Appraisal Marketing Maxim Number Two: Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something

Nothing happens until somebody sells something

James Gamble of the Proctor and Gamble Company once said: “Any idiot can make soap. It takes a genius to sell it.” With all due respect to the late Mr. Gamble, I believe anyone can learn to sell. It does not take genius, but it does take a commitment to learning the skill.

Selling is more a skill than an art, although watching a true salesperson in action is art. Selling is not telling. Selling is not yelling. Selling is listening and understanding. Selling is trust and credibility. Selling is problem solving. Selling is consulting. Selling is a long-term partnership that you create between you and your client.

Selling Your Appraisal Services

Readers of my books on business development know about my “tough love” approach to teaching sales and selling systems. One of the foundation concepts is “Position yourself, your firm, and your services, so that those who call you or e-mail you are ready to buy.”

Some people erroneously interpret that quote to mean that you don’t have to sell. Selling is one of the most important skills needed in order to be a successful appraiser. Sales calls are an important part of developing new business and maintaining existing clients.

There are many types of sales calls. Each one has a specific purpose and an intended use (hey, just like an appraisal). Here are a few of the types of sales calls taught in my college-level selling and sales classes.

Breakdown sales calls into three specific target markets or categories: New Business; Client Development; Existing Clients

The breakdown of how much time should be spent each category might surprise you. Only 10% of your sales time should be spent on New Business prospects. Spend 30% of your sales time on Development of clients and prospects. The majority of your sales time, 60%, should be spent on Existing Clients.

Here are the major types of calls and how they are used:

· Information Gathering – Prospecting and learning the needs and wants of the target market

· Introduction – The first contact with the prospect; informal and no-pressure

· The Presentation – a more structured presentation designed to build rapport, understand the needs of the prospect and provide the benefits of your services

· Two-step presentation – A two-step is usually used when you need to prepare a proposal or respond to an RFP (request for proposal). Step one – get info and provide potential solution.

Step two – deliver the proposal and get the approval.

· What’s New – Used as an opportunity to touch base with existing clients and to provide additional up-sell or cross-sell services. E.g.: update an appraisal, prepare a detailed inventory, identify hot items in their collection, etc.

· Keeping them informed – Showing your expertise, helping client to see why you are still of value to them. USPAP changes, Pension Protection Act, New formats, additional expertise, etc.

· I’m Sorry /fix-it calls – Occasionally we screw up. Getting in front of the client to fix it is an important part of the business.

Here’s what the data tells us about ‘fix it’ calls:

The average dissatisfied customer tells 8-10 others about the lousy service. 20% of these dissatisfied customers will tell 20 others. It takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident. Seven out of ten complaining customers will do business with you again, IF you resolve the complaint in their favor. If you resolve it on the spot, 95% will do business with you again. On average, a satisfied complainer will tell five others how the problem was satisfactorily resolved.

Obviously ‘fix it’ calls are incredibly important. Don’t miss the opportunity to fix a problem and keep a client for life.

Your ‘calls’ don’t need to be face-to-face. They can take the form of telephone calls, e-mails, direct mail pieces, newsletters, updates, seminars, tele-conferences, blogs and your website updates.

Selling by the Numbers

Selling is a numbers game. As a chemical engineer, I love the metrics of selling. An appraiser can easily forecast his or her annual income just by tracking the firm’s marketing efforts and sales calls. There is a formula that allows you to calculate your future income. Once you figure this out, you’ll be able to increase your income with a few simple techniques.

This chart is for your inbound and outbound telephone calls. It could as easily be applied to direct mail campaigns, e-mail messages, and face-to-face calls. Fill in the blanks and then calculate your average sales per telephone call.

Average number of outbound telephone calls per day? _________

Average inbound telephone calls per day? _________

Average percentage of daily telephone call closing? _________

Average gross receipts per day via phone initiated? ________

– Calculate gross income per call in or out

– Determine target for outbound calls

– Establish system to increase inbound calls

This exercise will allow you to identify your income for each incoming and outgoing call. Simply decide how many outbound calls you will make and how many inbound calls you can create via marketing and advertising.

Great Sales Come From “Knows”

To effectively sell you must know your style, your personality, your strengths, your shortcomings, and your perceived limitations. Here are few ‘knows’ that will help you sell more.

¨ Know Yourself

¨ Know Your Services

¨ Know Your Products

¨ Know Your Customer

¨ Know Your Competition

¨ Know Your Competitive Edge

¨ What other things do you need to ‘know’ before you implement your targeted sales program?

Although James Gamble may think that a salesperson is a genius, inventor Thomas Edison reminds us that: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Only with diligent, smart, directed effort can we become expert salespeople of appraisal services.

What Are the 5 Things You Need to Succeed in Affiliate Marketing?

Most people are content having a 9-5 job, but a good chunk of us are not. You’ll find that most advice and training online comes from people who are full time online marketers. So it seems like people are either happy with their jobs, or decided to go a different path and work for themselves.

What about the people that do have a 9-5 (or, in my case, a 10-6)? I’m finding out that it’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible. It just takes dedication and consistency. A few tools don’t hurt, either. We’ll get to those at the end.

What are the things required for Affiliate Marketing success? What does it take to do well in the industry?

The willingness to learn and to be trained. Trying to navigate through unfamiliar territory can be scary, lonely, and costly. If you’re not working with people who have been there, be prepared to do a bunch of research and experience a bunch of failures. Learning the tricks of the trade from people who have experienced success will also help you avoid many of their mistakes. This is why learning and training top my list, and top my priorities when it comes to investing in my online future.

The willingness to invest time and effort even if direct results aren’t obvious. Sometimes you’ll find that several weeks or months can go by without any apparent results. Most people fail because they give up before they let the results of their efforts come to the surface. It is crucial to keep at it – creating content and adding value – until the results begin to appear. Once the results begin, they can accelerate at an unbelievable pace.

The ability to set goals and stick to them. If you’re just starting out, I’m not talking about “Make $1500/mo” type goals. I’m talking about things that you have direct control over, like create 1 video and write 3 articles every week. If you can teach yourself to work every day, then you’ll find that working on your business becomes habit. Once it becomes a habit, the option to transition away from the 9-5 becomes just that – an option. Then the “Make $X per month/week/day” goals become a reality.

The quality of self-determination. If you want to succeed in affiliate marketing, you have to really want it. You need to have a “why.” Mine is to take my wife traveling to all the locations she can dream up. Having a nice, strong “why” will give you the ability to push ahead. This will motivate you to set your goals higher and higher.

Crazy amounts of optimism. Optimism and perspective almost made the top of this list, but I figured that they would be a good book-end for this article. The easiest way to kill your momentum is to have a negative attitude and spend too much time worrying about those that just don’t get it. You’re building content and spending time learning so you can have a better life and more freedom for you and your family. Keep a positive attitude, keep working, and you’ll make this happen.

A Copywriter’s Rant: The Fallacy Of A Marketing Budget (Don’t Get Sucked In)

I was talking to a prospective newsletter client recently. After we’d put in the proposal I got the following reply:

Client: “This would require a substantial shift in our marketing budget (which is skewed towards customer acquisition) but is definitely a consideration. I will raise it in our next meeting.”

I’ve taken some liberties to protect client details, but what really struck me was this idea of a marketing budget. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can set yourself up to make money at will.

In business I hate spending money that doesn’t come back with little friends. If I spend a dollar it had better come back and with more dollars in tow. Or if I am investing in customer acquisition then that dollar had better come back with a new customer and ideally some more dollars.

Here is my reply to the client

“Your answer does open up some business-philosophy discussion. Firstly the concept of a marketing budget. It automatically implies marketing is an expense and a necessary evil. Kind of like an accountant or a lawyer.

Customer acquisition marketing is about buying an asset, i.e. the customer that can be monetized. Kind of the way you buy a rental property. You fork out to buy the house so that you can rent it out for its life time.

Your customers work fairly similarly. You invest in marketing and you get a customer and then they buy repeatedly off of you for years. All well and good. So if you know your cost of customer acquisition (I.e. I spend $500 I get a customer who orders for the first time) then your cost of customer acquisition is $500. And for that $500 you get a steady stream of future orders over the next 3 years, you can project a return on investment.

We are talking about two types of marketing.

A newsletter is a way to get customers to stay longer, buy more from you, buy other products from you. (I call this customer retention and further monetization) So that customer that you just bought for $500 stays with you for say 5 years and they buy other products from you at a similar rate they buy the first.

And we are helping you add this ‘bonus’ return from the customer for the measly investment of $74 per customer per year.

This sounds like money for Jam to me. But… “Oh I have to stop I used up my budget… ”

I understand that cashflow may be prohibitive in the short term. But if you don’t make the investment it will be prohibitive in the long term too.

The thing about investing is, if you cut your losers and keep your winners you’ll only be invested in proven money making opportunities.

Marketing is not a cost, it is an investment – when done intelligently and tracked for its performance relative to its costs.

This is why the concept of a marketing budget rankles me. If you have proven systems for getting a customer at an affordable rate and a way to make money out of your customers once you have them, then you should be investing into them at a rate that you cashflow allows.”

Mark Twain once said “If something is really important, you’ll find a way to do it. If not you’ll find an excuse.”

Why Wholesale Marketing Is Best for a Manufacturing Business

Wholesale marketing is whenever a manufacturer of an item or product sells their merchandise to a business or individual who will then offer it to the regular buyer; perhaps even using the brand name of the manufacturing organization.

This kind of marketing features a number of benefits, particularly if you are planning on spending money in wholesale and liquidated goods to start your own business.

Let us go over a few of the advantages below:

Benefit #1: Expand Your Knowledge of the Market

As you become more and more familiar with the different ways to obtain your products, you will find yourself much closer to figuring out the ins and outs of the market of the specific product you are purchasing. Details like the circulation within the supply chain, manufacturers who have the cheapest prices, and the outer functions of numerous businesses are just a few of the things you will become aware of.

If you get your goods from several different manufacturers, or have left a bad provider for a much better one, you will be able to see exactly what the differences are between two manufacturers.

Benefit #2: Saves You Money

Wholesale marketing will involve purchasing products in bulk, directly from the maker, instead of dealing with a middle person. If you work with a third party, you will have to deal with a number of markup fees, though if you work directly with the manufacturer then the prices of the products will be your only concern.

In order to cover for their losses, the manufacturers will most likely require that you purchase the products in a large amount, however if you average the price of each unit then you will realize some good financial savings as compared to purchasing from a third party.

It is possible to recover the expenses by selling the products at a price higher than the average unit cost. You can generate a lot of profit if you do your market research to determine the best price ranges, based on the trends of the product, to sell for.

Benefit #3: Create a Network

Wholesaling will result in you getting in touch with many different manufacturers to find out if you will buy from them. It is possible to talk to the suppliers directly, however when you are starting out it is a good idea is that you become a member of a network of associates who currently have a proven wholesale directory. In order to get a good price from manufacturers, this network will be able to help you out until you are better established. This can help you with discount rates and special usage of products, in addition to a highly effective learning environment. Make sure that you will find out more about the practice of wholesaling and the items you are selling; networking is the key.

Benefit #4: Build Your Brand

Selling will often involve the products being rebranded using the wholesaler’s own brand. Remember that most products sold in large chain retailers, ranging from food to office items, are purchased from the manufacturer and sold under the store’s own name. By doing this, the store’s brand expands and becomes stronger.

Also, if the products are of top quality then essentially you are getting free advertising simply by having a good product with their own brand name. As a potential seller of wholesale and liquidated goods, you will be able to do this too if you would like to sell products yourself.

Prices between producers and wholesalers often include having the brand name under the wholesaler. From the buyer’s point of view, the manufacturer’s part will be completely unseen, making it seem as if you did all the work in creating the products.

Regardless of what you will be purchasing, you can imprint your brand on the item. With just a couple of good quality products, you will have the ability to create a strong brand name.

On the other hand, a manufacturer can simply focus on selling the items for a higher price or send it to a merchandiser to handle the sales for you.