I am sick and tired of people hitting me with "Opportunities!"
Here is what I know about MLM, they over promise and under deliver. I know many people in MLM that have been with many companies and have huge lists of people that every time they make the jump to the latest greatest thing they start the process of recruiting all over again.
Personally I know several people that have been in MLM's for 10, 15 up to 30 years... made a buck here and there.... but in the end they are still recruiting! When is it that you make $100,000 per month in residual income so you can retire and live the good life.... NEVER!
Quite frankly.... it is not the life for me.
My partner and I have built a thriving business over the past 10 months sense leaving the last MLM behind. We get regular checks that increase monthly and have real recurring income because our clients are happy to pay us month in and month out... because our programs bring them in new customers every day!
We are about to launch our own coupon program that will quite literately overshadow Groupon, Living Social, Yelp Deals, Google Offers and Qnanza combined over the next 12 months. Why you may say.... it's a GREAT deal for the consumer AND a great deal for the business owner.
It struck me about a year ago how (and who) makes money in MLM.... the owners of the company!! Everyone that joins pays a monthly fee or auto ship or what ever the company is calling it.... that money goes directly to the owners!! So if you have 10,000 IBO's paying $20 per month for their replicated (useless) web site (LOL) that means that the owners of that MLM are banking $200,000 per month! Their job is to simply keep all of their IBO's hyped up and recruiting more and more people to pay the monthly fees...
Sure some people at the top make money, but it is never as much as promised... did you know that the biggest player in the last MLM I was part of only makes around $1000 to $3000 per week! And that is after recruiting almost 1000 people over the past 2 years!
Something else that struck me is the conventions... what a cash cow for the owners of the company.... they make everyone pay for their own air fair, room and even charge them for a ticket to the event... most of the time the tickets are around $100.... so if you have 1000 people come to a convention, they make $100,000!! I am surprised they are not having conventions ever quarter! The hotels give them the convention room because they book 1000 rooms.... they even comp them on their own rooms and even food... what a racket... the best part for the owners of the company is that everyone that goes to the convention, is so hyped up with all the "NEW" stuff that is coming out that their recruiting numbers spike over the next few weeks and month.... it's a WIN WIN (again for the owners of the company)
Bottom line, if whatever you have as the newest "opportunity" I have zero interest in it.
If you know of anyone that has sales skills and is looking for REAL long term residual income, please send them my way...
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
This is really advertising 101! No matter where you are placing an advertisement you really need to pay attention to the “Irresistible offer”.
Have you ever picked up a newspaper only to see an ad that is simply a “hey look we are still here” ad? No offer, no discount, and really no reason for you to go see them. Or the offer is so weak that it is meaningless.
10% off?? 20%, 30%, 50% or more? Buy 1 get 1 Free, We pay the tax! FREE ---! (Always, FREE is the best). These are all offers that we see all the time, and depending on the time you see them and the mood you are in they could be good or not. Even FREE has been used to death when it comes to things like consultation, as most if not all companies offer free consultation, so this is not a good offer.
You always hear the phrase “think outside the box”, well what you really need to be is unique. You should study your competition and see what they are offering, then beat it!
An “Irresistible offer” needs to be just that… Irresistible! Take a lesson here from infomercials, most of the time you would never buy anything off of a TV ad, however there was something so good in their offer that you had to reach for your wallet! Well they are the masters of the “Irresistible offer”. Test the offer you come up with by calling some of your best customers, or simply make the offer to someone that is “Just looking”. Also you can test your offers with your friends and family!
Give until it hurts! Realize that you are building a new client base with a great offer. These people will see that you offer quality and will recommend you to their friends and family. Plus, if you get them on a mailing list, email list or even better a Text database, you can send them future offers to have them come back time and time again.
Limited Time offer!! Scarcity is very important! If you offer this discount all the time, they can get it anytime so they will never be motivated to buy now! However if you say something like “Offer ends Friday!” Now they have to buy now, before the offer is gone.
My advice is to study infomercials and learn the lessons they offer (just hide your wallet!). Simply go to YouTube.com and search for infomercials, there are plenty to choose from. Notice that half way through the infomercial you are starting to change your mind and think… hmmm this is something that I need!
Apply this tactic to your company, and it will increase business very quickly! If you need help, contact us at http://www.SolidMarketingStrategies.com and we will be happy to help grow your business!
Monday, January 3, 2011
FREE FREE FREE is the best price RIGHT? (Read the whole blog for a special limited time offer)
Over the past few years we have seen the overall reduction in Marketing and Advertising by local businesses to keep costs down and keep the doors open…. However, the reduction or elimination of marketing and advertising for your business just leads to less business and less income.
A man who stops advertising to save money, is like a man who stops the clock to save time. – Henry Ford
Starting today 1/3/11 Solid Marketing Strategies is looking to help as many local businesses as possible. We spent the last part of 2010 building our 5 core marketing programs for local small businesses.
We have taken the 5 most powerful ways to market businesses using the internet, tweaked them to maximize performance, and combined them into the single most powerful program ever!
Best of all, our program is completely turnkey… that is that we do everything for you! We combined Local Internet Marketing (LIM) with Text Marketing (TM) , Video Marketing (VM), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and Social Media Marketing (SMM) into 1 package!!
Total cost for most local small businesses to take advantage of our full program is $19,995 per year (for most small businesses). We have even developed a financing program so there is ZERO out of pocket cost!
BUT THAT'S NOT FREE!
We know that your business receives phone calls, email, snail mail and even people walking in the door every day telling you how they have the solution to your internet marketing needs… RIGHT??
You have even tried some of the programs that are out there with little or no success, so why will our program succeed where others fail? Why give us a shot at all?
WE let our RESULTS speak for themselves!
We are so confident in our program, that we are willing to put our program to work for you for the first 30 days AT ZERO COST TO YOU!!! No contracts, No Credit Cards on file, just a simple 2 page questionnaire to fill out and we will get things rockin and rollin to make your phone ring!
Now you understand that we cannot offer this program for everyone for FREE for long, so if you are serious about increasing your bottom line, you need to get started right away! This offer will end on Friday 1/14/11 at 5pm.
Some restrictions apply and some businesses we simply cannot help, however if you own a local small business and would like more details on this program visit www.SolidMarketingStrategies.com or call (916) 672-8581
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Often overlooked, merchandising in your store can increase your sales and increase profitability!
What is your most popular product you sell? Do people come in asking for that? If so, do not place it in the front of the store or by the register... put it in the back of the store so customers have to walk by as many other products as possible to get to it. Ever notice that every grocery store keeps the milk way in the back? They know you are coming in for milk, however they want you to walk by 5000+ items to get to the milk and by doing so increase their sales due to impulse buys. Grocery stores are the best merchandisers out there, they spend millions every year researching buying trends and how to best merchandise their stores. Pay attention to what they are doing and get your research for FREE!
In this article you will find lots of tips and tricks to apply to any retail store... these are proven techniques that will increase your average ticket and move more inventory.
- Consumers buy what they see-out of sight-out of mind. You can’t sell stock out of a drawer. Check your backup stock and place as much as possible out in your display. Full displays sell.
- If customers have to work at viewing your items they will not take the chance of dropping or breaking and move on. Do not load so many items in one spot or bury them, unless you are having an in store treasure hunt!
- Show me-don’t tell me. If you sell DVD's then play your DVD’s on your in store TV. Place it at a spot in store that is visible from several areas.
- Use the cover photo and its colors or theme to cross merchandise. (Cross merchandise: Placing like items (in color or theme) in a grouping.
- Place some smaller items in your checkout areas for impulse sales. Impulse sales add up!
- Any product in your store can become a potential fund raiser. This benefits your community and draws customers to your store. Example: Donate a dollar to your local school cheerleaders or 4H Club for every item they sell. Make sure you include your store information and maybe a coupon attached.
- Know your product-if you don’t know your product intimately, you can’t convince a customer to buy it. If you’re not interested in why they should buy it, they will lose interest. Train your staff on a short 3 or 4 second pitch for your highlighted item.
- Passion is contagious! Are you passionate about your products? Do you display that zeal to your staff, and more importantly to your customer?
- Create a set of coordinating gifts and using gift cellophane and raffia tied at top, design a great gift idea……special price the gift set.
- View your display from a customer’s perspective…step in their shoes and shop your own store. Even better, have friends and family do the same thing, and listen to what they say!
- The nature of your facility generally dictates your type of merchandise. Use displays to follow through with your theme. If you don't have a theme, create one!
- Offer discounts for the 1st time buyers of any new product. Get it in their hands and they will be your most valuable advertisement.
- Find related items, gift books especially…or calendars to add to your displays. If you sell wok's, then you should have a wok cooking cook book right next to it!
- Create a V.I.P. Club mailing list (email is the least expensive and more effective than snail mail for newsletters, however Direct Text marketing is the best way to send coupons) You can send weekly sales items or coupons. Send out a monthly, quarterly or bi-annually newsletter to let your customers know your upcoming new products. Include quips and quotes and maybe a spotlight section of an outstanding staff member.
- Educate staff on the benefits and feature of your special products. Hold staff meetings and perform mock transactions. Remember to have fun at it.
- Unless you know calligraphy, hand writer signs are a no-no. It does nothing to excite your customer. If you have no point of purchase available, use clear plastic easels with card headers and find someone who has creative writing skills, or use your computer.
- Customers make an additional purchase when they are inspire to buy cross merchandise items. Suggestive selling is a key skill you need to teach your staff.
- Pitch your product in store to your customers at a higher than normal voice tone. You will be surprised at how others are listening to what is hot at your store and end up buying it.
- Physically comfortable store means more browsing. Pay attention to your store temperature, walking room, safety issues, and air flow.
- Open door policy. Retailers report when their front door is propped open to public. The increase in sales often offsets the utility costs.
- You can have an award winning display, but if your marketplace is dirty and un-kept they will remember the negative. Are your window sills buggy? How is your curb appeal? Are your prep tables cluttered?
- Accurate clear pricing on your merchandise is essential. If you do not have a price gun, use price stickers with a black permanent pen.
- Take advantage of all 5 senses. Smell is a very powerful selling feature. Remember when you went looking for a home and the realtor had cookies baking??? Every product can be matched with a scent and believe me, every sent you could possibly think of has a candle for it. I ran across a bacon fat candle the other day... really BACON! Find a local candle shop and do some cross promoting to keep costs down.
- Shirt buttons cost pennies. Have your staff wear a button to showcase your product.
- Capture impulse sales with proper lighting overhead and behind. Dark and dingy is not a good look unless you are selling dungeon equipment and accessories!
- Sounds sell. The sound of a water or the chirp of a bird or the music of a harp. All very relaxing and work for all ages.
- Whatever fits your products choose something with sound that will compliment. Make CD's or buy an ipod (mp3 player) to cover your store. DO NOT PLAY THE RADIO! Radio has commercials and could be advertising your competitor in your store!
- Show an example of how products can be packaged for a gift idea, with a particular gift bag that looks good.
- When playing music or displaying DVD's etc. set your volume accordingly. Too loud irritates. Customers can’t converse. Too soft it will not draw the ear.
- Cross promote with local food establishments to give out your coupons if you stuff their coupons in your bag. This exchange broadens your potential profit with tons more customers! Get to know your fellow local businesses and help each other by sending customers from store to store.
- Bounce Back Coupon: any coupon you give to a customer that will bounce them back in your door on another visit. Create one for your products you want to move.
- Help your customer think! They want you create for them. Without being too pushy, suggest a gift and cross item to go with it.
- Offer a FREE button, sticker etc. that compliments the products you sell. Always give the customer more that he expected in value.
- Christmas ideas: Create a special event around your promotion. Example: Showcase them under your tree wrapped with a big bow.
- Remember to be successful in retail you must plan promotional events far in advance.
- Tip: Spend more for a WOW shopping bag and they will remember you. What do your merchandise bags look like? Plain brown or white? Your customers will judge you by your bag! Find something exciting. The trend right now is re-usable shopping bags. Have them printed with your logo and give them to your customers. You just created a walking billboard!
- Write a great gripping for your groupings in store. One that caught my eye was a display of cookies…that read “Lookie, Lookie, it’s Cookies” Be bouncing and fun with your words. Great hooks and value keep them from lining the bird cage with your advertisement.
- Cross promote with other local business, offer your mailing list for their latest promotion in exchange for their mailing list for yours.
- Offer a freebie. You can often clinch a sale with any freebie. (Reciprocity!)
- Open houses are great invitations to showcase your exciting products. Customer appreciations can be anytime business is slow. Three things consumers expect from your customer appreciation event: rewards, drawings and treats. Do it up big. Plan ahead and have a gift (keychain, magnet, etc) with your logo and name on it.
- Display small product set-ups throughout your store. It creates interest among customers, along with arrangement ideas and best of all additional sales!
- Place small items (i.e. batteries) throughout the store. Do not limit them to one area. Consumers often miss areas of your store. If they miss it, this way they will see it again.
- Movement: Disguise a small fan behind a display that might have a floral with it and your fan will move the leaves or floral ever so slightly, but it draws the eye to your merchandise.
- Passion is contagious. Do you have a passion for the items you place in your store? Do you display it to your staff, as well as your customers? What is passion? Some of Webster’s words are zeal, infatuation, thirst, love, intense fervor. If you can pass this along to your front liners you have just performed short of a miracle. Front liners imitate their peers. If you are excited about a new product, and show it, so will they.
- Do you have the right tools in you shop? Things like monofilament, staple guns, tape measure, level, hammer and the best tool of all….the needle nose pliers! Do have a handy caddy of some sort to keep merchandising small equipment to create?
- Got a new product? Or do you just want to have an event to draw people? Find a window painter. Paint on the inside of your windows. Example: During Breast cancer awareness month paint in funky font…”Pink Dot Sale 25% off”…..place pink price dots on selected items and let your customer find them. Always be aware of what your community is doing! Tie into every local school event you can, people remember you when you are supporting their kids.
- Allow people to use your bathroom and announce it on your door. Everyone takes credit cards. Take those faded Visa and MasterCard signs out and replace with….Yes… you may use our bathroom! Securely fasten some of your products on the wall in your bathroom. I have purchased many an item by spending time viewing it while you know what! KEEP YOUR BATHROOMS CLEAN AND WELL STOCKED!
- If you have a small store (less than 750 square feet) use wood cubbies to create a lot of small displays and define the grouping. It works great when space is scarce.
- Tough luck we’re open….Beat it were closed. This was a sign on a motorcycle dealership. It fits the shop. Change your open sign to attract. Come up with a catchy phrase why you’re open….and what happens when you close.
- Above all else, keep your store clean and products moving around. If everything is in the same place every time someone comes in to get it, they will not see anything else you carry.
These tips and others are what we help my clients with. Marketing and promoting your business is our passion, if you need more business contact us!