Common Mistakes In Upselling

Upselling is the sole purpose of making you more money after having already sold a product. With the right tools and training, anyone can learn how to upsell and make a decent profit. However, there some common mistakes that sales people make when trying to upsell a product and all of them mean a loss in revenue for your business if not addressed and corrected.

So what are the common mistakes?

Being To Pushy – This is definitely a turn off to a potential customer. All too often the salesperson is so eager to make the sale that they get way to ahead of themselves and push the customer into a corner. This can make the customer feel almost attacked or pressured to buy the product. You don’t want this to be the outcome of your sales tactic. You want the customer to be at ease when they are being pitched to and more importantly, receptive.

Offering the Wrong Type of Upsell – When offering an upsell to a customer it is important that the upsell is something that is in relation to the sale you just made on the bigger ticket item. This can be in the instance of person who just bought a digital camera, offering a memory card will fit perfectly in with the initial sale and is something they will need. You want them to want to have this service and be aware of all the reasons they need it. You don’t want to upsell something that has no relation to the product at all, it has to relate in some fashion.

Not Being Persistent – Yes there is a way to upsell and be persistent without being pushy. It all relies on the information you are relaying. It needs to be convincing and something the customer believes. If you go out and just start spouting off some sales pitch, it could seem unconvincing and forced. You want to have conviction in your speech so the customer believes what you are saying and ultimately wants the product.

All of the above mistakes can be avoided if the salesperson is properly trained. They need to practice their upselling techniques on someone before they are let loose on the public to ensure they have what it takes to be a proper sales person.

Who to Follow on Twitter

Knowing who to follow on Twitter is important in your marketing efforts. You want to follow those who are of interest to you. You want to follow those who are of use to you and your business. Your hope is that they will in turn follow you back, if they aren’t already following you, thus opening up the lines of communication between your business and your audience.

There are several tools that can be used to make these efforts easier and more streamlined.

  • Mr. Tweet – Show the influencers and followers you should follow and suggests you to enthusiastic users relevant to you.
  • Just Tweet It – A user directory for Twitter organized by genre to allow for users to easily find other Twitter users to connect with.
  • Retweet Rank – Retweetrank lets you find rank of any twitter user. With the rank, latest retweets of the user are shown and an RSS feed can also be grabbed for the same.
  • Twellow – A directory of public Twitter accounts, with hundreds of categories and search features to help you find people who matter to you.
  • TwitteRel – By using Twitterel.com you can make your life a lot more interesting, we thought of a way to connect to other twitter users who share the same interests as you do.
  • Friend or Follow – Who are you following that’s not following you back? Who’s following you that you’re not following back?
  • Twitoria – Twitoria is a web app that tidies up your Twitter friends list by revealing inactive friends that haven’t tweeted in a long time so you can unfollow them.
  • Topify – Twitter application that improves Twitter’s email notification and allows to follow and reply to direct messages by email.
  • Tweepler – A Twitter application that allows you to organize followers.
  • Twimailer – Tired of shallow e-mails from Twitter when someone follows you? Want to know more about the people who are following you? Twimailer is a free service that delivers that information right to your inbox!
  • TweeterTags – Get the most out of Twitter by finding the right people to share the conversation: Tweeter Tags makes it easy to declare your interests and find new, like-minded friends. Have a question you need answering? Find relevant people on Twitter to ask.

Using Direct Mail To Attract Website Traffic

Direct mail campaigns don’t always have to be about selling something. They can simply be another way to get the word out about your online business, to build awareness and branding recognition and to drive more visitors to the company website.

However, as online business owners already know, competition is fierce when it comes to website traffic. People might find you but they might also click away before they bookmark the page. Think about your own bookmark list; do you ever go back to those pages? Probably not so but you need a simple process for using direct mail to bring traffic to your site and getting them signed up for your email list.

Luckily this is not a complicated process!

Step 1: Create a dynamic direct mail piece. Use color images, colored paper, vibrant font colors, or some other eye-catching element so the recipients don’t throw your piece away.

Step 2: Create a special web page just for those who are receiving this postcard. This is called a landing page which usually offers something for free in exchange for the recipient’s email address. Print the website URL prominently on the postcard so it’s not missed.

This page should include some sales copy to really convince people you have the solution they’re looking for and it should also include your email marketing opt in box, which creates your prospect list.

Step 3: Email your prospect list on a regular basis and develop this relationship. If your prospects know, like and trust you as a real person as opposed to some mystery figure, they will eventually buy from you. Past customers are the easiest people to sell to because they are already aware of your customer service and product quality.

Step 4: Create a different direct mail campaign for this same market segment. Remember, it’s rare for people to respond to the very first mailing. Usually it takes 6-7 times of seeing your offer before they make a move so consider these follow up mailings as reminders.

Step 5: Create a new landing page for each campaign. This might seem like a lot of work but it’s the easiest way to track which postcards your visitors are responding to. The sales copy and the offer don’t have to be different, it would simply be a change to the website URL.

Rather than taking down the first landing page right away, it’s wise to keep it active for a period of time after the campaign has mailed. You never know who has tucked your postcard away and will pull it out 6 months later. For those latecomers, you still want to have an active landing page and offer, otherwise they might think you’re unprofessional or have gone out of business.

Using a direct mail campaign for an online business is just another way to expand your marketing reach, especially if you want to target local customers. The same direct mail strategies used for brick and mortar businesses hold true but instead of selling something, entice your customers to claim their free gift from your website.

Reusing Podcasts to Create More Relevant Content

Podcasts are perfect for the example of reusing and repurposing content. Melisa Ingold exemplifies this on her Blog: Time Freedom Business. On this blog, she offers a podcast, usually interviews with other successful people, which becomes a blog post with a blurb explaining what is in the interview as well as the many ways you can digest it. She offers the podcast, plus a way to download it on iTunes, and she has it transcribed and offers it via Kindle format.

Here is the example of the blog post, with the podcast link below it.

She talks about what is going to be in the podcast, as well as her thoughts and ideas on the topics since doing the podcast. She gives you enough that you want to listen to it, and hear her story. She does that for all her guests who are interviewed in order to set up the podcast for success.

She also provides an excellent call to action by telling the reader exactly what to do in order to hear the podcast. “Click the play button” and what will happen when you do.

Here is an example of what is under the podcast button.

It can’t be more clear that you can listen to this podcast on iTunes.com. Make it easy for your blog visitors to have choices. They can easily see that they can listen to the podcast in the player or they can download it to iTunes to listen to it on the go.

Here is the example of the Kindle book which is right below the offerings for iTunes.

She also offers her blog visitors the ability to read the transcript of the interview in a Kindle book so that they can have many ways to digest the content. She sells these for about 99 cents too, so that provides another income stream. She can do it as a Kindle book since the text is not on the blog post and it is still an original work.

Finally, below that she even has more content, which are links to the tools and resources mentioned in the podcast. Naturally, these are affiliate links, or products Melissa created herself or with a partner. It’s an excellent example of being a rock star blogger.

Melissa has reused and repurposed one podcast into:

* A textual blog post with links to affiliate products and services
* An iTunes Cast
* An eBook that Costs 99 cents

You don’t have to start in that order. You can take an old blog post, turn it into a podcast, and make it available to read on Kindle too with Kindle Publishing for Blogs. It’s a little different than what Melissa did but it is still an excellent way to reuse and repurpose your content. What are some ways that you have reused and repurposed your content?

Does your Blog Need a Mobile WordPress Plug-in?

If you have a blog, don’t assume it will translate perfectly to mobile: Chances are, it has at least 2 columns, and runs ads, graphics and is set for a screen width that’s (at absolute minimum) 760 px wide.

Besides, even if it was able to load in and emerge with a readable format, you need to remember that many people are paying heavily for each megabyte downloaded on their mobiles (not to mention for the time)… and they’re not going to wait twenty minutes for all your graphics and plug-ins to load.

One superb and very user-friendly plug in is WordPress Mobile edition. If you can’t find it by searching the plug-in section via your blog Dashboard, you can easily download it from WordPress.org’s plug-in section. (It even allows comments – something that is often a problem.)

One word of caution: If you have one of the smaller mobile phones, avoid the popular Carrington theme recommended on the WordPress.org WordPress Mobile editions page.)

According to WordPress.org, this plug-in works particularly well on Blackberries, iPhones, Androids, touch phones, all wireless, and PDA.

Advertising, Anyone?

If you want to display ads, the Mippin Mobilize plug-in (also found at WordPress.org) is a configuration-free plug in. It works by redirecting other mobile users to Mippin’s rendering of your blog. This is a nice plug-in, because it scales photographs to conform to your mobile site visitor’s screen width, and converts vides to 3G format.

Customization, Anyone?

If you’d rather customize your blog theme somewhat, a plug-in you might like is MobilePress. This one isn’t available at WordPress.org, but you can find it on its home site, mobilepress.co.za/.

It’s biggest benefit: Allowing you to use customized themes, and it also allows specific themes for the iPhone, as well as the Opera Mini browser and Windows CE Mobile. (Surprisingly simple to install!)

So there you have it: 3 fantastic plug-ins to help your WordPress blog go mobile.

(Perhaps the new mobile technology is going to end up being easier to adapt to than we think!)

How Much to Charge for Membership to Your Site

Creating a paid membership site is perhaps the best move an online business can make in these tumultuous economic times. Paid membership sites offer a constant flow of income that can grow overnight in some instances.

When setting up a paid membership site you are doing the work once, and then
reap the monetary rewards over and over again for as long as you offer information to your members. The site can be set to be accessed monthly or by a yearly subscription. No matter what, money will be coming in all the time. Passive income possibly at it’s best.

Knowing how much to charge for your paid membership site is something that is as individual as your company is to the whole of the Internet. Only you can decide what the price should be. Since the start up of a site like this is relatively low, it’s safe to assume you can expect to make your initial outlay back rather quickly.
Although you may have ongoing expenses, for the most part, once you repay yourself for the start up costs, the remainder of what you make afterwards is profit.

The potential profits are unlimited once you set your price. Let’s say you want to start out by charging $19.99 a month to let people have access to your membership site. You have 100 people who have signed up. This will give you a guaranteed $1,999.00 a month. Now imagine if you charged more?

You are in control of how much your site makes. You control the cost of the membership as well as the content inside. Speaking of the content, you need to make sure the content is actually worth the money you expect to charge to have access to it. This is a common mistake most newcomers make, they charge way too much for way too little content.

People want to be sure they are getting more than their money’s worth for anything they purchase or subscribe too. If you do not offer content that is informative, updated and current, you have made a crucial mistake and subscribers will catch on fast. A great site will include quality content more than worth the price you charge for it. In turn you lead yourself to people spreading the word and business growing over and over again.

What Is Upselling?

In the world of sales, whether it is retail, restaurant or online, the purpose of any business is to get the customer to buy more than they intended from you. This means you not only need to know your product like the proverbial back of your hand, you need to know how to make more money selling the same thing but with added items.

This is the nature of a successful business and it is done through a technique called upselling. Through upselling you first get a sale and then from that sale, you persuade the customer to make an addition purchase based around that purchase. It’s a little different in each business type.

Upselling In Retail

In order to upsell an item in a retail situation, the customer would have already picked out a certain item, whether it be clothing, electronics or whatever and be prepared to make that purchase. You would then suggest something that goes along with it such as a matching belt, additional cables or perhaps a custom version of the item.

Upselling In a Restaurant or Bar

The easy part with this is the customer is definitely going to make a purchase of a food item or a drink and your knowledge of the menu will allow you to suggest an addition item. For example, if the customer orders a steak, you may suggest sautéed onions to go with it or if they ask for a rum and coke, you may suggest more expensive types of rum.

Upselling Online

When a customer makes a purchase online you may want to show items that are associated with the purchase they are making. If, for example, the customer purchased a book you can show other books by the same author or books of the same genre they may like. In this way the customer will not only purchase the book but may also make an additional purchase based on the suggestions on the website.

This is the nature of upselling, getting the customer to spend more than they may have originally intended. Whether it is by offering an additional item that compliments the original item they purchase or by offering a product of higher quality at a slightly more expensive cost. Regardless of how it is done, having knowledge of the products you are selling is paramount.

One interesting aspect of upselling is, aside from making more money, the customer feels as you are doing it because you want them to get the best thing they can get while in your establishment. Now, it is important the customer does not know you are only doing this to make a bigger sale; it’s best to let them think you are doing it for their benefit.

While upselling is a part of many business practices, it is something which many people feel uncomfortable doing or, even worse, do very poorly. Being sure that your staff, regardless of your business, is able to easily upsell your products and you will enjoy a successful business for years to come.

Why Membership?

People often ask me, why is membership marketing so important? To me, it’s simple. It makes so much sense and yet, it is often a missed opportunity by so many internet marketers and online business owners.

The real question, in my opinion, should be… Why not?

At the very foundation of membership marketing is the idea of loyalty. You gain loyalty by building loyalty. In other words, you will attract loyal customers, and ultimately gain revenue, by offering a loyal – or reliable – product.

Membership marketing is merely a natural extension of your business. Or should be at least. It shouldn’t be hard or complicated. It should be easy to build, easy to manage and easy to succeed.

Yes, of course you are already busy managing your business. But think of how great it would be to secure customers for months, if not years at a time. Think of how wonderfully confident you would be if you knew you did not have to worry about where your next sale will come from or how much time and money you have to spend to find your next customer. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Membership marketing is like job security. You secure your customers, therefore you secure revenue and hopefully, if you do it right, you will secure the future success of your business.

Membership marketing is so important because it can and will help your business grow in such a way that allows you to focus on providing quality products and service.

3 Tips To Avoid Duplicate Content

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, there are some definite mistakes to avoid. One of the most common mistakes website owners make is to publish what’s called “duplicate content.”

What is Duplicate Content?

Google defines duplicate content as, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Most of the time when we see this, it’s unintentional or at least not malicious in origin: forums that generate both regular and stripped-down mobile-targeted pages, store items shown (and — worse yet — linked) via multiple distinct URLs, and so on. In some cases, content is duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or garner more traffic via popular or long-tail queries.”

What’s The Penalty For Duplicate Content?

Typically, a loss of page ranking or having that particular piece of content ignored. If you’re trying to improve your page ranking in the search results, duplicate content isn’t going to help you accomplish it.

The Simple Solution?

1. Avoid duplicate content easily by writing and publishing original content.

2. When using PLR, Private Label Rights, make sure you’re purchasing it from a reputable company and that the content is limited to a specific number of users. Always take a few minutes to make the article unique. That may mean altering keywords, changing headlines, adding a few quotes or tidbits of data. You can even add a personal touch and share a story related to the article topic.

3. Learn how to repurpose your own content. For example, if you have a 60-page eBook you give away, that content can be segmented into smaller articles or blog posts and repurposed with a little fine-tuning.

Duplicate content troubles are easy to avoid. Spend time planning your content strategy including choosing your niche keywords and keyword phrases, and create fresh content. Your duplicate content worries will be a thing of the past.

Social Media Strategies – Goals, Tactics and Metrics

Setting achievable goals for your social media marketing efforts is essential to making sure that you’re not wasting time, money and resources hitting your head up against a brick wall. It’s essential to test and measure each marketing strategy, including social media. If you lose sight of the point of social media in terms of using it to promote your business efforts, you can also lose track of the amount of time you’re spending using it. And let’s be honest, sometimes the time you’re spending is just messing around.

In order to set goals you need to be able to write down what your goal is. A goal is something like — “Increase sales by 5% in 60 days.” Now you’re going to have to develop and discover ways to verify that you’ve achieved any goal you make. That is where testing, and evaluating metrics comes in. First you create the goal, then you decide how to achieve the goal (tactics), then you test and evaluate (metrics).

The steps look like this:

Determine Goals

Determine Tactics

Perform Tactics

Study Metrics

Repeat

The important thing to remember is that you can’t achieve what you don’t name and plan. In other words, if you have no idea where you’re headed how can you create a map to get to your destination? If you’re not quantifying your efforts, it’s impossible to ever know if you’re achieving anything. One of the main reasons of business failure has to do with not having a plan, not following the plan, and not tracking metrics to ensure that the plan is working and the goals are achievable.

Determine Goals — Achievable goals are small, short term goals. To create a small, short term goal you create a long term goal and break it down to manageable chunks. For instance, if you want to increase traffic to your blog by 100% in one year, you’d need to figure out what your traffic is today, and what your traffic growth needs to be each month to achieve a 100 percent growth in one year.

Determine Tactics — Now that you have your goal, you’ll need to figure out what actions you’ll take to achieve your goal. Actions may involve using social media more strategically such as creating a social media calendar and then sticking to your plan. Your social media calendar might look like this:

(10 am, 4 pm and 9 pm) Monday through Friday — Auto sharing of new blog posts each day (posts which were either written by a ghostwriter, or yourself from a publication calendar)

(8 am, 1 pm, and 6 pm)Monday – Wednesday -Friday — Re-Tweet useful information to my followers

(11am, 3pm, and 11pm )Tuesday & Thursday — Introduce or hint about new products (you can do this via blogging as well if you have everything set up to be automatic)

8am each day spend 10 minutes answering direct messages personally

Post 2 articles a week to article marketing sites, share said articles with social media

Once you write it down, really do it, or delegate it, but get it done. You can’t succeed in any plan without carrying out the steps no matter how hard you wish it or think about it success takes action.

Study Metrics — Before you start any new campaign check your current metrics using whatever system you like such as Google Analytics. Then, pick a specific time each week or month to look at your data again. You can keep track in a spreadsheet to put it all together in one spot. Track subscriber rates, new comments, visitors, and even by how many people re-tweet and or share your information. Hint: Use Google Docs and hire a VA to keep track of this for you.

If you find the tactics you used worked well and you’re satisfied with the results, repeat them. If you want to ramp something up, or change a tactic, change only one tactic or even part of a tactic at a time, that way you can really measure and test how your one change affects your future results.