Thursday, September 13, 2007

Should You Wait for Your Prospects to Call You?

by : Tammy Stanley

Worried about being perceived as "a pushy salesperson," direct sales entrepreneurs often resist making prospecting calls and follow-up calls to their prospects or current customers. They often tell me that they just don't know what to say once they do pick up the phone and call prospects. It seems that they're looking for the perfect script that will serve as a magic cure all.

I find that a good script or properly preparing for your sales call is a very wise technique that can dramatically increase the success of your sales calls. However, it most likely is not the sales process that trips you up. The most difficult part is picking up that 100 pound phone!

One theory about sales calling is that it's dead or obsolete. What is meant by that is there are ways to implement savvy marketing in order to get your prospects calling you instead of you calling them.

Does anything sound better than that? Just think about that for a moment. Wouldn't your job be peach perfect, if all your prospects called you? The truth is, you probably would not have your current job, if it were that easy to get prospects to call; no business would need to hire sales professionals, if the prospects did the work!

Don't get me wrong, I believe in savvy marketing. Anything you can do to make the sales process better, more effective, and easier definitely gets my vote. However, reciprocity is part of any healthy relationship. And when it comes to developing a healthy customer/salesman relationship, calling your customers is one of the smartest marketing strategies you can use. So why would you really want to forgo it?

It never ceases to amaze me how often I hear about the frustration sales professionals experience after leaving a message or two and the potential prospect never calling back. When this happens, it is often assumed that the prospect is not interested. After years of being in the sales industry, one thing I have definitely learned is to stop waiting to call my prospects, and to stop hoping and waiting for my prospects to call me back. One of the best ways to explain this is to give you an example of me as a customer.

It just so happens that I love Longaberger products. If you have never heard of it, it is a direct sales company that has beautiful baskets and pottery. A while back I started collecting their pottery. I was so pleased with my first set of dishes that I wanted more almost immediately. In fact, for nine months I wanted to order another set of dinner plates. Now understand that I really did want those dinner plates. When we had guests come over, it bothered me that I only had a 6 place setting (that is probably a woman thing). Every week, I thought, "I really need another set of those plates."

I had the phone number of the sales person, but even though I really wanted those plates, week after week went by without me picking up the phone and ordering them. That may sound illogical. Just understand that I knew I would be parting with $100, once I made that call, so I continually resisted the process. The flip side of this is that I would have been thrilled to order, if the sales person had only called me. I had received several flyers in the mail from her, but never a follow-up phone call.

When I analyzed the situation, I realized that as a customer, I felt that the sales person needed to provide me with service, before I should open up my wallet and grant HER the commissions! Ultimately I did not want to do what I believed was her job to do. So keep in mind that it is your job to stay in touch with your current customers and it is your job to connect with potential customers.

It is not the job of the customer to find you. It is your job to find your customers. That is why you are being paid as a sales professional. Your customers know what your job is, and they know it is not their job! If you remember that, you will not fall into the trap of feeling rejected quite so readily.

One super star seller I know once told me that most people put themselves last on the list. They may want to order more of a product, but they will not take the time to call and order. Time after time, customers will end up saying that they have been meaning to call and order more, but just have not had the time to do it!

Have you ever gone to the store to buy a gallon of milk, but come home with $40 of food? When something is placed before us, we tend to see the desire or need for it. Then, it is a challenge to resist. Our potential customers gain a fuller sense of their desire or need for our product, when we place it before them.

Never expect your customers or prospects to do your job. Place expectations only on yourself. Place the expectation on yourself to follow through and keep trying until you connect!

Tips for Buying a Home After Bankruptcy

by : T.J Madigan

Experienced bankruptcy lately? You may wonder if you will still will be able to get a home loan. You may also be wondering if buying home after bankruptcy is a good idea for you.

While bankruptcy can make your mortgage loan approval difficult, it is still possible to get approved. In fact there have been more and more, bad credit loans coming out all the time.

They are called the Subprime lenders; they are focusing more on helping individuals with poor credit in buying home after bankruptcy.

This is happening mostly because bankruptcies are still on the rise and there is an increasing number of people with bad credit who are looking for home financing.

Just to give you a bit of an overview here are some very good reasons to consider after bankruptcy buying home:

Increase your credit rating. When you make your payments on a regular basis, you will be able to develop your credit rating. Once your pre-payment penalty is done, you should be able to refinance your credit loan for a much lesser interest rate.

After your bankruptcy has been for ended 2-3 years, you ought to have a much easier time qualifying for a lesser interest rate mortgage loan.

You will be able to own an asset. If you are just renting a home then you are absolutely throwing your monthly payments away. Why not just buy a home, over time, its value will increase and you are working you way towards owing an asset.

Once you have bought your house, as soon as 6 months or so later, you might be able to take out an equity loan on your home and consolidate any other debt that you might have since your bankruptcy or debt that could not be included in your bankruptcy.

Taxes and student loans will not be discharged in a bankruptcy. You may also want to use the extra cash to invest in a business venture or for needed home improvement.

It is very tempting to buy an new home, new car, do some renovations, etc., after bankruptcy discharge you have no debt left. You will probably feel like you can afford a larger house payment due to the financial experience that you have.

But it is not that easy so here are some factors to consider before committing yourself to a new house payment.

The Pre-payment penalty. This penalty is usually about 6 months worth of house payments. And usually lasts from 2-3years. Once you sign those mortgage papers you absolutely have to make those payments. If you don't have the amount of the pre-payment penalty in savings, you are locked into making the payments or losing the house.

The Two Year Mark. Keep in mind that after 2-3 years from the date of the bankruptcy discharge, mortgage loans will be much easier to get. With a small down payment, you might even be able to get a mortgage loan without a pre-payment penalty.

So, if you are within 6 months or so from the 2 year mark. It would be smart to wait it out and have more mortgage loan options.

Borrowing Too Much. This is the most common mistake that we usually get into. If you do decide to buy a house, buy one that you know you will be able to afford. Don't max yourself out on credit, living right up to the edge of your income.

If your income suddenly drops, you'll want to make sure that you can still afford your house payment. Be conservative with how much home you need to buy.

Most of us always think that bankruptcy is the end of our credit life. But don not despair because I know some people that have been in to bankruptcy but has been able to get up again and rebuild there credit quickly most of them has even been able to buy a new house.

Bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for 10 years. That means that every mortgage lender will certainly see that fact when evaluating your mortgage application.

Although it may be difficult to find a bank to give you a mortgage it's certainly not impossible. Banks want to make money and you may find one that's willing to take the risk.

How To Start An E-Commerce Business

by : Obinna Heche

The boom of the 1980s permitted legions of people to cash in on the mushrooming availability and popularity of the Internet but when the bubble burst, there were those who did not cash in but instead ended up owing the bank a small fortune. Those who profited were also those who were able to find a way of starting an ecommerce business without a bank loan. Granted, some might have dipped into their credit cards or homes equity, which is only marginally better but by and large they only invested that which they knew they could afford to lose.

At this point in time potential web entrepreneurs are a lot more hesitant to march to the bank and ask for a loan to fund their ecommerce business. They have learned from the mistakes of others and perhaps they are already so strapped in their personal finances that they know adding another monthly payment will send them over the abyss. Those who are able to not take out the loans in order to invest them in a shiny new ecommerce opportunity will also be those who will live to try another day. The others who may or may not succeed will require years some even decades to financially recover from a failure.

It is important to understand that you do not need to start an ecommerce business with a bank loan. Instead, there are alternative ways of funding your entrepreneurship and those methods might in the long run be safer. For example, you will need a great computer and the latest software to make your presence known on the Net. While it is tempting to buy the latest and greatest machine, find out if you can simply upgrade that which you already have.

Usually you will be able to do so for a fraction of the price that a new system costs. If a new computer system is indicated, wait until special sales events come up and take advantage of them. Refurbished units and used machines which are for sale on many of the major auction sites are also a good idea. Similarly, do not worry about having an office to start out. You spare bedroom will work just fine until the money begins to roll in. It is important that you do not spend money on items which will do little to further your business.

Thus, if you are making and selling e-books, an office is unnecessary. Advertising, packaging and other incidentals can all be tackled at a shoe string budget until your business grows to such an extent that you can get a bit fancier. While it is tempting to ask for money from the bank, remember that you will need to repay this money no matter what. Starting an ecommerce business without a bank loan makes more sense in the long run, since you will be able to finance the next phase of your business with the monies you earn from the current phase.