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Tips for Small Business

Customer Information

 

Give Your Customers Enough Information

Give Your Customers Enough Information

Of course you do - right? Check again! More often than not, people join a program, receive a camera-ready circular and are expected to know what to do with it. While the originator of the program knows exactly what to do, most of your customers do not. What may seem like common sense to you is not as understandable to others who purchase it.

Every program you sell should come with an instruction sheet. Just like any product you purchase will come with an instruction sheet. It just makes good business sense to include an instruction sheet or booklet with anything you sell.

Guess what? This sheet or booklet can be used to YOUR advantage. By explaining step-by-step how the program works, what it's goals are, the benefits of working it and what steps to take in order to work it properly, you can offer different options to your customer to help them. If you supply camera-ready circulars, you could offer to print copies, supply pre-printed envelopes and mailing list names for an additional price. This is called "back-end" sales.

And if you don't provide these items, you can find a wide range of mail order dealers that can. Hook up with a good supplier who will reduce their prices slightly so you can make a profit and send orders directly to them from your "back-end" sales. This little bit of extra money is what helps your program become more financially solid.

One problem that so many programs fail is because they are not managed and structured properly. Remember the old saying: "A 3-legged stool is not easily broken?" It's true. The more "branches" you have in a program that generates some cash flow the better. DON'T get this confused with nickel-and-diming people to death. Just give them the product they pay for and offer them extra products they can purchase that compliments what they already have.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you are the Prime Source of any program is to promote the program your dealers are also promoting. Instead of it bringing in more money it has the opposite effect - it destroys the program!

Let's say that Melanie joins Jeff's program. Jeff is the Prime Source and provides Melanie with a camera-ready circular with her name on it. Melanie begins printing and mailing the circular in her own mailings but one day she spots Jeff advertising his own circular in a tabloid. What does Melanie do? She STOPS mailing her circular.  Why? Because Jeff looks like a greedy dealer who is after all the profit. Jeff is only giving Melanie 50% when people respond to her circular and Jeff gets 100% if people respond to his circular. Also - Melanie does not want to be in competition with Jeff and drops out of the program. It's not fair to Melanie.

And what happens to Jeff's potential income when all his dealers see the circulars with his name on them? You got it - they all drop out. Now what happens to Jeff's income? Right again - it drops considerably!

Instead, Jeff should pick out a few of his dealers who are trying their best to make money with his program and offer to mail pre-printed circulars for them free of charge. Remember that Jeff is making money from every sale generated by his dealers, so by promoting his own product he is still making money. Besides - if he helps his dealers make a few dollars, what will his dealers do? That's right - they'll keep participating in Jeff's program and most of them will re-invest the commission money they make into printing and mailing more of them.

Also, when they begin to make a little money, they will tell everybody they know what a wonderful program Jeff has. And guess what? Jeff will get more dealers promoting his program - which means more money for Jeff in the long run. Jeff's a success because he made his dealers a success.

And finally - Jeff's reputation will be escalated because all his dealers will know he's an honest guy to do business with. Guess what? Jeff's business income increases! Not just because of the program but because people are interested in other things Jeff sells.

It's only good business sense to help your dealers by providing them with tips and information to work your program. Sure, there will always be people who buy into your program and not work them - but you'll lose a lot more money if you step on their toes and become their competition! Be wise!