Ensuring training makes the leap from education to performance and profits is essential in today’s marketplace. What can companies do when evaluating the myriad of options available? Knowledge is power. This is an old adage that has been around for a long time. However, now more than ever it is true. As Eric Hoffers says, In times of change the learner shall inherit the earth, while the learned finds themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. With technology advances, and the market becoming more and more competitive it is critical that an organization has a workforce that is not only skilled, but is constantly improving those skills. No business can expect growth tomorrow while it rests on the successes of yesterday. Management expects and even demands performance efficiency increases. This can only come from a culture where learning is valued and encouraged. The Challenge of Selecting Performance-Driven Training You may have been given the task to create this environment and/or feed this environment of learning. No training department can be the answer to everyone’s needs. A 2002 report by The Conference Board found that 55% of companies outsource part of the training function. There are many instances when you should go outside the expertise of your organization and look for learning providers. But one quick search on the internet is enough to send you running for cover! It is staggering how many vendors there are that want to teach your staff the art of just about anything. From sales to forklift safety from OSHA compliance to training in tropical diseases. You name it you can find someone who is willing and even eager to come to your organization and teach your staff about it. Selecting an effective training program is a complex process that requires diligently matching an organization’s needs to its employees’ needs and aligning both of these to create desired outcomes usually improved performance and increased profits. The process is complex because effective training utilizes a company’s style, voice, mission and many other customized elements that are not available in off-the-shelf training options. What enterprises truly want is to equip their work force with information that works in the moment and provides a real time benefit to a specific product or service. Benefits of Outsourcing your Training Why should you outsource your training when you probably have many qualified Subject Matter Experts (SME) in your organization? Outsourcing parts of your training function can have many benefits for your organization. The potential of saving your organization money in the long run is probably the biggest factor that motivates most businesses to outsource. Sure you can take your SME’s off their regular jobs to develop content for specific training your staff needs, but the cost of lost productivity plus the SME’s lack of knowledge of sound education principles usually spells disaster for the final learning product. By outsourcing you save not only money in lost productivity, but you also cut back on expenditures of software, printing costs etc. You place the burden of those fixed costs on the vendor and only pay a per use charge. Many times this will save an organization thousands of dollars. You also gain the benefit of having your staff focus on what they know best - your business. While some of the learning that takes place in your organization is very specific to your business, a large part of the training you need can be done by an outside vendor more efficiently and with greater expertise. Your staff is freed up to focus their valuable time and attention on improving your products and services to the benefit of your customers and your bottom line. Just as you are focusing on your business, a good training vendor is focusing on their business learning. Many times an outside vendor will have cutting-edge technology or the latest development in a certain topic. Take advantage of their research. The goal of all business is that employees within the framework and extended facets of the business are all constant students. The hope of this belief is that all functional teams in a businesses ecosystem are self-directed, self-motivated, and self-sufficient. This desire is the reasoning behind a majority of the training programs developed and offered in the soft-skill space. In the early 90’s Gerald O. Grow offered a self-directional model that adapted itself from the arguments put forward by Blanchard’s situational self-leadership model. Grow’s contention was that in order for training to be effective we have to move away from instructor-led platforms to participant-driven classrooms. Such self-direction only comes when the student buys into the concept of constant learning. Grow suggested that in order for learning to become self-directed and training to have a chance, organizations interested in optimizing their training efforts needed to know which stage the individuals were in. The goal is that in order for professionals in today’s marketplace to stay competitive and effective, they have to move from being dependent on someone to coach them to becoming self-directed in a consultative atmosphere where adaptability and flexibility are the norm. It is also understood that successful training programs build each component into their activity arsenal so that regardless of where the participant is, the instructor can assume the role of a coach, motivator, facilitator or consultant. Selecting the Right Program So, how do organizations solve the challenge of selecting appropriate training that delivers measurable results and keeps the work force engaged and motivated? The easy approach to selecting training would be to charge on board with the current fad or the trend that seems to be popular. In Good to Great, Jim Collins alluded to the fact that great organizations are ones that maintain a status quo of core beliefs over a period of time. Almost every organization that looks at adding new external components to solidify existing processes needs to be cognizant of the amount of change being introduced into the enterprise. People are aware of the need to change and hope that every new idea in some ways complements and supplements that which is already in place. Changing direction is okay as long as people understand that the company is not changing the destination with every new input. That’s where frustration comes in. The following steps will assist in the selection of a training program: 1. Verification from all departments that are directly or indirectly involved on what is needed to strengthen the process. 2. Being open to new inputs from everyone who touches the customer. 3. Input from personnel on what new skills they would like to have and what gaps need to be effectively addressed. 4. A measurement from the training provider that shows opportunity to gauge progress before, during and after implementation. 5. Additionally, if the training provider can quantify the approach and provide sophisticated dashboards for a snapshot view on where the improvements are taking place, this would make selection of the program easier. 6. Looking at training companies that can tailor the approach to include customization of the process to fit a specific industry. 7. Benchmarking the effectiveness internally but also benchmarking the broader industry that an enterprise works within to see what training the competition is using to gain the same market share. If you are now thinking about how using an outside vendor can be beneficial to your organization, then you need to consider how you will sift through all the options available to you. There are seven key questions you should ask any vendor before investing in their learning content and delivery. Key Consideration: Measurable Key Question #1: Is the training measurable? This is, of course, the age-old question, how do I know I am getting an adequate return on my investment? There are many evaluation equations circulating that help you calculate your return on investment. Probably the most trusted model is Kirkpatrick’s four-level model of evaluation. In this model you evaluate training on reaction (how the trainee feels about the training); learning (determine the amount of learning that takes place); behavior (on¬the-job behavior changes due to the learning); and results (did the learning meet the desired results.) A reputable outside vendor should be able to show you how they (or you) will measure the effectiveness of the program on at least two of the levels mentioned above. Training programs that showcase measurability and are built with reinforcement in mind have greater success because they are built on the framework of taking guesswork out of the equation. If the training group is surveyed prior to implementation on their skill set, and the program implemented takes into account the specifics of such a survey, then the program can be tailored to focus on the areas needing most improvement. This gives the learner the luxury of knowing that the goal of the training is to address the gaps that are preventing them from having true success. In addition, when reinforcement on learned skills comes every week in the form of difference-making information, the validation is complete. By looking for and insisting on tracking mechanisms that allow you to prescribe solutions based on real data and diagnosis, you have a better shot at real improvement for the people you are training. For the full sales training selection report contact Ziglar Australia.
Zig Ziglar has opened his sales training into Australia. To grow the busienss and share the success of the Zig Ziglar business, Ziglar Australia are looking for people and companies that would like to resell the Ziglar sales training services. To further drive the success of the Ziglar franchise in Australia, Ziglar is looking for resellers across Australia to market the sales training classes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. As a reseller you have access to marketing materials and content, access to the sales training and Zig Ziglar products. Expected income is $1000 to $10,000 per month, with no reseller fees. For further information on our sales training in Australia visit ziglar. au or for specific details see Secrets of Closing the Sale ziglar. au/salesclosingtraining. htm and the Ziglar Sales System ziglar. au/salestraining. htm. Contact Ray Schroder for further information at ziglar. au/Contact. htm
To further drive the success of the Ziglar franchise in Australia we are looking for resellers across Australia to market the sales training classes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. As a reseller you have access to marketing materials and content, access to the sales training and Zig Ziglar products. For further information on our sales training in Australia visit ziglar. au or for specific details see Secrets of Closing the Sale ziglar. au/salesclosingtraining. htm and the Ziglar Sales System ziglar. au/salestraining. htm. Contact Ray Schroder for further information at ziglar. au/Contact. htm
Writing a winning Sales letter is one of the ways to sell a product/ebook/software on the Internet. Not everyone feels up to writing such a sales letter. So we either struggle to do so, or hire a copy-writer to do it, or buy copy-writing software. Winning letters are ones which follow a system. The following template is one such system. 1. Writing the headline: The headline should answer the question: What is the biggest benefit of your product/ebook/software. Think of the biggest benefit. At first many will come to mind. Your task is to think of one that is the biggest. Put this benefit at the end of any one of the following questions: * Would you like to ...? * Who else would like to ...? * How would you like to ...? You can think of more such starters for your headline. 2. Write the opening line. This is an answer to your headline. Some thing which says: "If you would like to know more about ... then this is likely the most crucial information you ever read." Fill the blanks with the most important benefit of your product. 3. Mention the name of your product and give the visitor the information about what they are going to find in it. 4. Imagine the over all benefits of your product; write them down in sentence format. Suggest your visitor also imagine these benefits. 5. Now list out the specific benefits and / or the features in bullet form. These bullets should help your visitors get a taste of the number of specifics they can get from your product. 6. Now make your offer. Suggest the price you could have charged for such a quality product. Specify that you are actually charging much less so that many more people can have access to the results of your hard work and because you understand the need for such a product. 7. Time to offer bonuses. Offer at least one bonus if not more. With each bonus list the benefits that the visitor will get. Also mention the price of each bonus. At the end of the list of bonuses mention the total value of the bonuses. 8. Time for testimonials. Plug in testimonials of actual people who have used your product and have found it useful, with their names and where they are from. 9. Write your guarantee/refund policy. This will make them feel in control of the purchase. Set a refund period while you are at it. Usually the service provider that you use to collect payments and deliver your products will specify in their terms and conditions the refund period that they will accept. 10. Call for action. Paste your purchase button now. So that your visitor can make their purchase. 11. You are done. Edit this letter using Dreamweaver or any other WYSIWYG editor of your choice and set it up on your website.
No matter how successful you are, eventually you will lose potential contracts. This is not always a bad thing - losing contracts can present you with opportunities to get closer to the client and get valuable feedback. It allows you to analyze what you did wrong, what was done right, and how you can improve your products, services…and proposals. If you do lose a contract you should always ask for feedback and find out why you lost. Client’s are often happy to provide feedback to “soften the blow” of losing a contract. This is especially true if there was an elaborate qualification period or your proposal required an extensive amount of preparation and research. Quite often, the deciding factor may be price and you may lose out on contracts where you proposed a superior product or service. Everyone who has lost a contract has been told that it was lost because they were too expensive…but how often have you been told you won because you were cheap? Even if price is the primary reason, it’s good to know. It may mean that you misinterpreted the tender requirements and proposed something above the specification. Alternatively you may need to re-evaluate your pricing, or even serve to shift your focus to higher end clients who pay a premium for the products and services you offer. It may be they liked another company’s track record better, they may have previous dealing with the chosen supplier, or sometimes you may not have fully addressed their concerns in your proposal. Whatever the reason, there is always something that can be learned. Try and get a face to face meeting. This will enable you to get the most honest and detailed feedback possible – clients will often be prepared to say things off the record that they won’t commit to paper. You can also use the lost opportunity as a chance to get to know the client better, build rapport and start to position yourself for future contracts. Any opportunity to develop a relationship with a perspective client serves to better your business base so always take advantage of these opportunities whenever you can. Remember to also ask for feedback when you win. Ask the client why you were chosen, exactly how you stood out from the rest of the field and how your proposal could have been better – check if there were any parts of your proposal that caused doubt or uncertainty with the client. All of these options offer you a chance to improve your products and services, eventually resulting in more clients and better business. In such a competitive marketplace you need to grasp any potential advantage you can find. Finding out exactly why you lost makes a huge difference the next time around. Be willing to look at your faults and be prepared to change – it’s about what the client wants, not what you have to offer.
Although there are advantages to selling other people`s products and services, there are also drawbacks. For example, the lack of exclusive rights to your own proprietary product can mean that you are just one of thousands selling the same thing. Excessive competition can cause you to drop your prices and to lose sales, thus affecting your profits and cashflow that are so essential to your business survival. For this reason, you may decide to develop your own proprietary products and services, either exclusively, or to complement your line of other people`s products. After creating your own proprietary product, you could spend millions in manufacturing and marketing costs. You could go bankrupt before you even had your first sale. Here, then, are just a few, low-cost ways to profit from selling your own proprietary products and services. 1. Licensing Instead of trying to finance the manufacturing and marketing of your invention, why not license it to a company with the expertise and capability required? You will then receive royalties in return for your idea. 2. Exporting Exporting your product to other countries can dramatically increase your sales. Hiring an Export Management Agent can keep your fixed costs down. 3. Offer Commissions and Finders` Fees Recruit independent sales representatives and agents. Offer commissions and finders` fees in order to sell your products and services. 4. Online Auctions You can also sell your own proprietary products through Internet auction sites such as eBay or Yahoo! Auctions. 5. Start Your Own Associate or Affiliate Program Multiple web sites and distributors selling your product can result in increased sales and profits. Unlike conventional advertising, affiliate programs pay only for performancemissions are not paid out unless sales are made. 6. Participate in Joint Ventures Joint venture arrangements can be profitable. As an example, you could offer a commission on the successful sale of your product featured in someone else`s e-zine or newsletter. The above list of low-cost ways to make a profit from your own proprietary products and services is by no means exhaustive. However, it certainly illustrates that, with some effort, your own products could make you rich.
If you are considering starting your own credit repair business, or you already own your own credit repair business, you may have played with the idea of purchasing credit repair leads. Having your own credit repair business allows for you to obtain business for credit repair on many levels. However, with credit repair leads, the customer is basically looking for, and asking for your help. With a credit repair lead, you will have a potential customer who is serious about having repair work done to their credit report. Otherwise, they never would have come as far as putting a phone number or e-mail out there for contact purposes. These potential customers are not merely thinking about it, or just playing with the idea, they are truly serious and they are waiting on a phone call from your own credit repair business. Of all the credit repair business opportunities available for your own credit repair business, purchasing credit repair leads is perhaps one of the best. Basically, the potential customer has come to you, and provided you with their information before you have even made contact. Keep in mind, like all business opportunities, credit repair business opportunities for your own credit repair business need to be researched before any kind of commitment or investment is involved. If you are considering purchasing credit repair leads for your own credit repair business, be sure to research the company you are purchasing them from. Call and speak with one of their customer service rep’s and find out how they obtain their credit repair leads and what the process is for obtaining them in a timely fashion.
If you're in the market for a business opportunity, the chances are good that you've explored a variety of ways to make money online and work from home. In truth, there are so many Internet business opportunities out there that it's almost impossible to tell the best from the rest. And the grim reality is that, while thousands of people launch online businesses in the hope of achieving financial freedom, the majority end up making very little money at all, or worse, paying out more money to their uplines than they're ever able to recoup. The good news is that, with the right partnership, you can promote your existing business while multiplying your revenue streams. That way, you don't have to rely on a single, make-or-break source of income. It's a bit like planting a garden. It would never cross your mind to plant a single seed in the spring and count on that to feed your family throughout the summer. Instead, you'd plant many varieties of seeds, knowing that one or more will bear fruit as the seasons progress. The Internet business partner you choose should be one that can provide you the one thing that is the downfall of most work from home opportunities: training. All too often, people who intend to succeed come up against their own limitations and fail to properly market their products. In our garden analogy, that's like planting your seeds in a drought - why bother? The company you select should have a proven track record of Internet marketing success, and give you the water spigot and hose you need to tend to your business garden. So, make sure to look for a company that provides you with training on topics ranging from online and offline marketing to back office functionality and goal setting. They should also be equipped to provide you with tutorials on a wide variety of powerful marketing techniques. After all, there's stiff competition on the Internet, and in order to successfully compete, you need to know all there is to know about methods such as article marketing, blogging, email marketing, banner advertising, press releases, pay-per-click advertising, and viral marketing - just to name a few. At the same time, being knowledgeable about Internet marketing doesn't mean that you need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, look for a business opportunity that provides you with tools like professional lead capture pages, automated follow-up, a sales center, and a secure website. Ideally, they should also provide you with highly sought after products that you can re-sell - items like audios, videos, software, templates, and guides. This way, you can increase those revenue streams by earning a healthy commission on every sale, and still have the professional infrastructure in place to promote your existing business. When you know what to look for, it's not difficult to separate the best Internet business opportunities from the dregs. In no time at all, your seeds will have sprouted, your plants will bloom, and you'll be reaping a bountiful harvest.
: There are a few things you can do when choosing an agent to help sell your home as mentioned above what you inform them to do is just as important as getting the highest sale price for your home. You might also want to consider Joint Sole Agency meaning you will have two agents marketing your property simultainously. In a way this can kill two birds with one stone as they can bring more buyers to view your home. And it doesn't matter which agent finds a buyer first, as the commission will be divided between them at the end. Beware though, that this also means the rates they charge are more than if you used just one agent through Sole Agency. These days it is not too difficult to sell a property yourself, if you know all the details about things like contracts and property auction. Using agents may be the traditional way of selling your home, but it is particularly suited to; -A property that has a for a high value -Buyers who haven't found a house they like yet -You if you are not stuck to a set time limit -You if you want your property to have sold within six months -People who don't want to be too involved with the sale of a property. Agents can reduce their fee, for example with some you may not need to pay for a HIP, and some might even pay your legal fees! But definitely check with them first. Double check your situation before diving head-first into anything concerning your property; do you need a cash buyer quickly? Are you in a chain but need something to help you move between homes? Probably the most obvious thing, but if you understand your own situation clearly, giving that information to an agent will help them help you find the best solution. Because they are usually trained or have been in the industry long enough to know a lot of the rules, but it doesn't hurt to know a thing or two yourself. Even though using an agent may help to reduce the price, there is still no guarantee of an actual sale. No doubt there will be at least some disadvantages to using agents, such as delays, inconvenience and risk, but if you think about it the advantages tend to outweigh the negatives in the world of property.
A Fast Merchant Account is waiting to usher your business into the technology age! All you need to do is choose a lender that will work with your company and then enjoy the benefits of a fast merchant account. Here are some of the ways in which your company can advance with the help of a merchant services account: 1. A Fast Merchant Account will link you to a stable lender with the authority to help your company get set up to accept credit card payments. You will enjoy the prestige and security of working with a top-notch banker or a dependable financial institution that can provide the know-how and a safety net for your credit processing transactions. Take time to find one with a solid financial reputation that offers equitable terms at affordable rates. Enjoying the reputation of providing credit card processing options will secure your position in the local business community. 2. A Fast Merchant Account could bring in more customers. Many consumers dislike the hassles of paying by cash. Some don’t like to carry along a checkbook when they go shopping. When they visit your Website or shop and learn that you do not accept credit cards, you may have lost your chance forever to court their favor and curry their patronage. But offering credit card processing can move the checkout line quickly along and help paying customers avoid problems associated with cash-only transactions. Post a sign on your Website or at your door to let shoppers know that credit will be accepted. 3. A Fast Merchant Account may prompt your clients to shop often and spend more. Some studies suggest that customers who pay with credit cards buy more than those who pay with cash. While you don’t want to encourage reckless spending in your customers, you want to provide them with the freedom to choose the most convenient payment method rather than restricting the way they can do business with your company. They may get in the habit of shopping with your enterprise, and they could even bring along family members and friends. Many company owners who open merchant accounts claim that their client bases grow along with their profits. 4. A Fast Merchant Account might increase your sales volume and profit margin. When customers feel comfortable in shopping at a company where they can use credit payments, they may be inclined to buy more and to return often. They could let others know as well, and before you know it, your client base could double. But if you continue doing business the old fashioned way, you may never see these benefits materialize. Before you know it, your local and international competitors will be doing business light years ahead of you if you do not open a merchant account and provide credit processing options like credit card swiping and Website credit payments to your clientele. Find out what merchant services can do to prepare your business to negotiate e-commerce in the 21st century. It can all begin with a Fast Merchant Account!
Are you planning to start a new business? Or are you considering expanding your current business and require a bank loan or investment from outsiders? If you are going to look for an investment of capital it is quite likely that you will be required to have a business plan. If you are starting a business, despite the work involved, a business plan can prepare you for the obstacles ahead and help ensure your success. A business plan is something that many small businesses fail to create, however, many business owners are adamant that having a written business plan is one of the keys to their present success. Creating a business plan forces you to contemplate possible obstacles to your business and prepares you to find solutions that will help you to overcome them. To find investors or get a bank loan, they will want to see that you have the experience or resources to run the business. They will want to see your projected income as well as your suggested repayment plan already laid out. Taking the time to do this is not only important for them, but it gives you a measuring tool to verify if your business is growing properly. You can gage your success on how close to the plan your business has actually performed. Perhaps you'll do worse, or perhaps you'll do better, either way it helps you determine how well your business is getting on. If you have never seen a business plan before you may be concerned that is is too difficult a proposition for you to manage on your own. While there are services available where you can hire someone to write a business plan for you, depending on your needs it may be wise to familiarize yourself with a business plan's layout. This will not only help you to provide the necessary information, but may encourage you to try your own hand at it. There's a free tool at bdc. ca which will assist you in creating a business plan. Some of the topics you will be required to explain are your Market, Customer, Competition, Marketing Plan, Research & Development along with financial forecasts. You may consider hiring someone to help you with your financial sheets after completing the written part of the Business Plan. Your Business Plan will become your guide and silent business partner - indicating where you need to improve and helping you stay one step ahead of your competition. Make it a priority to have this crucial road map for your business.
Do you have a business merchant account? If not, isn’t it time you got one? The companies you compete against for customer business may already have this special account that allows them to process customers’ credit payments. If you are not yet doing so, why not apply for a merchant account to help your business grow? A business merchant account is the best way to expand your company’s operations and conduct e-commerce without risking too much of an investment. Simply apply for a merchant account the way an individual would apply for a personal credit card. As with individual applicants, a company needs to show a positive credit history and the ability to make payments on a merchant account at present. In addition, it cannot be involved in shady dealings with which the underwriters might not agree. Many lenders will let you apply online, although some charge a fee for this. Often you will get a decision on your application within a day or two. If approved, you can begin making arrangements to accept credit payments in a variety of ways. Pay attention to fees and payment terms. For example, you may be asked to pay 15 to 25 cents per transaction. Or you could have the choice of paying a low overall percentage rate. Some lenders impose minimums, though, meaning you will have to pay a “bottom line” fee no matter how many transactions you make. Your business merchant account will let you purchase or lease a credit card processor that can be plugged into your store. Or you can take a wireless version with you when collecting payments from other locations. Many business owners prefer to use a telephone ordering and payment system. This can be automated, reducing the need for staffing except for questions or glitches. Customers can speak or touch-dial their credit card numbers into the phone to process orders at their convenience. You will need to make sure your system is fully operational at all times and that it is customer-friendly to keep from annoying or even driving away current or new clients. When you utilize a business merchant account, you can receive a printed monthly statement, discounts for other services, and occasional other benefits as well. Being able to accept credit card payments suggests that customers will look at you a little differently, knowing that you have earned an underwriter’s trust for this important role. Posting signs for accepting credit card payments places your company in the ranks of the elite, since many smaller or newer companies do not yet enjoy this privilege. When you begin accepting credit card processing, you can move away from cash-only payments or checks that can bounce. The time saved from managing cash flow can be channeled into more meaningful tasks. Getting a merchant account means that you’re ready to upgrade your business, and that you are taking extra steps to accommodate your customers. Be proud to receive a merchant account, knowing that not everyone is approved. Handle it responsibly, since you have much to be thankful for with your new business merchant account.
You have all heard and seen of the scams when it comes to work from home money making methods such as paid surveys. You can avoid them if you look carefully as they all follow a certain pattern so once you know what to look out for you won't fall victim to these scams. After careful studies of these known scammers I can tell you the certain features to watch out so you don't give them the satisfaction of thinking they have fooled another gullible person. The first and most important thing to look out for is do you need to pay for this service? If you do have to, why? When you get a normal offline job do you pay your boss to have the privilege to work for him? I didn't think so. However there are the few exceptions when it comes to paying upfront but these are rare occasions. Some companies charge a fee so you don't have to search the internet for the best resources to get the surveys but I cannot stress enough that many of these are scams so be sure to do your research before and try to contact people who have used them before. A lot of these scammer sites have a great sales pitch and excellent testimonials but you can't trust everything you see on a website as you will all know it's very easily to build a very promising website with loads of feedback but you never know if it's true. Even if you get in contact with these people you don't know if there friends of the website owners willing to participate in the scam. The best thing you can do before you start up with a company (especially a paid one) is to do some research on them and look around for the ones with the best reviews by a range of people. If you do get scammed by a company don't loose faith as this is a proven method to generate a nice side income, try to learn from your mistakes and try another and you will get the successful one that will give you that extra source of income. I know many people doing this in their spare time so there are legit companies out there which will send you the surveys and don't even require any money up front. There are many blogs where people have given their success stories stating which companies they used and which they think they got the best results from. They also provide a list of any companies they found to be a waste of time so having a quick read can save you loads of time and money.
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How often do people try to sell us something before we have expressed an interest, have a desire, or are in the market for what they have? It seems the standard for many salespeople is to try to sell to anyone and everyone regardless of the interest level. When someone attempts to sell us something before we have expressed an interest, the initial thought may be, “Why would I buy from you? You haven’t earned the right to sell to me!” The fact of the matter is that selling, both online and off, is about determining if there is a need before ever attempting to match a buyer with a product or service. It is about providing enough information for the buyer to make the best decision based on their needs. And it is about gaining trust. The most successful sales professionals are those who are a resource before they are a vendor. Having been in both brick-and-mortar and online sales and marketing for many years, it never ceases to amaze me how many people try to sell without determining the customer’s needs. They don’t seem to realize that the better the match, the more likelihood for return business. The better the match, the more trust gained. If you depend on repeat business or referrals, trust is absolutely a factor in your customer’s decision to come back to you when they need your product or service. Anyone who has been in business for an extended period of time (or plans to be) would be hard pressed to believe otherwise. Whatever you are selling, the buyer’s experience from the initial visit and/or purchase will likely determine whether or not they will ever purchase from you again. When a customer has a great experience from the beginning the chances of them turning into a repeat buyer is more likely. It is a proven fact: it is more cost effective to have repeat buyers than it is to constantly seek out new customers. That is not to say you shouldn't be adding new clients as part of your business model. Building trust with existing clients will add to your conversion rate more consistently. What is often missed in the equation of sales and marketing is the lifetime value of a customer. Once the initial sale is made they are forgotten. With proper care, a one-time or occasional buyer can turn into a loyal buyer. And loyalty is more often than not based on trust. We live in a “try before you buy” society. Because of this many buyers use what is referred to as the buying ladder. The buying ladder is very applicable to brick-and-mortar sales as well as Internet sales. Before buying a high ticket item, buyers will "test the waters.” This can be done in a number of ways: by test driving a car, taking a tour of a home, asking friends and associates for a recommendation. When purchasing on the Internet it can be downloading a free information item or buying an inexpensive product from a website to test out the level of service, quality of product, delivery time, quality of information (in the case of an information product), and response time. It may even depend on the buyer’s “gut feeling.” What are your own buying habits? What process do you go through before making the decision to buy? When you gain trust people want to do business with you. And they want to tell others about the experience. Have you heard the expression that if someone has a bad experience they will tell more people about that experience than they do a good one? I can’t say that I necessarily agree with this statement. There are occasions when I have heard people rave about a great experience over and over again. Buying decisions are made for a number of reasons, but they ultimately depend upon whether or not the buyer trusts the process. And if they trust you. It is through the process of building trust that we have earned the right to sell.