February 4, 2014

3 Tricks to Removing Risk from Your Sales Pitch

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Meredith @ 12:43 pm

sales

Every day I get sales calls and emails. Most of them are asking me for money right off the bat and if I said yes to them all I’d be out of business. Whether you’re selling manufacturing services, web hosting, or even your product line wholesale the biggest worry your customer has is that dealing with you might lose her money. I’m not buying ad space on your blog because I might not get any sales and you still get the cash. I’m not buying your product to put in my store because my customers might not buy it from me and then I’m stuck with it. I’m not manufacturing a new product in your factory because it might not sell and I’m stuck with that inventory. That’s the kind of thought every customer has when you try to sell to him or her.

The good news is there are ways you can eliminate this worry from your sales pitch.  If you’re 100% certain your customer WILL benefit from your product or service, offer to prove it to them. Here are a few ways you can do it:

1. Money Back Guarantee
If you’re certain your product will sell in a store, make that promise to a potential wholesale customer. Next time you’re talking to a boutique owner you want to close, tell her you’re so sure your product will sell that if she’s not happy with the sales after 30 days you’ll send her a prepaid mailer to return any unsold merchandise and issue her a refund for those items.

This will help ease your customer’s mind because now she knows she can’t lose money working with you. You can try this approach with service based offerings too. If you can’t get people to buy ad space on your blog offer a money back guarantee on the ad space. If you are confident your advertisers will make money working with you, you shouldn’t have any problem with this and it will get you a lot more “yes”.

2. Partnership (We make money if you make money)
Selling something your customer pays for before she sees any benefits is difficult. Another way to circumvent this risk is by offering an arrangement where you only make money if your customer makes money. This is the model Square has adopted. This credit card processor provides its customers free hardware and comes with no service charges. The only fee Square charges is a percentage of sales. So if Square’s customers are selling products and benefiting from their service, Square gets paid. If the customers aren’t selling anything, Square gets nothing too.

You can use this approach for product-based businesses too. If there’s an online retailer you’d like to work with offer to drop ship products as their customers order. That way the online retailer doesn’t have to buy any inventory up front. If the products sell, you and the retailer make money. If the products don’t sell no one loses anything.

This is actually the model I use for my t-shirt printing service DropShipDTG. Since we print t-shirts for designers as orders come in, there’s no need for the designers we work with to spend any money up front. We only make money once they’ve made money.

3. Free Trial
A free trial is a great way to allow a customer to try before they buy. If you’re selling a service, offer that service for free for a week or two so the customer can decide if it is something worth paying for. If you’re selling a product you could consign the items to a retailer for a short period so they can make sure your product line sells before they spend money on it.

This business model is also starting to become trendy with web design/hosting businesses. You’ve probably seen commercials offering to build, host and market your business website for free. The idea is that these all-in-one service providers will do all the work and if you are happy with the finished product you pay them, if you’re not you don’t.

The biggest catch with removing risk from your sales pitch is that you have to be really confident that you’re selling a product that’s going to truly benefit your customers. If you’re just out for a quick cash grab and don’t care about the success or failure of your customers, not only will this approach fail, you probably won’t stay in business very long.

Have you come up with a clever way to remove risk for your sales pitch? Tell us about it in the comments below :)


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November 30, 2011

The Case Against Buying Store Lists and Media Lists

Filed under: PR,Wholesaling — Tags: , , , , — Meredith @ 10:53 am


I’ve noticed recently that a lot of fellow biz bloggers and biz coaches are selling press or store lists (or offering them as a value-add for premium products). I’m pretty much against buying/using pre-made store or press lists, and here’s why:

1. They might make me lazy
It’s tempting to use someone else’s list. Making a list of stores or media outlets to pitch is time consuming, so why not let someone else do the work? Because working from someone else’s list is like working with blinders on. I promise you, there are more stores and media outlets that are great for your company that are not on that list you just bought. If you’re relying on a pre-made list, you might not go hunting for them.

2. They don’t give me an edge over my competitors
If someone is selling a list of store or media contacts, you have to wonder who else bought the same list. Are those stores or editors being bombarded with pitches from your competitors? That’s going to make it tougher to get them to focus on you.

I love when I find a hidden gem of a contact and it pays out for me. I’m great at thinking of unconventional places to pitch my work that competitors might not be trying. As a result, I can stand out and probably get a better response. Some of my best media placements for Ex-Boyfriend haven’t been Good Housekeeping or Elle or Design Sponge, they’ve been outlets that focus on niches relevant to my products, like geek culture blogs or outlets with a focus on animal lovers. Other tee labels might all be fighting for a placement in the same dozen or so coveted outlets, but personally, I prefer to skip ‘em. I’d rather go where my competitors haven’t thought to look.

Case in point, earlier this fall my company was featured in a magazine about cheese. We saw quite a few orders stemming from the placement. The average clothing company might not think about working with an outlet about cheese. By working with a media outlet that isn’t the first one our competitors think of, we were able to score a win.

3. They probably aren’t perfect for me
Even if I take competitors out of the equation, if a friend who had a jewelry line or a handbag line offered to give me her press list or store list, I’d still say “no thanks”. Media lists and store lists have to be highly customized to be valuable. The press contacts and store lists that are good for another business are not necessarily useful for mine. Even if I could get lists another clothing company was using, it probably still wouldn’t have all the stores and media outlets I should be pitching.

There’s more to your products than being a shirt or a necklace or a bag. Our products have so many niches they could appeal to that it’s important to build our prospect lists with those niches in mind. Hopefully there aren’t a lot of businesses out there with your exact combination of product types and niches, which is why the best store or press list is going to be the one you created yourself.

Purchased Lists as a Jumping Point
The case can be made for using pre-made lists as a starting point. You could use them to get ideas for your own custom list and cross off the ones you don’t need. This can work okay if you understand that the list you’re getting isn’t “your” final list and you want to spend the time checking out each contact on the list to see if they’re a fit for you. It’s not my preferred approach, I’d rather spend the same hours just making my own list, researching my own niches.

If you do decide to start with someone else’s list, make sure you’re not taking their list as gospel. Be prepared to spend the time checking each contact to see if they are suited to your business and then spend the time adding your own contacts that aren’t on the list initially.


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August 26, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week

Filed under: Link Love — Tags: , , — Meredith @ 12:42 pm


Below are my favorite reads of the week from around the marketing and small business blogosphere:


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August 5, 2011

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Check out the links below, they’re the best business articles I read this week from other blogs:


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June 16, 2011

Secrets to Successfully Getting Your Products into Tons of Stores

Filed under: Wholesaling — Tags: , , — Meredith @ 5:12 am

Today I want to let you know about this amazing find I discovered from Justine Grey: The Wholesale Action Ecourse. This ecourse will teach you every single thing you need to know about selling your products wholesale. I know because I used this course myself, since my clothing company is about to start doing wholesale. We learned about a zillion useful things from the course that we’ll be using for our own wholesale efforts. This ecourse is like having your own personal coach guiding you through every step of the process! Justine’s ecourse is incredibly detailed and full of insider tips you can only get from first hand experience doing a lot of wholesale business.

Here’s what you’ll get from this ecourse:

  • Help defining your target audience
  • Tips to determine what makes your products unique in the marketplace
  • Must-have advice on how to avoid getting taken advantage of by wholesale customers
  • How to select the right products for wholesaling
  • How to price your wholesale line
  • Invaluable advice on developing your line sheet and wholesale terms
  • Advice on finding the right stores for your product line
  • How to sell your products to wholesale customers via phone, email and face to face
  • Nitty-gritty, actionable checklists and workbooks that will get your products into boutiques and larger retail stores

Here’s why you can’t afford to go without Wholesale Action:

  • Wholesaling leaves you with about a million opportunities to make mistakes that can cost you a fortune or even ruin your business! Wholesale Action tells you how to avoid those mistakes that you’re likely to make without the benefit of Justine’s experience.
  • Wholesale customers will throw you curve-ball questions. If you don’t have the answers ready, it could cost you sales. Wholesale Action prepares you for selling to even the pickiest and trickiest of wholesale clients.
  • Just picking up a few wholesale clients will easily more than pay for the cost of this course. Justine got over $8,000 in sales in just 4 months!

Wholesale action provides you with your path to success in an easily-digestible format that even the least business-savvy “dreamer” can handle and accomplish. You’ll finish the course with a well-organized and manageable step-by-step plan for getting your products into tons of stores in a short period of time.

If you’re ready to get started, head over to Wholesale Action now to sign up!


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September 24, 2010

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week

Filed under: Link Love — Tags: , , , — Meredith @ 12:16 pm


Every day I check out the 100s of subscriptions in my RSS feed about marketing, PR, advertising, branding, social media, and a host of other topics of interest to small businesses that sell online. Most of what gets posted isn’t earth shattering but I reserve Fridays for the best reads of the week. So here you have it, the most valuable things I read in the business blogosphere this week:

Turbo Charge Your Holiday Sales!
I am in the final stages of putting together my Holiday Advertising Co-op. The main co-op site will be IShopIndie.com but all members will be able to feature their items on loungeluxe.com and cutique.com as an added bonus. Both sites have been around for a few years and get lots of organic traffic every day from search engines and links. In addition, membership comes with 12 months of newsletter advertising (monthly newsletters reach 1000s of fans of indie shopping and handmade goods) and 12 months of promotion through Twitter and Facebook. And as always, real time stats on your click-throughs and access to update your listings in real time too!

If you are hoping to get in on this you’ll be in some amazing company, some of our members will be: Shanalogic, Cry Wolf Clothing, WishJewel, Xmittens, Piggy’s Little Shop, and Ex-Boyfriend. We have space for just a few more designers, so if you want in let me know today!


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September 10, 2010

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Every day I check out the 100s of subscriptions in my RSS feed about marketing, PR, advertising, branding, social media, and a host of other topics of interest to small businesses that sell online. Most of what gets posted isn’t earth shattering but I reserve Fridays for the best reads of the week. So here you have it, the most valuable things I read in the business blogosphere this week:


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May 28, 2010

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Every day I check out the 100s of subscriptions in my RSS feed about marketing, PR, advertising, branding, social media, and a host of other topics of interest to small businesses that sell online. Most of what gets posted isn’t earth shattering but I reserve Fridays for the best reads of the week. So here you have it, the most valuable things I read in the business blogosphere this week:

Note I was away on vacation last week so there will be a special “Link Love” post this weekend with extra reads. Stay tuned.


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May 14, 2010

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Every day I check out the 100s of subscriptions in my RSS feed about marketing, PR, advertising, branding, social media, and a host of other topics of interest to small businesses that sell online. Most of what gets posted isn’t earth shattering but I reserve Fridays for the best reads of the week. So here you have it, the most valuable things I read in the business blogosphere this week:


This content is copyrighted. See my content sharing policy here.

March 5, 2010

Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week


Every day I check out the 100s of subscriptions in my RSS feed about marketing, PR, advertising, branding, social media, and a host of other topics of interest to small businesses that sell online. Most of what gets posted isn’t earth shattering but I reserve Fridays for the best reads of the week. So here you have it, the most valuable things I read in the business blogosphere this week:

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