101 Best And Most Proven Sales And Marketing Ideas
by Gerry Robert
"SELLING sure isn't what it used to be," claimed Azni Mohd Hussain,
the managing director of a successful video production in Kuala
Lumpur. Azni operates one of the most innovative and progressive
companies in the country, still he knows that to win in the 90's
you must have two things:
You must have "effective" strategies and you must act "consistently"
on those strategies.
Since Azni and so many others in Malaysia are so keen to get these
two powerful ideas going in all their business, I thought I would
share some of the best and most proven Sales and Marketing ideas I have
used, taught and heard about.
God gave you one mouth and two ears. Let that dictate how much you
- Stay In Touch:
Make a decision to contact all your past clients at least once a month.
If you don't, guess what? Your competition will.
- Differentiate Yourself:
Why should someone buy from you? What makes you different from
everyone else? It is better to be more significant than you are a
"nice, trustworthy, cuddly, sincere..."
- Ignore The Competition:
If you are looking at them or worried about them at all, your focus is
in the wrong direction. You should make dealing with you so much more powerful that
competition doesn't even exist.
- Control Your Mind:
Whatever helps you stay positive is what you need to do first thing
in the morning and the last thing you do before you see a prospect.
For me it's loud music. I put on a good song and my adrenaline starts
- Get Rid Of Negative People From Your Life:
Now, that might be somewhat difficult if you are married to them,
and I am not advocating divorce but you need to surround yourself
with a solid group of positive, big thinking encouragers.
- Send Out 35 Sales Letters Every Week Regardless:
Get in the habit of sending out at least that many letters to
prospects every week. No matter what, make sure they go out every
- Get Computerised:
Do you know how much moneymaking time you waste trying to remember
who your prospects are and when was the last time you called them?
If you want to make more money, get with it technologically! I'm
a big IBM user and Windows from Microsoft runs my copy of ACT Contact
Management software, I'd be lost without it.
- Think Big:
For heaven's sake see the potential within you. Someone once told me
that my yearly income (low six figures at the time) was garbage.
"Garbage?" Yes, it's garbage for you to make that much a year
when you have the potential to earn that much in a month!
I had never ever entertained the idea that I could. I did it.
Now, I am working on how I can do that much in a day. (Once I figure
that one out I'll let you know, then I'll figure out how to do it
in an hour!)
- Learn From Your Mistakes:
Every sales job has some "failure factor" in it. Learn and keep on
- Stop "Trying":
"Trying" to do something is a cop out. Either do it or don't,
but stop lying to yourself.
- Create Special Offers:
No matter what you sell, you can create a special offer which
will put you in a favourable light in the eyes of prospects.
- Write A Special Report:
If you are in selling, you are in solving. What do you solve for people?
Write a 10 pages report, offer it to your prospects for Free and your
telephone will ring off the wall.
- Give Up Manipulation Tricks:
Stop using those silly closing tricks you learned about how to make the
buyer buy. No, instead, listen to them, build trust and they will buy.
- Put Your Message On Video:
Put your entire sales presentation
on video and offer it for Free and prospects will see that you are
different from the competition.
- Use Contact Cards:
A contact card is a postcard that is printed on both sides. One side has
your picture "A Note From..." and your telephone and fax numbers.
Keep 20 of them on you always with postage stamps already on them.
After each sales call, jot a note to your prospect, drop it in the mail
box. You will create a prositive impression.
- Write A U.S.P.:
A U.S.P. stand for Unique Selling Proposotion. What is your number
one competitive selling advantage? It should be brief, exciting and
should compel people to want to know more.
- Realise That Your Past Clients Are Gold:
You will starve if you have to continue to find new customers.
Repackage what you sell and visit them again and again and again.
- Make A Deal With Your Competitors:
Do you have prospects that you have been unable to sell? Why not go
to a competitor and let them have a try. They might be able to sell
people you were unable to and pay you part of what they make. You
do the same for their list of dead prospects.
- Deliver Fast:
Society is impatient. People will not put up with slow delivery.
- Got Nuts With Follow-up:
I'm serious, you will never offend someone by sending them cartoons
through the fax or dropping a "Thank you" note. It will tell them
you value the relationship.
- Think Long-Term:
If you are in it for the one off sale, you wil be hungry and poor
in this business. Everything you do should be focussed on keeping
this customer for the next 20 years.
- Hand Address Envelopes.:
My research and that of other experts in this area indicates a
significantly higher percentage of mail is opened and read if
it's hand written.
- Be Confident:
If you have confidence in yourself, your product, your company,
prospects will have confidence in you. If they have confidence in
you they are much more likely to buy from you.
- Get Related Quickly:
Establish rapport with prospects quickly by finding something that
relates the two of you. It could be a hobby, a common interest,
faith, children but find something.
- Ask More Questions:
People want to know that you understand what they are going through.
Why not ask twice as many questions on your next sales call and see
- Become A Single Figure:
Remember that selling is more about perception than about products.
Get interviewed, write a book or a booklet or a report. Produce a
tape, give a speech or debate. Become known.
- Get Your Customers To Own You:
By that, if you sell insureance, make sure that when they think of
insurance they think of you. If you sell real estate they automatically
think of you.
- Use The Power Of Because:
Every time you talk about or decribe a benefit to your prospect for
what you sell be sure to tell them why that is important to them.
- Don't Be Like Archie Bunker:
Archie, from the TV show, All In The Family makes decisions arbitarily.
Never do that, test everything. Don't do what you think is right.
Do what the prospect thinks is right. There is only one way to find
that out and that's to ask, test and measure.
- Keep Your Customers Happy At All Costs:
If you fail in this area (and most do, in my opinion) you will fail
to build the greatest assets in the sales world and that is a client
base who trusts you.
- Develop And Keep A Positive Attitude:
I know of very few statues erected to "cynics and critics".
Get happy! Read a good book or listen to an inspiring message.
- Be professional:
Forget begging for business.
- Hang Up On Jerks:
When telemarketing if you encounter a "jerk" (anyone who tries to
make you feel bad) simply hang up and move on.
- Sell To Help:
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Get your eyes off your commission and onto their problems.
- Sell At Your Location:
There is something called "home court advantage." Get them to come
to you if possible.
- Break One Bad Habit Today:
Pick one thing you know you should stop doing (TV, gossip, smoking,
coffee house,ect), decide to stop only one thing. Get someone
to hold you accountable, give them your plan and break it, finally
- List 10 Things you Like About Yourself:
Work on building your self-esteem. Sometimes it's so easy to focus
on all our flaws. Give yourself a break today.
- Set A Goal For The Year:
What's one thing you would really like to accomplish in your selling
this year? Write it on a small card and carry it with you where ever
- Attract Prospects By Conducting A Seminar:
This is a great way for you to have people who are predisposed to buy
what you sell step forward and identify themselves. I speak to
thousands of prospect per week when I do a seminar tour. Why would
you ever want to sell one person at a time when you could sell in several?
- Be Unique:
Do something different. Fax everyone a cartoon. Send people a dead
flower and tell them that you can bring flowers back to life with a
special potion, all they have to do to find out how, is book an
appointment with you.
- Get Funny:
So many people are so uptight. Relax! Let your hair down. It is a
powerful sales tool.
Humour can do for you in seconds what talking wouldn't in a lifetime.
- Use Testimonials:
One of the most powerful tools you can have is the endorsements
from satisfied clients.
- Use Pictures:
Pictures of satisfied clients go further than lengthy letters.
People are visual and if they see people just like them they will
think you are Okay.
- Create Your Own Marketing Binder:
Put any awards you have in the binder along with photos, testimonial,
product information, how you do business, your sales presentation
and leave it with prospects, so they can evaluate you.
- Be Prompt:
When you make someone wait, it communicates lack of respect for their
time. Invest in a Rolex, it'll help your image and it will get you
there on time.
- Find The Real Objection:
They don't always feel comfortable telling you the number problem
- Be Honest:
I once caught a car salesperson in a small lie. I shut down
immediately. People more than any other factor, want to buy from
people they can trust.
- Raise Your Referral Rates:
After surveying over 5,000 salespeople in Malaysia, my research
shows that the average salesperson gets less than 10 per cent of
their income from referrals, that's terrible.
- Don't Do Administration During Prime Selling Time:
What are you doing shuffling paper when you should be infront of
- Stop Cold Calling:
Get them coming to you. You can't kiss someone who is backing away
from you. Cold calling, for the most part is a function of prospect
backing (or often, running) away from you. Give them some compelling
reason to come to you. A clue : the word FREE is still one of the most
- Welcome Complaints:
You can turn around most complaints if you are committed to winning.
Make it easy and acceptable for them to tell you how they feel about
- Create Urgency:
Every letter, every sales call, every marketing piece must have a deadline.
- Sell You Guarantee:
If you have a guarantee, tell your prospects about it more.Too many
guarantees are full of small print and so salespeople never get the
advantage they were intended to create.
- Ask For The Order:
This simple advice is obvious! Or is it?
- Don't Be A Door Mat:
If people are putting you or your company down, stand up to them.
You should have pride. You don't need any customer that much.
- Save 10 Per Cent Of Everything You Earn:
Starting with your next payslip, put 10 per cent away for yourself.
Why is it that we pay everyone else but ourselves?
- Join Toastmasters:
They will teach you how to speak in public. The benefits of that are
tremendous for your sales presentation and confidence.
You can find their number in the Yellow Pages or you can use the search engine
found on the mainpage of this website.
- Refuse To Quit:
You will never win in selling if you give up.
I have felt like stopping about a million times (per week sometimes)
but I know that I'll never learn anything from giving up except how
- Get Organised:
I use a Sharp orgainser for my schedule, contacts and memo's.
It's handy, easy to use and portable. Oh, I always back it up and
keep a hard copy of the data.
- Take Resposibility For Your Results:
You are the only person who can improve your situation.
You got yourself into it and you are the one who will get yourself out.
- Attach Something To Every Sales Letter:
Put a coin, dollar bill, anything. It will be novel and get people's
- Sponsor a Community Event:
Give back to your community and they will give back to you.
- Instead Of A Letter Send An Audio Cassette:
You may have noticed something called the "jam". Instead of writing
a letter, speak your letter into a cassette and they will listen to
it in their cars in the "jam".
- Get On Everyone's Mailing List:
I love to learn from what people send me.
- Get Your Spending In Line:
Credit can kill you. If you are consistently spending more than you
are earning you are in for a bad time. Trust me, get rid of the credit
cards, and cut back your expense.
You can't sell well if you are worried about debt.
- Use a Headline In Your Sales Letters:
Also keep in mind that every sales letter must have a P.S.
You have less than five seconds to capture their interest, headline
and P.S.'s help.
- Sponsor A Contest:
This will give you a vehicle to bulid your database in a hurry.
- Record an Interview:
Get your best friend, with the best voice to ask you a series of
questions and record it on audio cassette.
Then give it away to prospects. Title it An Interview with ....
- If Possible Charge Differently Than Others:
Make comparison shopping difficult.
- Clean Up Your Life:
Everyone has certain things they have procastinated on doing for ages.
If you have been planning to clean that desk of yours and it's getting
in the way of you increasing your product, clean the stupid thing!
- Qualify First:
Don't start selling until you have enough information about what they need.
- Assume Prospects Are NOT Liars:
Most salespeople I know think that prospects are liars and will do just
about anything rather than give you the truth. I assume they tell me
the truth until they give me some reason to not believe that.
- Use The Telephone To Weed People Out, Not Prospect.:
"Use the telephone to disqualify non-buyers," as Bill Good says.
- Create Order In Your Client Base:
You should have a list of all your past contacts, past clients, hot
prospects preferably on computer.
- Position Yourself As An "Expert And Authority":
Even if you are new to your industry you can be preceived as an expert.
The way to do it is with information.
Write something, research something or print something and you are an
- Get In Front Of The Right Person Or Don't Waste Your Time.:
So many salespeople complain about not closing more sales but they
spend forever trying to sell to the wrong people.
If the decision maker is the managing director (MD) then you should
stop talking to the director of human resource.
Figure how to get into the MD.
- Under Pressure?:
Take a day off.
- Use Cross Promotions:
Find someone who is in front of your target market and get them to
send a compelling offer to their client base.
- Hurry Up And finish this Article.:
How much time do you have to be off the job?
- Remember Rockefeller:
He said "Take something common and make it uncommon."
Make what you sell or do extraodinary.
- Build, manage and exploit your database:
Your list of contacts is one of the most valuable assets you have.
Always add more names to it. Get them coming to you by regularly
creating offers that make them step forward. Capture everyone's name.
- Get Rid Of Hassle Rules:
If you can, get rid of all negative rules like "No refunds without
receipt" or "No cheque accepted."
- Blow Your Customers Away By Exceeding Their Expectation.:
The word of mouth benefits of doing this is fabulous.
- Build A Wall Of Fame:
In your office create a wall for all letters of praise and endorsements.
- Post My Article Every Week:
This is not as self-serving as in might appear. It will get people
talking about similar things when it comes to selling.
- Give Something Away:
People love getting Free Samples, Free Offers, Reprots, Booklets,
Tapes, Videos, etc.
- Host An Annual Special Event for Your Past Clients:
Want more fererrals? Why not host a party, social, seminar, debate,
forum once every quarter and only invite your past clients?
- Focus On The Customer Not On YOU:
People don't care about you, your credentials, or your company.
They care only about one thing : THEMSELVES.
More specifically, how spending their hard-earnd money will solve
- Snap To It!:
Take your past client's picture and send it to them.
- Keep In touch By Fax:
Send a weekly or monthly report or newsletter via the fax machine.
Send a positive quotation of the day.
- Start Your Own Association:
A.A.R.P. is the American Association for Retired People. It has 30
million members. Guess who started it? An insurance company who wanted
to sell to .. retired people.
- Write A Book:
I'm serious! If you knew what a book would do for you and your sales,
you'd be up for the nedt month writing it, beg, borrow or steal the
money to print it and it would be done. Give yourself permission and
reap the benefits. You don't have to write the next Gone with The Wind>/i>
but just Eight Steps Winning in the 90's.
- Print A Personal Brouchure:
Even if your company has a corporate brochure, do one up on YOU.
People don't buy fron campanies they buy from people.
This will set you apart from the competition.
- Increase The Size Of Each Sale:
Ask for bigger orders.
- Invest In Yourself:
Get the best books, go to seminars, get a support system.
Spend money training yourself.
- Be A Person Of Intergrity:
Be a person your kids would be happy to emulate.
- Take A Break!:
When was the last time you kissed yor spouse?
When was the last time you gave yourself fully to your kids?
- Focus On The Journey Not The Prize:
Selling is about becoming a better person. It's not really
about hitting the home run.
Sure that's important but what is more important are all the wonderful
ways you are better because you are a professional salesperson.
- Send Me A Note About Your Best Sales And Marketing Tips Care To
- Pick Two Things From This Article And Start Doing Them.
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