Direct Sales Success – 3 Tips to Build a Better Website

If you’re a Network Marketing consultant with any reputable company, you’re in a field of competitors that spans your state, the nation, and possible the globe. How do you compete on a scale like that? Most companies don’t have territories, which can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you can prospect anywhere, but it’s a curse, because you can have an inordinate number of consultants in one market – essentially flooding the market and diluting customer value. What’s a good consultant to do – especially a new consultant?

First don’t panic. Anyone can be successful in Network Marketing by understanding the need to distinguish yourself from your competitors. I’ve written about this before: You are the most important product your company has to offer, and what better way to promote yourself and what you have to offer than through your own website.

Most of you will see the word “website” and shut down. “I’m not computer savvy. I don’t know how to build a website.” Relax. The great thing about being in sales in this day and age is the fact that the playing field has been leveled by the introduction of template driven websites like Blogger and OfficeLive. Don’t wait! Get started now with these 3 top tips:

1. Secure a domain name. If possible secure your own name: “janesmith.com” or “martinjones.com”, etc. Always try for the “.com” domain when possible. There are dozens of online registrars, so there’s no need to pay more than a few dollars for a year’s subscription, and there are some sites that will give you a domain name free for the first year. Just don’t tie yourself into any kind of lengthy contract. If you’re just getting started, you won’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Just get the domain name.

2. Get blogging! I use and recommend blogger.com for all my blogs. It’s a great place to start, with a few different template options from which you can select a style that’s right for you. And it’s free! Since you’re just getting started, it needn’t be elaborate. Plus, because it’s part of the Google network of companies, you have the ability to get your pages indexed right away. Blogs are a great traffic source if you’re writing about valuable information that potential clients and customers will love.

3. Link ‘em up! You can actually “assign” your domain name to your blogger address. That way when someone types in your domain name address “janesmith.com”, they will be taken directly to your most recent blog post.

These are three top tips to build your direct sales business fast using the internet. But this only scratches the surface. It’s one of the fastest ways to start creating traffic for yourself and your business. Use your blog to tell people about you and your business – but be careful! Don’t get yourself blacklisted from your company for using terms, photos, or images/logos that are not approved by your home office. Using a personal website/blog to educate your public about you is a great way to build rapport and help people get to know, like and trust you – but it should never be a place to advertise your opportunity directly – then the site will look too “salesy” and not personal enough. Remember, this is like doing a personal introduction. Tell people what you’d like them to know before they do business with you, then use personal correspondence to encourage them to check out your company site for ordering or enrollment information.

Once you establish a relationship with a prospect, you have every right to promote your offerings – but not a moment before!

Direct Mail Postcards – 3 Tips For Generating New Leads

If you are planning to print postcards for your next marketing campaign, you will no doubt want to maximize their potential and generate as many new leads as you can. For people new to postcard advertising, it can seem overly complex or time consuming to learn everything you need to know, but even with just the basics you can get quite far. Here are 3 tips that should help you to print effective direct mail postcards:

1)    Be Professional
Designing and printing your direct mail postcards at home may seem like a reasonable option, especially for a small business with a small budget, but you may find it only costs you more over the long term as your postcards will have less of an effect. If the postcards don’t generate any new leads or responses, then they might as well have not been created. In fact, if the postcards look ‘low-budget’ that is how customers will see your business. Just because you have a small budget, doesn’t mean it has to look like it at all. Hiring a design firm or even a freelancer to design your postcards will make them much more effective as they are more likely to appeal to a greater audience. Also, having the postcards printed in full color from a proper print shop will make them look much more professional, and will improve the way customers see your company.

2)    Be Personal & Direct
If you are serious about using direct mail postcards to generate new leads, you will have to make them personal. Postcards that seem like they are trying too hard to be universal in appeal seldom actually are. If you have a mailing list, try to include the recipient names on the postcards, or at least include something along the lines of “Dear Homeowner” or some such to address the potential customer. Also, try not to bore your customers. Instead, keep any text on the postcard short and to the point. Sometimes a single line of text to peak the reader’s curiosity and a number to call or website address to visit for more information can be enough to get people talking to your sales staff or browsing your online catalogue.

3)    Use your strongest selling point
You may think that potential customers will want to know all about your business, but if you can’t capture the reader’s imagination or curiosity within the first few seconds of them looking at your postcard, it will only end up in the trash bin. Before even beginning the design phase, you should take the time to work out exactly what is your strongest selling point. Is it a new product exclusive to your company? Some wisdom only you can give? Whatever it is, find it and use it in your direct mail postcards. If you have a definite theme for your postcards they will be more successful and the design and writing phases will be that much simpler. Offering something that nobody else can is the single best way to grab a customer’s attention.

Better Market Timing Increases Profit Potential

Trading the markets, whether it be the Stocks, Futures or FOREX, provides the opportunity to make profits by taking a position in the correction direction.

The idea is to buy low and sell high, either in that order or in reverse order (sell high, then buy it back low).

There are different time-frames in which one can trade from. You can day trade, where you only hold your position for a matter of minutes, perhaps hours, but rarely overnight. You can position trade, where you may hold positions for one or more days. Or you can be a longer-term trader, holding your positions for weeks or months.

The time frame one chooses to trade has a strong correlation to the degree of risk the trader is willing to be exposed to. For example, a day trader who only wants to capture quick short-term moves within the day will only want to risk a very small amount per trade, since this type of trader is only looking to capture small profit moves. The position trader who holds a position for a day to a few days may allow a little more risk exposure, since more profit is being expected. The same goes for long-term traders that hold a position for several weeks. With a much larger profit objective, this type of trader usually has a wider protective stop-loss for a higher risk exposure, in order to not get stopped out too early by the market’s normal swing behavior.

While the time-frame one chooses to trade has a direct correlation to profit potential and risk exposure, so does Market Timing methods.

Consider the following example of a position trader:

The position trader is looking to catch a new move usually based on the daily chart. This trader believes that the market will likely move higher real soon and has the potential to rise for several days. The market timing method used by this trader often sees the market already two or three days into the move before getting the signal to enter. Because of this, the trader usually will put the initial protective stop just below the start of the new move. Due to the lagging nature of the timing indicators used, that can be a substantial risk exposure and would require a profit objective that exceeds the risk based on the winning ratio of the method used. In other words, if the timing method has an accuracy of 50% of producing good timing, the profit objective needs to be greater than the risk exposure to come out ahead over time. Yet, the more lag in the market timing approach, the lower the percentage of catching good trades enough profit to more than cover the risk exposure. Even a timing method that had a lot of lead time would expose the trader to higher risk because the market would still be moving against your position for a period of time before it turned as anticipate by the lead indicator (if it turns, that is).

Now consider what would happen if you had a timing method that had very little lead or lag time. The trader, having confidence in the timing method being very tight (the turn occurs soon of the signal), would not have to put on a large stop-loss because the turn is expected to occur right away. This drastically lowers risk exposure. In addition, this would increase the profit potential because the trader can now get into the trade as soon as the turn is occurring rather than waiting for late signal where the move is two or more days already in progress.

It should be clear by these two examples how important Market Timing really is. While it is true that you should have good money and risk management, the ability to act on your signals when you get them, Market Timing makes all these other things much better. Better Market Timing means higher confidence, which goes well toward trader psychology. It lowers risk, making risk and money management better. It allows for the potential to catch more of the move, which goes toward greater profit opportunities.

As a professional Market Analyst for two decades now, I’ve seen all sorts of different Market Timing methods. There are many approaches to Market Timing, and I personally have a lot of respect for a number of tools used for this purpose.

When it comes to indicators, I have found that the oscillator types such as the Stochastic and MACD provide useful insight into the ebb and flow of price action. You may catch a few moves as soon as they start, but you will also be too early or late on many as well. Use them to get a good handle on DIRECTION and DURATION. Moving averages help in getting an overall feel for trend, but they lag and in my opinion are not precise enough for precision market timing. What I have found to be best for Market Timing, and should be used in conjunction with oscillators for DIRECTION, are what I call “turn dates”. You can calculate basic turn dates using Fibonacci ratios, or you can do so using Gann counts. There are several methods that the trader can employ for anticipating the day that a bottom or top will occur. Once you find an approach that has a high degree of accuracy based on your own testing of it, you are well on your way to trading with LESS RISK and HIGHER PROFIT POTENTIAL than if you just rely on leading and lagging indicators, chart patterns, or simple support/resistance calculations.