale – How To Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Have you ever ordered something online and been very disappointed when you received the item?  Maybe the color wasn’t quite the same as it looked in the picture, or perhaps the item was much smaller than you expected.  Or, maybe you expected a physical product and you received a digital one instead.  The bottom line is that you expected one thing, and received another.  How did that make you FEEL?

When your customers order from you, they have a certain expectation of what they are going to receive based on WHAT YOU HAVE TOLD THEM through your advertising, marketing and general communications with them. They’re trusting your booklet and other products to live up to their expectations,  and if their expectations are not met, they won’t want to do business with you again.

For this reason is it EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS let the customer know up front EXACTLY what they are purchasing from you.  If there is any doubt in the customer’s mind, they will not buy.  And, if they don’t receive what they expected they will not trust you again.

I can’t stress this to you enough.  ALWAYS BE TRUTHFUL in all of your marketing and advertising to your audience.  Whether you’re writing a sales letter, or creating a Google ad, or you’re talking with a potential quantity buyer on the phone you should always be honest.  And that means telling the WHOLE TRUTH.  Never be vague, and don’t intentionally leave information out that might lead your customer to think your product is something it is not.

Most advertisers and marketers will not blatently lie.  This is against the law.  But, sometimes they will not give you the whole story.  For example, I know of one website that sells information via download, but the way they have crafted their photos and descriptions the buyer is led to believe that they are purchasing a physical product.  Not only that, but the price they are charging is quite high, and this adds to the feeling that the buyer is going to receive a physical product.

Make sure that all of your communication with your customers is truthful and honest, and that they know EXACTLY what they are buying from you.  When you do you’ll have happy customers who will come back to you for more.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  Ready to write that first booklet?  Would you like to do it the right way the first time?  Click here!

PPS:  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Subscribe to this blog now.  Click here!

Fundamentals Of Making The Sale – How To Deal With Executives And Potential Quantity Buyers

I once consulted with a client of mine who admitted that she was afraid to speak with executives.  She was terrified to call them, afraid that they would see her for the insignificant, little booklet author she was.  I told her what I’m about to tell you.

Why You Must Communicate With Your Audience

In order to make a sale, you need to communicate what you’ve got to those who can benefit from it.  If you never reach out to your intended audience your work will never sell.

Your audience is already buying things.  They buy information as well as other things they need.  They will buy your booklet too, but first they need to know that your booklet exists.  And, if you don’t tell them, they’ll never know.

Executives Are People Too

When you’re dealing with a potential quantity buyer  remember that they are human just like you.  That big executive puts his pants on one leg at a time, the same as you do.

Most executives have their own fears.  They’re worried that their boss will one day realize that they are inadequate for the job.  They’re worried that their secret (the fact that they too are only human) will one day be found out and they’ll be out of a job.  They question their abilities, and they wonder just how much of a difference they really make to their company.

You’re Only As Small As You Think You Are

The quantity buying executive may be wondering why an author, such as yourself, would call them.  After all, you’ve written a book or booklet and that makes you someone special.  To their mind, they are just another run of the mill executive, doing the ordinary every day.

You are only a small author if you think you are.  If you have that impression of yourself, others will get that impression too.  By writing a booklet you have done something extraordinary.  You’ve created a way to help yourself and others. 

Don’t waste your time worrying about what someone else will think of you.  Sure, that executive could say no.  But there’s a very good chance they’ll say yes.  They can only say yes, however, if you communicate with them and let them know about your booklet.

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  Are you thinking about writing that first booklet?  Would you like step by step instructions to help you do it right the first time?  Click here.

PPS:  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Subscribe to this blog now.  Click here!

All About Marketing – Review

It’s time to wrap up our August theme, “All About Marketing.”  Here’s the rundown of the posts for the past month:

1)  The three essentials you must know before you can make a sale

2)  The killer that wants to slay your income and how you can stop him cold

3)  How to get your booklet to sell itself

4)  How to create a cover that sells

5)  A vital piece of your marketing strategy

6)  The most expensive marketing mistake you could ever make

7)  A simple marketing strategy that works

Join me in September for our theme, “Back to Basics,” when I’ll be discussing the fundamentals of making the sale!

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  Are you ready to write your first booklet?   Want to do it right?  Click here!

PPS:  Remember, it only takes ONE idea to start the riches flowing to you!  Subscribe to this blog now.  Click here!