Monthly Archives: September 2008

How to build your list of leads and clients

How to Build your List of Leads and Clients

Your list of leads and clients is your retirement. It’s your goldmine that will feed you and your family for decades to come. Your first priority in marketing is building your list. Your second priority is building a relationship with your list over time by providing excellent value again and again.

Here are 3 fast and easy ways to list building…

1. Get a List Management Tool to Hold All the Names You Collect

No – your Outlook doesn’t count! You need a powerhouse program that makes it easy for people to sign up to your list and easy for you to email them regularly. I prefer 1 Shopping Cart:


because it does everything: organize products, sends automatic emails (Auto Responders), and manages your clients and affiliate program…plus much more.

2. Give Something Away For Free To Get People To Join Your List

Most websites miss out on a huge opportunity because they don’t capture a visitor’s name and email. It’s like a guest coming to your house and you completely ignore them! Shouldn’t you at least offer them a cup of tea or a sweet treat? Otherwise they’ll just leave you and never come back.

This is why I recommend offering something to your website visitor that they can’t refuse. And offering them a free subscription to your ezine isn’t enough! If you want to build your list fast, you need something with high perceived value like a free Special Report, eCourse or Audio Download.

Make your Special Report really shine. Your goal is to get people to say, “Wow! If the free stuff is this good then the paid stuff must be awesome!”

Oh…and don’t hide your free give-a-way within your site. Make it obvious to your visitor right away what they’re supposed to do. I use an “Opt-in Page” as my first page in my website. It’s clear to my visitor that they get free, valuable information. If you don’t want an “Opt-in Page” as your landing page then put an “Opt-in Box” on the upper right corner of your website.

3. Drive Traffic to Your Site

Once your shopping cart is set up to gather your visitor’s info and your Special Report is ready to “Wow” your audience, all that’s left is getting people to your site.

Here are just some of the ways you can drive traffic to your site to build your list:

* Write Articles.

You can submit them to article directories and directly to other ezines. Make sure you have a call to action at the end of every article that tells the reader to go to your site to pick up your free offer.

* Get Other People to Promote Your Offer.

Network with others who already have a list of your target market…and are not direct competitors. If that person is an affiliate they get a percentage of every sale they send your way. It’s a win-win.

* Offer Teleclasses.

Make people register with their name and email to your teleclass – Wholla! You just captured a lead. (And you can use your affiliates to promote the call for you to their list.)

* Speak

One of the fastest ways to grow your list is get out and speak to audiences of your target market. Raffle off something so you gather all their business cards (and be sure to tell them that they will be subscribed to your list.) Speaking works so well because people connect with you right away. You’re also perceived as an expert instantly.

As you build your list you want to keep in touch with them regularly. The more great value you give the more your website will be passed around. You’ll get momentum and soon your list will grow on its own!

How to use online surveys to generate qualified leads

How to Use Online Surveys to Generate Qualified Leads

For most organizations, producing sales begins with generating leads. Depending on a company’s buying cycle, and the prospect’s budget and purchase timeline, some leads deserve immediate attention while others need to be nurtured. The challenge is identifying which leads should be given higher priority.

Using online surveys to attract prospects and collect data is simple. However, volume does not imply quality. In fact, many companies have discovered that their overall lead quality has declined even as their volume has increased. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at using surveys to score leads. This is a key ingredient to qualifying and prioritizing prospects based on their likelihood to make a purchase decision.

Using Online Questionnaires To Score Leads

Scoring is a methodology that assigns a priority to each prospect based on the value that person represents to your company. Every organization has different goals, but we’ll focus on a person’s likelihood to buy a product or service that you’re selling.

One of the most common frustrations for salespeople is that they spend their limited time following up on low-priority leads. Making matters worse, they do so while high-priority prospects sit in the queue. Online survey technology can be used to not only collect data, but also to prioritize prospects and automatically forward their data to the salesperson who is best able to close them. While high-priority leads are addressed immediately, lower-priority prospects can be placed into a sales funnel that continues to cultivate them.

What Is A Qualified Lead?

The first step in using online questionnaires for scoring leads is to define the factors that imply high priority. For example, comparing your past sales data to your customer profiles might reveal that prospects on the West Coast who work in the financial space yield a higher close rate. Or, you might discover that those who work for organizations with fewer than 50 employees are easier to close than larger companies.

Your scoring rubric can be integrated into your online surveys so that respondents qualify themselves with their responses. Then, depending upon the scores they assign themselves, qualified respondents (i.e. high-priority prospects) are forwarded to your sales staff for immediate follow-up.

Automating The Follow-Up Process

Many companies allow high-quality leads to age within their follow-up queue because their survey methodology fails to properly prioritize them. Or worse, they allow these qualified prospects to land on the desk of an inexperienced salesperson. Both scenarios significantly reduce the likelihood that these leads will close.

The key to creating an efficient lead follow-up system begins with the manner in which you leverage your online survey technology. Too often, researchers will create questionnaires to collect actionable data without regard for scoring and prioritizing prospects. As a result, those who may be willing to make a purchase decision are neglected and left to age within the queue.

Top-priority leads must be given immediate attention by your sales staff. The good news is that online survey technology can automate the follow-up process by forwarding “top priority” prospects to your best salespeople.

The Role Of Online Surveys In Lead Generation

Your questionnaires can uncover key factors that suggest a given prospect is more likely to buy something now. For example, you can ask questions to determine whether the respondent’s company is using a product that complements your own. You can ask whether the respondent has the authority to make a purchase decision. You can also identify how much the company intends to spend on the type of product you’re selling. And of course, your questionnaire should ask the respondent to describe their purchase timeline.

Online survey technology can be leveraged to qualify and prioritize your leads. You’ll find that doing so will help your sales staff achieve a higher close rate while boosting your company’s sales.

Learn why promotional mousemats are such cost effective business gifts

Learn Why Promotional Mousemats Are Such Cost Effective Business Gifts

Why consider using Mousemats as Promotional Merchandise? If you think how many times a person uses their computer every day at the office it adds up to a big number over a year.If that person was a client and saw your logo or message every time then that would be great. Well by giving them a mousemat that they would definitley use you could make it happen. This article tells you all about what mousemats are available in today’s Promotional Merchandise world.

There is now a promotional Mousemat for every occasion and to cater for every budget. The most popular remains the original Hard Top Mousemat which has an everlasting under surface print. This extremely attractive print finish combines with a thin high quality non-slip base manufactured from foam. The combination delivers extremely good value for money as the mat is virtually indestructible.

The Photo Mousemat is designed to take a picture or piece of paper under the surface, this is a very ingenious piece of design. These are ideal for producing completely personalised mousemats which are very popular. A good example of this would be if you were to hold an event such as a golf day or a visit to a sporting event. Each guest could be sent a mousemat with his or her photo inserted thereby making it a truly personal Promotional Item.

If you are considering a Mail shot then the Ultra Thin Mousemat is an ideal Promotional Gift to insert into the envelope. It is only 0.5mm in thickness and very light so reducing the cost to post greatly. You can now achieve 4 colour process prints on quantities as low as 100. They are also ideal on magazines, comics and any other sort of publications when used as cover mounts.

From a cost effective point of view it would be difficult to beat the Smart Mat which is made from low cost laminated paper. It is possible to achieve beautiful, crisp, sharp colour reproduction with this process. These very inexpensive Promotional Items can be die cut to any shape which is great for really targeting them towards the event. If you were aiming at the motor industry the mousemat could be cut to the shape of a car.

If you are looking for a Promotional Mousemat that performs really well then the precision Soft mat is the perfect choice. The surface of this hi tech mousemat has fantastic lay flat, non slip qualities which make it really comfortable to use. The surface can be cleaned with warm soapy water which will remove any dirt or stains and at the same time restore the cling properties that help to make it such a great mousemat.

It is posssible to use all the same material above to produce drinks coasters which match the mousemats. Putting these coasters together with the Mousemats give you a great presentation set which will certainly put your logo or message well in front of your clients.

How to blog and blogging on the internet for business

How to Blog and Blogging on the Internet for Business

Blogging is mostly about the blogging jargon. To understand blogs, you need to know the terms blog, platform, domain, and web host. Once you have mastered these key elements of blogging, you can enter any conversation about blogging with confidence. After you know what exactly a blog is, you will be on your way to passing the final exam on blogging.

Blog is short for weblog, which simply means a series of online posts presented in reverse chronological order. That is all! Most blogs are text, but there are also photo blogs and video blogs. The rest of blogging has to do with the technical side of things. If you are setting up a blog, you will need a platform, a web host, and a domain. A blogging platform is a computer software program that allows you to write posts and to update your blog. Your platform is also what you used to design the look of your blog, from color scheme to font size. The web host is somewhat like the virtual file cabinet where your blog is stored. Your computer communicates with the host when you upload or edit a post. The domain is the online address of your blog, and usually ends in ‘dot com’. Now that you know what a blog is, what a platform is, and what domains and hosts are, congratulate yourself! You have passed the test on blogging.

If you run a small company, you may find that the world of blogging for business owners is a world that you want to be a part of. Blogging is a great way to get the word out to consumers about your product or service, and it can even be useful for inspiring employee loyalty and helping you keep your workers at peak morale. If you are looking for a way to take your business to the next level, consider what starting a blog might be able to do for you.

Blogging for business owners has a lot in common with all other types of blogging, but it has its own unique pitfalls and strengths. The key to having a successful blog as a business owner is keeping your goals clear and concrete at every step of your blogging adventure. It can be all to easy to get sidetracked, especially if you are just learning about the exciting possibilities of blogging technology, but if you want your blog to succeed you need to stay focused. Write up a plan for how often you will update, how you will promote your blog and retain readers, whether you will feature photographs or video, and other aspects of your blog, and then stick to it with the same kind of determination that you used when you built your company.

Invoice discounting – a tool to finance your business

Invoice Discounting – A Tool To Finance Your Business

Are your clients taking up to 60 days to pay their invoices? This is a very common situation and a significant cause of stress to many business owners. Unfortunately, having a profitable business does not necessarily mean that you have a reliable cash flow. Quite the opposite, many times a business may have great profits and a very unreliable cash flow.

How can this be? Simple. Your clients are paying you in 60 days, but you need to pay employees every week, rent and suppliers. Although the numbers may work in the long term, in the short term you are left with very little cash. This is unless you have a lot of money in the bank to cover the deficits.

But, what do you do if you are new, growing or just don’t have a lot of funds in the bank? Get a business loan? Unlikely. Business loans are hard to get. A better option would be to use invoice discounting. Invoice discounting is a form of financing that is not offered by a bank – it’s offered by a factoring company.

Invoice discounting, as it name implies, involves selling your invoices for immediate cash, at a small discount. Its value proposition is very simple. Are you willing discount between 1.5% to 6% from your invoices to get paid now? Consider that many business owners offer a 2% discount to businesses that pay within 10 days. So, invoice discounting offers a similar proposition.

Of course, invoice discounting (or invoice factoring as it is also called) is not for every business. It works best when your profit margins are above 15% and if you use the accelerated funds to pay for business expenses or to pursue new business opportunities.

Factoring companies always purchase your invoices in two installments. The first installment, referred to as the advance, covers up to 85% of the invoice. The remaining 15% (less the discount) is rebated once the customer actually pays the invoice.

Invoice discounting is easy to obtain and can be set up in days. The biggest qualification requirement is to have invoices from reliable clients. So, if you are sitting on a whole bunch of slow paying invoices, be sure to consider invoice discounting.

September 2008
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