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February 21, 2002

Table of Contents

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff

Staff Article - What's Wrong With My Products?
Marketing Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  Late Night TV Gurus Reveal Their Secrets!
Guest Article 2 - 10 Steps To Success In Direct Marketing

Parting Comments

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Welcome

Thank you for subscribing to the Peak Small Business Newsletter! We take our obligation to provide you with useful information very seriously. As a result, we always welcome your input on articles or other information you would like to see presented here.

Beginning this week, we are merging the small business and home business newsletters. As a result, our coverage will be expanded to include more content. We are doing this since information contained in each newsletter has relevance to subscribers of the other.

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If you still prefer to receive the html version in your email inbox, let us know by emailing us at mailto:cary@peakconsultinginc.com with "html" in the subject line.

If you have suggestions for future content, or have issues that you would like to see specifically addressed, please send an email to let us know. Our staff articles are focused directly on issues raised by you, our readers. We want to give you what you want to see!
 


Quote of the Week

A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair
weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.

--Robert Frost


Administrative Stuff

We've opened a new section of our website for our program recommendations. We have more than 140 programs currently under evaluation and we will use this section to provide information on the programs that pass. We are also constructing a section on programs we do NOT recommend which should be ready within a few weeks. The program evaluations are located at:
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/program_recs.htm


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Staff Article

What's Wrong With My Products?

by: Cary Christian

If you're experiencing slow sales (or NO sales) as a result of your Internet marketing, you may be asking yourself the above question. Chances are very good that there is nothing wrong with your product or products. There are many things that can go wrong with Internet marketing that have absolutely nothing to do with your product.

But let's start at the beginning and take a look at your products anyway. It doesn't hurt to take stock of what you're selling periodically.

First off, ask yourself if there is a large enough market for your products. Do people really want these things? How can you know for sure?

Start with some very unscientific techniques that will give you some immediate feedback. Ask your family, friends and neighbors what they think of your products. Do your products enhance their lives in any way? Do they make it easier to perform difficult tasks? Do they provide good entertainment value? Get the opinions of those closest to you.
 
Next, take your quest to strangers. If you participate in online chats, forums and newsgroups, ask for feedback. Find out what these strangers think about your products in general.  Chances are they will be brutally honest.

You will not only learn about the desirability of your products by undertaking these tasks, you will find out what people's reservations are and learn how to deal with those reservations in your marketing.

Now ask yourself about your competition. How many companies or individuals are pitching the same or similar products on the Internet? If your market is too crowded, you need to find a niche within your market or a particular advantage to your products that you can exploit.

Go to the search engines and begin searching on the keywords you use, or would use, to market your products to see just how much competition you have. Look at their ads. How are they attempting to make their products stand out? Do their ads bring to mind any particular advantages you might have?

Assuming you pass these tests and it appears your products are in demand, there is a good market for them, and people are actively purchasing them on the Internet, you'll need to look elsewhere for the reasons you are experiencing poor sales.

In spite of what many people will tell you, it is very tough to sell anything on the Internet. The reason is really very simple: people do not believe anything you say until you earn their trust. Most people who have been online for any period of time at all have been lied to, scammed, purchased inferior products, encountered extremely poor customer service, and much more. They are going to be very wary of you based on these experiences.

So how do you combat this? Here's a list that should help.

1. Avoid ads filled with hype. Get rid of all the extraneous exclamation points. Don't make promises or claims that sound too good to be true and stretch your credibility to its limits.

2. Always identify yourself and give your potential customers a way to contact you. Use your real name. Use a real email address. DO NOT USE FREE THROW-AWAY EMAIL ADDRESSES. Your customers want to know they can find you if they have to. Make sure your website has your address and phone number on it.  Include them in your ads if space permits it. You can include this type of information in your signature file on all your emails.

3. Provide your credentials whenever possible. Especially on your website. Let people know you know your business.  Establish yourself as an expert in your field. Write articles on your products and get them published. Include them on your website. (See number 5).

4. Add testimonials to your website if you have them. If you don't, get some.

5. Add content to your website that illustrates your understanding of your products. Articles that help people use your products more effectively or convey innovative ways to use them shows that you value your customers and are willing to go that extra mile to provide assistance.

6. When you receive inquiries from potential customers, bend over backwards to impress them with your response. Respond quickly, courteously, professionally and completely.

7. Have very generous return and refund policies. Studies have shown that the longer the return period you allow the lower your actual returns will be, so be very generous. Make people feel like there is no risk in purchasing from you.

8. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, when your prospects do buy from you, give them the ultimate in customer service. A happy customer is your most valuable asset and could be worth a small fortune if you make them a lifetime customer.

Just remember that it doesn't matter how good your products are or how much people want them. If you can't make your potential customers trust you, they'll purchase elsewhere.

Copyright (c) 2002


Marketing Tip of the Week

Always focus your marketing efforts on your prospects and never on your company. Learn everything there is to know about your specific target market and market to their needs. In order for you to grab their attention, you have to address their problems and show them how you can solve them. In order to do this you have to know the specific benefits your products provide and how they make your customers' lives easier. Proper focus will increase your ability to sell.
 


Guest Article

Late Night T.V. Gurus Reveal Their Secrets!
by: Anthony Stillwell

If you've ever stayed up late and watched TV then I'm sure you have seen the "Late Night Infomercial Gurus" selling the "secrets" to getting unbelievably rich. No matter what you think about what these guys are offering... What they DO flat out works!

Here's what I mean...

You have to understand that the $39.95 money-making packages make the creators of these packages NO MONEY. They are created for ONE reason and that's to get you to raise your hand and identify yourself as a prospect who's willing to spend money.

Once you buy this initial "money-making" package you'll get a few follow-up calls with special offers to buy products that do make it's creator some money. You sometimes even get a pitch to buy a higher priced product while you're ordering their lead-generator.

Here's how you can apply the formula yourself...

========
Step 1 - Create A Lead-Generator
========

The mistake most people make when they want to make money is to go for the BIG sale up-front. While this does work you miss out on the "little" sales along the way. You need a lead-generator.

If you're not sure what to use as a lead-generator a simple report works or a short ebook works just fine. In a previous article titled... "An Easy Way To Get Free Advertising" I reveal a simple way to get a lead-generator without creating it from scratch. You can get this article at my site below.

One lead-generator I use is an ebook "7 Secrets To Unlimited Traffic". It sends people to my site to buy my low-cost front end product and puts me in a position to sell higher priced products to the people who have already identified themselves as interested in a certain area.

The ebook brings people in for free and gives them information on getting traffic which directly ties into the free advertising course I sell. You don't always have to sell the product you're using to generate leads with. Just use it to get people to respond to your low-cost offer.

Another way to create your lead-generator would be to compile a list of resources that would be useful to your target market.  Let's say you're selling (through an affiliate program) a product on "Creating 'Hot' Information Products". Well creating products requires you to do some research.

You could compile a list of places to do online research and show people how to use these research sites to create resource guides that can be sold or used to generate leads. You could call your report... "Create Money Out Of Thin Air... Deliver What People Want To Buy In 7 Days Or Less!".

Collect email addresses in exchange for your report and then follow the next step...

========
Step 2 - Follow-up with products related to your lead-generator
========

1) Your Free or low-cost lead-generator. You want people to "stand up" and identify themselves as being interested in a certain area. Capture their email address with permission.

2) Once you've gotten prospects to identify themselves as a potential customer you want to keep in contact with these people to offer related products and services.

Two-Steps... That's It.

The Late Night TV Gurus don't always create the products they recommend you buy after you buy their initial low-cost product.  Usually they work out deals with people who have already created  products just like you can with affiliate programs.

They just generate leads and follow-up with those leads to offer  related products and services.

The point I'm trying to get across is to not only do what the successful marketers say, but also do what they do. Always keep yourself open to new ideas and try to see the bigger picture. I used late night TV as an example of what's successfully being done, but if you look closely many of the people that are making money online use the two steps I just gave you above and nothing more.

1) Generate Leads
2) Follow-up with products related to your lead-generator

And repeat...

Something else interesting also happens once you get into the TV  guru's income stream. You'll not only get other offers from them, but you'll also get offers from other marketers because your name and address has been added to an "Opportunity Seeker" list and sold.

If you read an earlier article I wrote titled... "It's Free and It Can Help You Make Money" you will see why this is a GOOD thing. No I'm not suggesting that you sell the leads you generate. You're going to build your list with the lead-generator you create so that you can Joint Venture with people who create products you want to sell to your list.

The money is in the list.

If you have "The List" you can work out special offers for your list and even get the people who create the products you want to offer to give YOUR list "extras" for buying products through YOU. It all starts with generating leads.

I had a customer of mine complaining that the leads she was generating were NOT buying her product. I told her that it didn't matter if those people bought HER product or not because they WILL buy something. That's what affiliate programs are for.  Generate the leads first and "worry" about what to sell them later. If nothing else you can always ASK what types of products and services they want.

Then you would either create this product or find someone who has already done the work for you and strike up a deal to sell their product to your list.

Be willing to look anywhere and everywhere for ideas and strategies that are working. It costs money to advertise on television so the fact that you see the same pitches over and over again for the same "money-making" products means that someone somewhere is making money.

Your next "breakthrough" idea may come from the most unlikely places. Keep your eyes open.

Always ask yourself "WHY does that work?" when you see someone  doing something successfully. To be honest I've bought a lot of what you see on late-night television and some of the products are a complete waste of time and money.

But, even the people selling terrible products still consistently make money with the simple two-step formula above so if you're actually offering a product that's worth something then just imagine what you could do.

-------------------
Anthony Stillwell is the author of "Unlimited Free Traffic" and publisher of the EnterNet P R O F I T S newsletter where you'll get the hottest tips and the coolest resources to give you the advantage. http://www.getfreeadvertising.com
 


Guest Article 2

10 STEPS TO SUCCESS IN DIRECT MARKETING

By Shelley Lowery

If you're looking for a lucrative homebased business, direct marketing may be just what you've been looking for; Offering you the possibilities of making your dreams come true.

WHAT IS DIRECT MARKETING?

Direct marketing is offering a product or service directly to the consumer via mail order, Internet sales, personal sales, etc., with no middleman involved. Many direct marketing companies are now being operated right out of the home.  Home based business is the waive of the future and can offer you a wonderful opportunity to actually be able to compete with the large, well established companies with
large bank accounts. That's what is so wonderful about the Internet. You don't have to have a large bank account to succeed. You just have to have a little "know how."

* 10 Steps to insure your success

1. SET YOUR GOALS
What do you want to accomplish? Do you want a new home?  Do you want to save for your children's college education? A new car? You can have whatever you want, but you must want it enough to do the things that have to be done in order to get it. Set your goals, write them down and set a target date for reaching them. Set short term reachable goals and long term higher goals, yet don't set them too high. This will cause you to become discouraged if you don't achieve them.  Work consistently towards accomplishing your goals each
day, each week and each month until you reach your short term goals. When you have attained your short term goals, set them a little higher each time. Ultimately you will achieve your long term goals. Goal-setting is a must in every area of life.

2. BE SELF DISCIPLINED
Get up early each day. Get ready for your job as if you were working outside your home. Have a list of all the things you want to accomplish during the day. This will give you an organized approach to each day. It's amazing how much you can get done using a "To Do" list.

3. BE SELF MOTIVATED
Set up a schedule and stick to it. Be Enthusiastic.  Enthusiasm generates its own energy. Energy and good health are synonymous with motivated, happy people.  Achievers.

4. BE ENTHUSIASTIC
Positive thinking will literally be your key to success. You have to convince yourself that you can succeed at whatever you desire, because you can.

5. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BECOME DISCOURAGED
Remember... The more "NO's" you get, the closer to a "YES" you become.

6. SCHEDULE YOUR TIME WISELY
A schedule is your roadmap to success. If you have no direction, you'll travel in circles and ultimately never reach your goals. Plan your work then work your plan.

7. HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Success is 90 percent attitude and 10 percent aptitude. Learn the art of positive thinking. You can do whatever you put your mind to. It's mind over matter. Your attitude will either guarantee your success or guarantee your failure. You're only a failure if you give up.  

8. SET UP AN OFFICE AREA
Most direct marketers work from their own homes, but it is still essential to set up a specified work area. Take pride in your business to insure your success.

9. HANDLE YOUR MONEY WISELY
Set up a written budget. Set aside a percentage of your business income to put back into your business. This is a must. Failure to reinvest your money will result in the failure of your business.

10. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Get plenty of sleep, eat right and take some time to stop and smell the roses... Be Persistent... Persistence Pays Off... Don't Give Up... Most Businesses fail Just At The Moment They Are About To Succeed...

Sales is one of the highest paid of all professions.
"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish
and he'll eat for a lifetime."

-----------------------------
About the Author

Shelley Lowery is the Webmaster of Web-Source.net - A complete resource portal for the Internet entrepreneur.  The site assists the entrepreneur in developing a serious Web presence by providing a wealth of free information, resources, tools and content.
http://www.web-source.net
 


Parting Comments

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