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Making Money from the Inside Out

It is a well-understood axiom of the business world that there are two ways to improve the bottom line of the business.  Stated simply, those two ways are to make money or to cut costs.  Now, no business can cost cut their way to profitability.  But by the same token, waste and excessive internal costs for any business can eat away any profits that business is enjoying.  So to get ahead in a competitive business environment, both methods must be employed.

When a business turns its eye to cost cutting, there is a stated or unstated business objective that the business owners will discover significant bleeding of revenues that are going on within the systems of doing business.  So if those systems can be improved to eliminate that waste, the business would literally make money from the inside out because the overhead of the business would drop so dramatically.

The usual progress of such a cost saving campaign by a business is to find “the low hanging fruit” first.  By that we mean that in order to satisfy the demands of management, middle management will identify superficial savings in hopes of satisfying the requirement.  Hence switching from disposable cups to mugs or cutting back on break room amenities often go on the chopping block first.

Sadly, while there may be some superficial savings to be found in such places, the significant introduction of efficiencies for any business lie at a deeper level and take a more in-depth process of locating problems with how things get done internally.  The methodology of finding these “money pits” within a business is often called “Process Improvement.”  The concept of process improvement is to diagram a particular business process from inception to completion and document the stages it goes through, the handing over of authority for the process and to pin point places where inefficient methods are causing excessive cost in executing that process en route to the final stage of process completion.

Routinely, the areas of business structure that most often identified as being candidates for a process improvement examination are…

*         Excessive overhead between departments.  Departments within a business are notorious for taking on the atmosphere of a fiefdom and becoming resistant if not suspicious of other departments in the same company.  When that happens, department managers will introduce paperwork and unnecessary processing to cause “work” to move to his or her department from another or for completed jobs to continue along their path.  This excessive overhead can be costly at the department level and bog down the business as a unit enough to actually reduce the profitability of the organization.

*         Communication problems.  A business process moves through the organization as each department or entity adds value to the process through to the completion of the job.  However if communications between departments or people along the process chain are flawed, a process can grind to a halt and wait for hours if not days before the missed communication is discovered and the work is put into the cycle to be completed.  This slow down or break down in communications can be a tremendous drain on the company.  To correct the problem, modern tools of communication should be reviewed so each significant person along the chain is quickly made aware of work that needs to be done and can signal to the next agent that their step is complete and that the process is moving to the next stage. 

*         An inefficient IT infrastructure. Out of date computer programs that are not integrated with each other cause needless work to be done to take data from one system and moving it into the next computer program only to be entered again at the next stop along the chain.  Standardization and integration of data and systems will introduce huge efficiencies to the process.

By streamlining the process of moving a business requirement from inception to conclusion, we can remove much of the inefficiency and waste that has become inherent to that process.  We can introduce up to date integration designs both at the IT and process level to quickly move the process from one department to the next upon completion.   The outcome is a streamlined organization that is no longer “bleeding money” due to inefficiencies and as such is making money “from the inside out”.

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Many Ways to Help Sell to a Man or Woman

Different approaches should be taken when selling products or services to a man compared to a woman.

Its been said, men are from mars and women from Venus. They both think very differently and hence, their thinking should be influenced by different methods.

For example, when a man decides to buy a car using his credit, he looks out for the latest model, speed, mileage, etc. But when a woman goes out to buy a car, she will choose a car depending on the color. She would like it to match either with her work dress or accessories and will be concerned whether there is enough space to store her necessities. Because their psychologies differ so much, they should be convinced to buy a product using different methods.

Presentation is also very important. The salesperson talking to a male client doesn’t have to concentrate much on looks and cleanliness. It is okay if he doesn’t have the required documents on hand and his sleeves are folded up. But when the same salesperson is referring to a female client, he should be spotless from head to toe. He should comb his hair properly, have manicured nails and even his shoes should be well-polished. The salesperson should be prepared with all the necessary documents before hand and shouldn’t go rushing in front of the customer. Women seek perfectionism.     

Words should be spoken with extra care in front of a woman customer. Women are better listeners and they will analyze each spoken word. A lot of emotion should be involved in the talking because women are drawn to emotions immediately. Like when selling clothes to a lady, tell her how you will feel bad for her if she has to sweat badly in the summer due to her nature of job. Pick a nice cotton dress for her and ask her to try it. The customer will be highly touched and will take less time to buy the product. Seventy five percent of the job is done if she is won emotionally.

The next important point is to never stop talking in front of the female customer. The moment the salesperson stops talking, she will start thinking deeply about the product and will start examining every detail of the product and will give a second thought to the product. Women have the capability of multi-tasking. They will be able to listen as well as read the manual at the same time. So keep her involved into many things at a time. A man lacks the talent of multi-tasking. If a male client gets involved with something else, stop speaking immediately because he will be unable to concentrate on both the things and it will lead him into a state of confusion.

Another point to be taken care of is, it’s not a good idea to have a woman salesperson when a male client is to be handled. Women talk a lot and men are bad listeners. The woman salesperson will go on and on about the product and the man will just nod his head without getting any meaning out of it. They will not be able to express properly whether they are getting the point or not. But on the other hand, a woman client can easily express how much she has followed. Even if they don’t speak it out, her facial expressions will tell it all. So when a salesperson is dealing with a female customer, he or she should watch out for the client’s expressions. If she shows any state of confusion or dislike, try taking a different approach.

Male clients can be made to understand about the product by simply drawing the outlook of the product using a simple pen and paper. Men have a good capability of visualizing the three dimensional images of the product which is being referred to. But women are not so good at that. To present a clear picture, the sample or the actual product should be shown to her.

Complimenting a male customer is a very good idea. He will be over whelmed and will take it in a good sense. But a woman is a careful listener, so any compliment should be given with extra care. Any fake compliment will be immediately detected.

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Help Website Customers With Promotional Marketing

It is impossible to do that. But using some promotional strategies, the mind of the consumer can be tamed by influencing their decision making power. They can be presented with material, which can be motivating and persuading. There is no magic involved in this; only the psychology of the human mind is to be studied and played with. The human mind reacts to different situations in different ways. Some key psychological aspects can be studied in promotional marketing to get an overwhelming customer response.

Curiosity is the want to explore the unknown. Humans are always in pursuit of knowledge. They want to know more than what others know. Secrets are simply a hard thing to be kept. This desire can act as an attractive force in marketing. A customer won’t be that interested if they are told that they can be provided with successful diets. Instead they want to hear the secret of the diet plan which is being provided.

The information shouldn’t be let out too easily. Obviously, it is important to catch the attention of the customer by using an interesting heading. The content should be as interesting so as to retain the interest of the reader till the end. In case of cross-titles or sub-titles, the initial ones will always have the advantage of developing more curiosity than the following sub-titles.

If the content speaks about why the customer should select so and so company or product, it will be easier for them to relate to it. Let the matter speak out and give the explanation by itself. Like supposing a company wants to sell some product before the expiry date and it’s the slowest time of the season, plain advertising won’t do the trick. Customers are smart enough to think that the company wants to get rid of the old stuff. Instead if the customers are provided with a discount or a limited time offer, a believable reason, they will be more attracted. Every action should have a solid reason.

Customers are greedy from a marketing point of view. By understanding the need of the customer, a basis can be prepared for the content. Their greed should be taken into consideration while preparing the content. They should be shown how the product or company would benefit them. They want to buy benefits in the form of products. Suppose when advertising for a camcorder, say that it displays all the colors that can be seen with naked eye, instead of saying it supports 16-bit color.

Just specifying that the memory card have a memory of 2 GB isn’t catchy. Instead it should be quoted that the memory card can store over 500 pictures, 100 audio songs and 50 videos. This surely will increase the customer enthusiasm. The benefits should be clearly mentioned to the customer and later other information about the product can be discussed, if they are looking for more. This is called listing the product features. Features reveal what the product has and benefits describe the advantages that can be derived from those features. Each feature can have more than one benefit, depending on different situations and customer needs. Lots of benefits and fewer features should always be the way to go.

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Many Great Methods to Succeessful Sales

The whole idea of the marketing and sales is to play with the psychology of the consumers. In any campaign, efforts should be made to influence the decision making of the customer in favor of the company.

There are many methods to manipulate the mind of the consumers, which can be utilized by not only ordinary sales person, but can be used by larger firms. Although they are used unknowingly, there is no set list.

Mutual exchanging is the first powerful method. The company can start out by giving something for free to the customer. He will take it for the first time, but the next time he will feel obliged and will try to return the favor. Offering the product for free initially can do this. And if the customer is satisfied with the product, he will buy it for himself from next time. Some salespersons get confused with this principle.  For example, it is ineffective and wrong according to this principle, to quote ‘Spend over $25 and get a free t-shirt’. The offer is not free; the customer has to spend something to get the free product. The product being given should be totally free without any condition having to be fulfilled. For example, the line ‘Get the latest lipstick shade absolutely free’ will do the trick. If the shade is really good, they will buy it the next time and might even think of buying other shades of lipstick.

The next method is to present something as of high value, but the company should incur only small or no amount in producing it, like information. It can tempt the customer by saying that the information provided to them is a big time secret and is not known to anyone at all. But some mess it up, by saying that they are providing very valuable information, but it turns out to be another advertisement.

Another example is giving out free sample to the targeted customers. Again the mistake made here is that companies distribute samples of poor quality or rejected products. This certainly lowers the customers standards towards the product and they will assume that this is a reflection of the product and will not want to buy it.

Use words, which initiate immediate action, like ‘Limited time offer’, ‘Offer ending soon’, and ‘Offer till stocks lasts’ are really motivating. The customer gets the impression that the offer will end really soon as the products are limited edition and he should go out and buy it at the very first chance. This works well specially with customers who have an interest in collecting antiques, collectibles and anything which are not easily available.

Talking the customer into making a commitment is another good method to increase sales. The goal is to make the customer to take small steps toward the goal, without realizing it. Like when the customer requests some information, provide them with the relevant information for free and make them fill a form and take contact information from them. This is like committing to get offers and information about products in future. Do not advertise in this step. In the next step, advertisements about products and services can be sent to the customer to the address provided by them. Conducting surveys is another example.

Lottery is another good method. When a person buys a lottery ticket, he fills out his address on the ticket. This information can be used to contact the customer in future. In the above practices it’s very vital to not to advertise in the first step. Only after getting the customer contact information, should promotional mail be mailed to him. Long advertisements that are featured in the newspaper are a small twist to this method. If the customer invests time to read the whole advertisement, he has committed and will surely respond to the ad.  

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Relationship Marketing Will Increase Customer Ranking

Relationship Marketing is targeted at building stronger and longer lasting relationships with clients and other companies

Relationship Marketing is done with a strategic orientation, where the relationship is improved with existing customers rather than finding new customers. It is meant to cater to the needs of individual customers. Its major part involves studying the need of the customer and how it changes in different circumstances.

Relationship marketing applies techniques like marketing, sales, customer care and communication. The relationship is not only enhanced, but its life period is increased by these strategies. And as the customer realizes the value of this relationship, they are drawn closer. This type of marketing not only focuses on building relationships and attracting customers to their products and services, but also how to retain them.

A raw form of Marketing came into existence in the 1960s. But, organizations were still facing difficulty in selling products, so a system was developed to sell low cost goods to larger group of customers. Leonard Berry and Jag Sheth originated this marketing system in 1982. It was started in B2B markets and industries, which involved long term contracts for many years.  Over a period of time, various marketing strategies were improved and relationship marketing was one of them.

Relationship marketing is applicable where the customers have many options in the market for the same product or service and the customer is entitled to make a selective decision. In such a market, businesses try to maintain their clients by providing comparatively better products and good service and hence, achieving customer loyalty. And once it is achieved, it becomes difficult for competitors to do well in the market. The customer turnover wasn’t paid as much attention to, as the customer satisfaction was. This kind of marketing was initially named as defensive marketing. Offensive marketing is the marketing strategy where not only new customers are attracted, but also the sales are stepped up by increasing the purchase frequency. This kind of marketing concentrates on freeing dissatisfied customers and acquiring new customers.

According to a research, the cost of retaining an old customer is only ten percent of the cost of getting a new customer, which makes sense not to run around to get new customers in relationship marketing. And according to another research done by cross-sectional analysis, says that, a five percent improvement in customer retention is responsible for twenty-five to eighty-five percent of the profit. Usually high cost is incurred when getting new customers, so if a sufficient number of existing customers is retained, there will be no need of acquiring new customers.

Once the customer trust is gained, their chances of switching to another company becomes relatively less. He buys goods in bulk, he buys other supplementary goods and he starts neglecting average price variation. This maintains the unit sales volume and there is an increase in dollar-sales volume. The existing customers will be like a living advertisement. If they are satisfied with the company, they will recommend it to their friends and acquaintances.

Since the existing customers are familiar with the process, it will take less time and money to educate them about the procedures, putting fewer burdens on employees and also making them feel more satisfied with their jobs. The customers are divided into groups based on their loyalty. This procedure is known as the relationship ladder of customer loyalty. These groups in ascending order are prospects, customer, client, supporter, advocate and partner.

Due to the advancement in computers and the Internet, software has been developed to facilitate customer relationship management. With the help of this software, the tastes, activities, preferences, and complaints of customers are tracked. Almost all the companies have this software in their marketing strategy, which benefits the customer as well as the company.

Thus the main aim of relationship marketing is to construct and maintain relationship with committed clients who are meant to bring profit to the company. The other benefits achieved are confidence building and social benefits.

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