Direct Sales Recruiting – Listen With the Intent to Understand

I recently sat at my desk listening to a recorded conference call by Dr. Ellie Drake, another network marketing professional. It was an effective teleconference about developing listening skills and learning to connect to people with ease. The crux of the training call was the art of empathic listening.

Empathic listening requires you to ask a question and WAIT for the answer. But while you’re waiting, you’re LISTENING with the intent to understand, not with the intention of replying. Did you catch that? Listen with the intent to understand. Don’t listen with the intent to reply. This means not thinking about what you want to say while your prospect is talking. It means to really focus on the words they are saying and what is going on in their mind. Without judging. Listen to their words, watch their body language, and focus on the speaker completely.

It’s easier said than done. It takes practice and it doesn’t always happen. Drake suggests to observe the speaker’s feelings, emotions and inflections. Without judging, without trying to Fix or solve anything. Just listen with your intuition and pick up on their feelings. Then state your observations about their emotions, without judgment and a tool belt in hand ready to solve their problems.

The idea, particularly in network marketing, is to stop pulling people into our business, to meet them where they are, without judging. Then, by meeting them where they are (emotionally), and validating their experiences with empathic listening, you open the door for them to make the choice to follow you into your opportunity. Once you understand your prospect – or more to the point, they feel like you understand them – then you can attract them to where you are by using empathy to connect to them to what you have to offer.

Drake suggests using a pattern of “ask, listen, ask, listen, speak” to direct you efficiently to the root of their “pain” which may indicate a need for an affirmative buying decision. This isn’t just a recruiting idea. It’s a sales concept that applies to any attempt to earn an affirmative buying decision. Stop trying to make decisions about what to say when you should be listening.

Take mental notes when the speaker is speaking. When the speaker is finished, make observations about the emotional issues laid before you. Drake states, “The degree that a person will cooperate with change is exactly dependent upon their clarity on what their pain is.” It’s not about the degree of pain, but the clarity on their pain in their situation.

Asking the right questions makes a difference. Ask questions with a focus to understand their situation and their pain. Then listen. Ask another question about your observations. Seek to understand the speaker. Only after you’ve asked valuable questions that elicit emotional responses from the speaker, and sought to understand the person behind the emotions, then you can move them from where they are to where you are.

People are looking for opportunities year round. It becomes easier to recruit them when you seek to understand their needs first. Then – and only then – should you attempt to attract them to your opportunity. Once they feel understood, they look to you as a source of pleasure and an expert that can help them resolve their issues.

Postcard Marketing – Top 10 Advantages of Using Postcards

Whether you sell lemonade or build skyscrapers, in order to be successful in business, you need customers. You can get customers through a variety of marketing programs, but we think that postcard marketing is one of the best kept secrets to growing your company.

Check out our 10 advantages below…

1. Postcard marketing is affordable and scalable. Even for the smallest of businesses. Did you know it would only cost you less than $3 in postage to communicate directly to your customer once a month for a whole year! If you get on a consistent mailing schedule, they’ll expect to hear from you and you’ll be at the top of their mind.

2. When you’re marketing with postcards the only people who see it is you and your prospects. This is important, because you can test special promotions without your competition knowing. Do you have a special that’s creating a lot of interest? If you advertise it publicly, your competition knows exactly what you are up to and may copy it.

3. Postcards are trackable. Make multiple postcard promotions and see which one generates the most interest. Make your postcard worth something so your customers will bring the postcard back into your store. They may even save it on the fridge and use it when they are ready. With trackable codes, you may notice that you’re still getting business from a postcard mailed months prior!

4. Postcards are versatile. During a single mailing you can both farm new prospects and remind prior customers that you’re still in business. With digital printing, your postcards messages can vary from card to card and market to market.

5. Your printed postcards can “brand” you and your business in ways that most marketing materials cannot. You don’t have to print postcards just to mail them. You can use your postcard as flyer, product brochure, RSVP card, or use it as a newsletter. You can use it for a variety of promotions AND still mail it. Printed postcards really are a multi-faceted marketing tool.

6. Testing an offer with postcards is easy. Just send your card to a small group of people and see how many respond. Tweak the offer or the price, and try again. Once you’re satisfied with the results, it’s time to roll out a bigger mailing! You can’t do that with a newspaper insert, or a magazine ad.

7. Postcards get read even if they get thrown away. How many times have you received a letter from a company you don’t recognize and just toss it into the garbage? A postcard will stand out in the mail with bright colors and get read by the recipient even if they aren’t interested in what you are offering. Did you know that USPS has shown that, on average, only 14 percent of letters get read? On the other hand, postcards have a 94 percent read-through ratio.

8. Postcards are easy to use and cost less than other direct mail programs. When preparing a mailing, the only costs are printing and mailing services. When mailing a letter, there are additional costs to fold and insert the letter. For postcard direct mail you get a superior product mailed for less money!

9. Postcards are a tangible piece of your brand. Unlike Online marketing your customers can determine the quality of your company by the quality of your marketing piece. What does your print materials say about you?

10. With postcard direct mail you can save as much as 70% off of the cost of a stamp. By bar coding addressed mail (which we can do for you) we can reduce postage costs down to as low as 13.9 cents saving you over 30 cents off the cost of a stamp. With those kinds of savings, you are able to design, print and mail and still have money left over. When using direct mail postcards in quantities of over 200, don’t ever pay retail for postage again!

Whether you are mailing 200 postcards or 200,000 we think that postcard marketing is a no brainer.

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing for Small Businesses

Email marketing involves sending marketing messages directly to the prospective customers. Emails are sent to a targeted list of recipients for promoting or selling, products/services made by a business. It is considered as one of the fastest, easiest and most inexpensive marketing methods. Unfortunately, like any other marketing strategy, email marketing too has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Following are some of the pros and cons for small businesses.

Advantages of email marketing
Small businesses should consider email marketing for many reasons. Through email marketing, they can promote a product/service directly to a group of people. It will not only develop your business opportunity, but will also generate good sales revenue at a very minimal cost.

Following are some very good reasons for small businesses to consider email marketing:

• Easy to use: It is very easy and simple to use, as you can message instantly to thousands of prospective customers anytime. All you need is the list of email IDs of specific and potential customers to distribute information about your business. It saves a lot of time.

• Time and cost effective: Email is a cost effective business communication tool compared to other marketing methods. In today’s competitive world, to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to adopt email marketing strategies, as it takes less time to create awareness of your business and is also cost effective.

• Personalized promotion: As already emphasized, it enables you to send a business’s promotional message personally to the prospective customer. This helps in establishing a relationship between the business and the customer by encouraging direct and straight communication between the two parties – while a business can customize its message as per the various selected categories of potential customers, customers can directly give their feedback/reply on the message through the email.

• Segment based marketing: One of the best things about email marketing is segmentation. You can segment your list based on the prospective group and tailor your messages to those groups, this helps you in targeting specific group of audience and also increases the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. While segmenting your email list, recipients will appreciate to receive messages that are relevant and useful to them.

• Trackable sales and user engagement: Another advantage of email marketing is that, the sender can track the sales generated by email marketing. Thus, if a user purchases the product/service, from the link provided in the email, it can be tracked in the sender’s server.

Likewise, it is also possible for the email marketer to know how many email recipients have clicked the link, how many clicked but did not make any purchase and how many skipped the mail outright. By this, the seller can review the email strategies, and find the loopholes, and weed them out to make the marketing more efficacious.

Disadvantages of email marketing and how to avoid them
Unfortunately, email marketing has certain disadvantages and the biggest disadvantage is spam. Let us now discuss the disadvantages of email marketing.

• Emails may be considered spam/junk: Many people believe that marketing emails sent to them are spam and junk, may have viruses in them and if opened it may badly affect their computer. Further, if the information provided in the email is not relevant, the recipient is likely to delete your message. So, while sending emails to potential customers, provide genuine business address and contacts, so that they trust your business.

• Engaging customer is tricky: Keeping customers actively engaged for a long time in your business is very difficult. Initially, when customers receive emails from your company, they tend to show interest, but over time, they feel bored of your messages and you eventually lose on a loyal customer. Hence, a good subject line and text about your business, are indispensable to draw attention of the customer for long period of time.

• Compatibility issues with browsers: Tailoring a site for browser compatibility is a major issue, as there may be some problems that may come about while sending image and video emails to customers. If the customer encounters problems while opening the mail, s/he will never get back to your website. Therefore, avoid images and videos in your emails as far as practicable, as it might impact your business.

• Unorganized email campaign: Email campaigns that are incorrect and unorganized may leave your potential audience confused. You need to follow a clearly defined strategy while mailing messages to customers. It is always better to segregate the customers who are likely to get interested in your product/service and only send messages to them. This shows professionalism in your business.

Hire a specialist email marketer
Given the advantages and disadvantages for small businesses, it is pretty sensible to hire a specialist email marketer as s/he knows the job well and will create relevant and valuable email messages that will attract and target potential customers. Email marketers do a thorough survey on your business and will work closely on promoting your business.