Archive for the ‘Return on Customer’ Tag

Top Five Reasons to Outsource…Domestic

There’s talk of how outsourcing would make sense. It’s not huge, but it’s out there and it’s gaining a bit of steam.

So what would the top five reasons to outsource domestic be? The same as doing it offshore, it’s just that now you can afford it.

Here’s a short list as to what the benefits are to using an on shore solution.

BPO

BPOs are big honkin call centers meant for the big boys

1. Lower cost for operations – Face it, hiring an employee will cost you thousands even if they are minimum wage. The load pushes it up even higher and that just doesn’t cut it for 8 hours. Especially if you need the coverage for more than that. Having someone sit around that is only 8 hours and not necessarily producing that whole time is just not justified.

2. Able to focus on core functions – Virtual Assistants are great for one person operations, virtual reception, Live Chat and email interactions are great for small businesses that want to continue to focus on doing what they do best. (Doctors, Lawyers, Service providers, I even know a guy that uses outsourcing to sell his cigarette alternatives) Think about this if you’re tied to your phones right now, this is a way to get away from them and not be tied to our business, but it can be tied to you. You deal with the intel at your discretion, not the prospect or suspect.

3. Freeing up internal resources – Instead of having the receptionist tied to a desk and hiring another office person, why not have a virtual receptionist take care of the appointment setting and other non-core functions of the office (things that can be handled outside the immediate office) while the receptionist focuses on customer care, and assisting with other office functions. (Filing, follow up, proactive response rather than reactive)

4. Some companies can realize the benefit of re-engineering their processes while having a service like this in place; Even the little guys need breathing space to really see what’s going on. So, why not have an outsourcing company do some of the work for you, when the time comes to take that particular process back there will be other processes still needing to be covered.

5. Convenience – Do you really like having to answer your phone 24/7? Do you like missing your chat and missing a sale? Is it worth the lack of customer service when you’re sick that no one ever gets to them and interacts with them live? Why would you sacrifice that? I know a lot of people that have already told me that their customers know sometimes if the phone isn’t answered they’re busy…really? You will settle for that when there are opportunities to have someone else that you teach how to answer for you, how to work as if your actual employee, and can give that personalized service that normally only you can provide? You will settle for that?

If you have, you’ve given up your life for a business that owns you. Reminder: The American Dream isn’t to be owned by your business, (or anyone or anything else for that matter) but to own a business and succeed it. Find an onshore solution that can help you with some of your processes and get them off your shoulders. There are more benefits to doing this than I’ve outlined, but these five should get you thinking about doing something different, or we live out the definition of our friend Albert Einstein when he spoke on the subject of insanity.

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PP what?

So I have been having a conversation with a new friend on facebook that related to how PPC and online marketing works. With how fast everything is moving and how much innovators are getting ahead, there are a lot that are being left behind.

He chooses attraction marketing for his online business and I have to admit it has its merits to a certain degree. I have had that conversation with a few marketers. The conventional ones like the new stuff and want to figure out the latest and greatest. Seemingly though the rest of the world is slowly catching up and certain “outdated” methods are just now beginning to take effect. (it boggles me that it takes so long for many to realize and accept what marketing is bringing to the table and then to respond to it taking even longer…oh well, human kind)

Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:

Media buying in the “Google” realm can be a bit daunting to some. I am certified with my company in PPC, and it works well provided you take the time to learn the intricacies of it and then use it creatively. It’s truly the only way you can get ahead, and if you do it right, it can turn out a real profit.

SEM / SEO is a different beast even though they are keyword driven as well. They can prove to do some real justice to a business owners bottom line, but can get really pricey. Together they work hand in hand to create relevancy and freshness in Google’s realm and it can really help drive traffic…again, IF you take the time to learn it right.

There are some good tricks that you can use that the attraction and affiliate marketers use to get into the right spots on the content networks that have proven on more than one occasion that Google is still the way to go.(this is a given by most that Google is the only way to go, heck they created this whole PPC thing right?)

Attraction marketing is the “long funnel” marketing model that can be really effective when done with diligence and persistence. As you have found, it can be a great help in generating the kind of traffic you may be looking for. As for the honesty of pics, be assured you will run into a few that are not so open about who they really are, even business owners sometimes are a bit shy to let out their identities on facebook, linkedIn, etc.

Don’t want to get into a long drawn out blah blah about online marketing, but this is where everything has headed, and will continue to head until someone comes up with something else.

What do you think?

The three “R”s…

Recently Cory Treffiletti, president and managing partner for Catalyst SF, wrote a quick article on the three “R”s of marketing, and got things back to basics.

To go over them real quick they are; recency, resonance and relevance.

Recency is the amount of time that passed since the last time your particular target market saw or heard from you. Resonance is how you rang in their ear…did you make an impressino? Did you get their attention?

And then relevance…were you what they were looking for? If not at that time, now? Do you still have relevance in their mind?

A lot of times we think everyone should have what we’ve got to offer, and forget that a return on customer is a constant changing or adapting to what your customer or client needs at that time.

I was asked once what my definition of Quality was, after a bit of thought, I answered, “The best possible product or service given to the customer at that moment in time.” It could have been by most terms described as a cowardly answer as it seems to take no solid stance or no real posture to relevancy. I beg to differ though, if you have a mind set to adapt to what your customer wants when they want it, your competitor however strong a brand they may be, may lose that customer or client to you simply because you resonated in their ears a lot more than the familiar brand they are used to and with a product or service that is the one niche they are loking for, Can this be a curse too? yes, let’s be honest you have to have something that everyone will associate you with as far as a brand they can recognize or identify with.

An advantage to being that type of “quality” though, is the ability to adapt to your suctomers needs through constant metrics and testing to see what your market is looking for and giving it to them at that moment in time, There are some Business Intelligence tools that can help with that, and then sometimes it will take a bit more of just watching and listening to the marketplace to see what everyone wants or needs. Get in front of them and make your offering.

All in all though making sure your three “R”s are in order and continual, your business stands to profit the most when everyone knows you have what they want. Driving behavior is the key. If you can effect mass re-programming, you stand to profit well!

Find yours and Keep it Rolling!

Consumers are in control…you just figured this out when?

Just read in Yahoo Business News today that Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers, not capitalists, not republicans, not democrats, not international business, not anything other than “CONSUMERS” are in control of things. Right here, right now, we are standing in the midst of a transference of wealth. What shall we do to make it effective so we, the “market consumers” can benefit?

Many will see an opportunity and will find a need and fill it. The economy is about to return to a service base rather than a product or “latest advanced toy” basis. We have become so comfortable with ourselves, that our innovative nature took a back seat to comfort creature mentality and has set us back about ten years.

Here’s the point; if Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers are in control and many of the “big boys” are the ones that are the most affected, we have a chance to say, “Ok. No more crap. Let’s get this country back on the road by making sure you’re producing things that are smart. Not just the latest toy, but the latest innovations that prove we can produce just as well just as inexpensively, and let’s make sure we support the ones that do.”

Enough of being led like blind sheep as consumers we have a choice in where the money flows, let’s make wiser choices and effect the right change.

Here’s an example; Hyundai came to this country with a product that was cheap and built pretty cheaply by my standards. They banked…quite well. They turned around and took that and now produce a luxury vehicle that rivals our old friends BMW and Mercedes, and are competing. We as consumers told the other two that rest on their reputations and history, it no longer matters about your name, I want a car I can enjoy and I’m not paying huge bucks for it. I mean really, $400 for a brake job? and only the fronts? Sorry, I’ll go with a well developed smart car that gets major mileage and is light on my wallet.

Since the consumer market is holding a lot of its discretionary income close to home, businesses have to find new ways to market to us to get us to come spend. Else not we will continue to watch the downward spiral of the economy til well into the next decade.

We have Wall Street’s attention, I say we keep it and make something of it by showing them through our voice…our wallets…that we will only support those that will support us wuth better services and products. Now is the time, make it count.

Where’s the money flowing…

Seth Godin makes a real interesting point on his latest blog; where the money is there you’ll find the people working.

Interesting to me that it starts as an end still and then the means justifies it. (almost sounds like the torture debate going on right now)

Here’s a tag to Mr. Godin’s point; if there is money to be made you can well believe that someone is going to be searching for it.

He wrote that things change around once there’s money to be made in any particluar field. He related it to writers becoming publishers which is the reverse of what was. (When the Writer Becomes the Publisher / Seth Godin – 05/2009)

It would seem pretty logical that once the public wants something, they are willing to pay for it, so what is it that you have that they are willing to pay for? What message can you get across to them to tell them what you have is what they need? Many times I see “the best blah blah” or “Number 1 blah blah in the state” C’mon, do you really think that is going to attract attention? If it does, I’d be pretty surprised. Nowadays it’s just not enough. Mr. Godin back in 2003 made refernece to being remarkable(the purple cow). If you have a pizz,a shop fine, so does almost every other coner strip mall, what makes yours so different?

Here in Las Vegas, NV , a local pizza chain by the name of Metro pizza decided to become the “purple cow” of the valley by holding pizza making classes. Their pizza is great, but now they are the teachers of pizza making, and it’s doing very well. People are paying for classes and more are hearing by word of mouth how great their pizzas are. Do you think they can charge a bit more because of that?

Here’s the bottom line: You have to find the flow of money where it is moving and get in front of it. It’s the one time you want to get run over by the flood. Even if you can’t handle it you’ll have known what is was like and can most likey prepare for it better next time. Pizza makers to pizza making teachers,writers becoming publishers, what else can you think of that would set you apart and find you more income for your business through the right marketing message?

Keep it rolling!

Open mic..speak up!

Hey gang! So much has been goin on lately that I’ve kinda fallen behind. I apologize for that, and promise to keep up a bit better.

In fact, I’m going to have some guest writers posting about sales and marketing.

They will be young in some cases, some will be veterans…just keep an eye out. Every bit can be of benefit to you whether from  the seasoned vet or from the college intern. (Yeeeess I’ve learned some stuff from them too)

Today though, I wanted to do an ‘open mic’ talk about sales and marketing.

I’d like to know:

What do you do when you approach  a new concept? Where do you take it from there?

How do you formulate a ‘position’ on a new product? Once formulated, how long does it take to get it to market? Does your marketing plan introduce the product as it is ready or do you ‘pre-launch’?

What experiencecs have you had? Successes? Failures?

How did you recover from the hard ones?

Did the good ones last? How long?

This is really a means for you to ‘discuss’ what you found as good and not so good in your experience. I’m not asking for company names or product specifics. You can be vague and general to protect the innocent…lol

I would like some honest input though and perhaps I can take one or two of the examples and stretch them for everyone to see how those experiences can benefit their profession or business.

Keep it rollin!

Lesson in e-Marketing

Wanted to share a recent experience with you as I think it’s real important e-Marketing stuff. I recently had the distinct pleasure of meeting with one of the e-Marketing Gurus of our time; Jim Lillig. By the way that was today at the RIO Hotel. He’s in town for the Affiliate Marketing Summit to be held next week.

It was an interesting meeting as I had pictured meeting with someone that was a younger guy with a lot of interesting fresh ideas about e-Marketing and perhaps some insight as to how to promote our e-Book, “Power Marketing on a Budget Guide”. What I got was a good education on performance marketing!

First off, Jim was a great guy that is a veteran of the e-Marketing genre. (no he’s not old, just quite experienced, in fact he looks really young for his age…and no I’m not telling) He’s been around since the days when people like Yanick Silver and others were taking the e-Marketing courses in Boulder. In fact, Yanick was in the seat in front of him, along with many others If you go to his blog at www.jimlillig.com you’ll see what awesome info he offers his readers!

His latest invention is Offeratti, a CPA network dedicated to helping many gain more out of their ideas and monetize biz opps much easier. He is in the mix with this right now doing business development.

When Jim got a hold of our e-Book, he immediately wanted to meet with us to discuss what we need to do to present this as a B2C product, versus a B2B product.We thought it a good idea to inivestigate and see what he was thinking.

As I sat and listened to him explain what is needed (which is quite a bit let me tell you) to make something like this be worth while to a consumer that is looking to make money NOW not later (which is business thinking) I began to rack up the hours necessary to make this work…hmmm this is going to take about 3-5 weeks once we get concept in place and then programming which is the real pain in the rear.

He agreed. It is an undertaking that can prove to be really profitable, as it follows my favorite business financial model, ROC (Return On Customer).You begin with something that you’re most likely not going to make anything on. (this follows affiliate style marketing at first) then you work on “conditioning” your new customer on buying continually from you. It begins a step by step process of products you provide to a consumer. It eventually ends up having them buy much larger ticket items from you.

With what Jim saw happening, I could see a great implication of growing a business community from a consumer community and even greater still a whole new database of clients that would need our help in getting trained on how to market both on and off line. (gee idn’t it convenient that we happen to be marketing consultants?)

The point I’m getting so far from Performance marketing is that it’s a killer way to monetize an idea much further into an elongated process of marketing continually to a database that you can monetize over and over. Without having to create a new marketing campaign to re-enliven your database!

Think of it this way; if you have an idea that can be developed into a step by step process, or a stage by stage implemented idea, that flows with ease, and can make money well within minutes, performance marketing can help you do the list build, (database) the continual marketing, (This means e newsletters or auto responders) and then the next thing in line to continue making the consumer money, you have then a formula for success!

Add this to Offeratti.com, and you now have a portal to place that idea into, have it watched over by a company that has the M.O.N.K.S (Monetizing, Optimizing, New idea, Keepers) working for you to make sure your idea gets the attention and distribution it needs to their internal network and a whole bunch more. This means your deal gets out to a whole bunch of publishing marketers online that will definitely get your product or service out there so you can get the money flowing! They’re doing it to make money anyway, If your idea rocks, so will your bank account!

I was very thankful to meet Jim, and am very much looking forward to creating this first step to get our e-Book out to a whole new bunch of home based entrepreneurs. The point is, there are many ways to market your idea, product or service. Question is which is right, and are you willing to develop it enough to make it worth while to your customers? Stuff to think about.

oh yeah

Keep it rolling!

Christmas is Over!

With all the bad statistics of how everyone is worried about how the economy is doing and how the decline in shopping was due to everyone worried about their “Job Security”, hey gang here’s a hint…IT’S A FALSE SECURITY! Anwyay, I wanted to drop thisin for everyonr to think about…wrote it today.

Well, the hardest time of the year is now done!

 

New projects can begin and we don’t have to deal with executives wondering what we’re gonna come up with to drive Black Friday. Not that it was going to help much anyway…We’re in a recession! DOH!

 

I had a couple of really interesting conversations regarding our economy and where they thought things were headed regarding the market and its condition. We all were of the same opinion that if things don’t change soon, we are teetering at the edge of a depression. We also all came to the same conclusion, this particular country is beginning to get out of its comfort zone, and beginning to realize that we are a lot more responsible for our actions than we thought. It was a friend that made me realize that even my meager decisions affect others around me. Guess we all need to take a better perspective on life. Start recognizing that we have a responsibility to the rest of the world, even though we don’t want it, we got it. We need to take care of it.

 

Sure, we don’t want to have to deal with everyone else’s crap, but we started it, we need to finish what we started. This means that the next nuts we vote into office will understand this “bi=partisan” stuff has to end, and they need to do things to the people’s satisfaction. I don’t mean just for the blue collar, or just the white collar, not just the rich or the poor. They need to get it together for the good of the greater not the one.

 

This brings a big “yeah right” on from everyone…ok so, do you throw your hands up and stop fighting to make it right? At the same do we revolt? C’mon, think logically already.

 

I took a Critical thinking class once and our instructor was a trial lawyer…this was an interesting class…believe ye me…the fights that almost started in this class because of what someone’s brother or sister or mom or dad went through with a certain situation, WHOA! The emotions ran deep in this class!

 

I got to speak up in the class one day and nicely explained that not a single person in that room was going to make it in the corporate world simply because they were making choices and decisions in their own lives by their emotions rather than doing their homework and finally coming to a real conclusion…one that was driven by information and “Critical thinking”.

 

The response was kinda interesting. Many sat there in kind of disbelief that I spoke for one. For two, what I just said basically threw all of their opinions and rationalizations right out the window. So, some of them wouldn’t talk to me anymore…LOL! Some chose to think before they did say anything to me. My instructor? He loved me! (not literally) He and I had some great conversations over the phone about the subjects after class about how to think critically and take the point of view that had no view…

 

What da heck does that mean Mike?

 

Here’s what it means;

 

Nothing makes sense until you have all the facts, and to make it make sense you have to have all of the facts. If not, you are taking an uncalculated risk that will cost you in the short and long term.

 

Don’t let emotions and traditions and any other emotional based information permeate into your head or heart for that matter to cause you to decide too early. Take the time to research your thoughts, and sort them out. I have a friend that is so deliberate in his thinking, that when you ask him a question, he will literally say..” uuuummmmm…maybeee, you should try this….ok?” What he does is while he says “ummmmm”, he is thinking how would this work out the best for this subject? Then he makes his suggestion according to what he has figured out. His decisions are usually spot on. Others in that company I cannot vouch the same.

 

Point: Take the time to do your homework, find out, and if you run out of time, see if you can delay the answer. If not, go with the best you can come up with, or find others that have more info than you, and utilize them as a resource. Take the time to take the time…sheesh.

 

Don’t rush…here’s another thought, “If you have to rush, You’re late! Take the time to be early, make it easier on yourself.”

 

Next round I will talk more about how to manage projects when they get dumped on you.

If you’re not ready….they will be!

Well this was posted around Facebook and a few other places today, so why not here?

 

Look here’s the skinny…year’s end is upon us…so what have you done to plan for the next round? Your competition is trying to squash you so they can corner the market(even if it never happens the point is).

 

You have to have something in place so you can get ahead and leave “them” behind. If you can’t do that, you might as well close your doors.

 

So what is below is a toolkit my friend created for small business owners to fend off the big dawgs trying to out advertise you. Heck in some cases you could get some better prices for your marketing if you do it right. You might even get some free publicity…but you won’t get anything if you don’t start planning NOW.

 

But to do it, you’ll need to get this stuff in your hot little hands or on your computer so you can absorb the info and start the planning process….Don’t let the rest of the year go by with,”It was seasons…” as an excuse.

 

Keep it rolling!

When was the last time a prospect called YOU with money in hand to do business?  Did you know that, with just one minor change to your marketing message, you can double or even triple your responses?

 

For a limited time Facebook users can receive a special discount for an amazing new marketing tool-kit designed for business owners and marketing professionals.  Called the Power Marketing on a Budget Guide, this resource will steer you through the myriad of marketing options and create a “buzz” that is GUARANTEED to make your phone and cash register ring!

 

Check this out: www.CorporateRainMakers.com/PowerMarketing/Facebook.htm and start marketing like a pro today!