One of the most frequently asked questions that I hear, especially coming from my more entrepreneurial clients, is, “Why would anyone ever buy this franchise?”
This question is usually followed by a series of observations. “Anyone could do it.” “There’s nothing to this business.” “I don’t think this business can be franchised.” And of course, the final underlying question, “Why wouldn’t someone simply do this themselves?”
Their concern is a valid one. Some concepts are simply not well differentiated. Moreover, some of them have low barriers to entry.
Direct selling of products such as cosmetics and cookware may not be the easy path to riches. But the flexible hours have made this the work of choice for some 14.1 million Americans, most of them women.
Though there are those who earn six-figure incomes from selling person-to-person or through the home parties that characterize this business, that is more the exception than the rule. More typical of the $30.5 billion industry, which includes names such as Avon, Tupperware, Amway and the Pampered Chef, is part-time or occasional involvement in distributing the products to friends, family and acquaintances. For many, it's a way to earn a bit of extra money during the holiday season or when households are pressed for cash.
Over the last few days I have been getting pounded by IM’s and emails from AM’s (affiliate managers) and brass from networks, most of whom I’ve never even heard of. Why? God only knows. I think someone dropped my name and email info in an atricle or post somewhere, but I have yet to find it and have them remove it. The reason they are after me? Not because of my forum or blog, but because I am labeled as a super affiliate. But what is a super affiliate really? And why is this label being thrown around more and more than ever before? Because it’s the spot that every affiliate wants to be in, and that every ad network wants to attract into it’s network.
When managing sales people you'll actually be dealing with three distinctly different situations.
The first was the poor performers and all the problems that they bring to an organization. But now I would like to shift our attention to the group that is mostly ignored my management which are the high performers.
If you're looking for a prompt increase in sales a good way to get it is to divert some attention from the mediocre group to the high performance group. It's much easier to coach a successful person to even better performance than to get a mediocre performer to begin succeeding.
There are marketing lessons everywhere you look.
In the (hopefully) final chapter of my unpleasant encounter with the cable company, I was reminded that a “tier” system is almost always in place when you’re dealing with businesses that have a product or service you want.
This mostly-hidden world of power is what fuels conspiracy theories and gets best-selling thrillers published.
And it explains something critical about customer management that entrepreneurs often miss.
There are three levels of interaction with a customer. If you are stictly a direct mail or online operation, you will never see most customers at all. As a freelancer, I have to “go deep” with a client, but it’s almost always on the phone — so, while I get to know my customer intimately through long, frequent chats, I wouldn’t recognize them on the street. Lastly, if you are, say, a doctor or a retailer, then you operate in the same space as your customer, face to face. You can see, hear, touch and smell them.
Now, the biggest blunder most businesses make is to ignore the lifetime value of a customer. These “future blind” businesses operate as if the current transaction is the only one that matters. So they get short-sighted about the long-term effects of customer satisfaction.
Now, let's turn our attention to a topic that quite possible offend some of you, but without it...the entire world comes to a screeching halt. That topic is of course...SALES!
Sales...when speaking about sales, you must first address sales people and If you employ sales people or will in the future you've got sales management problems. Although I can't even begin to provide a full analysis of the solutions to sales management problems in a single email there are several fundamental and important things we can discuss that will help you have more productive relationships with your sales people, your distributors, or your franchisees.
One day my boss came into the office raving about this tape he'd gotten from somebody. It was "Dead Doctors Don't Lie", a brilliantly crafted pitch for nutritional supplements. And he wasn't the only one... I started getting copies of this tape in the mail, sometimes 2-3 copies a day. For about six months or so in 1996, it was the hottest thing going.
This thing was an MLM deal and the inducement to sign up went something like this: You buy 1000 copies of this tape, you buy a list from us, you mail the copies to 1000 people... ten of them sign up and buy more tapes, and each send to 1000 people.... pretty soon you'll have hundreds of people in your downline and you'll be drinking margaritas on a cruise ship somewhere in the Mediterranean.
A number of years ago, Michael, a good friend of mind was going through a rough time in his marriage.
It wasn't that he and his wife fought.
It was more like guerilla warfare.
It was exhausting to both of them.
Going to marriage counselling didn't work at all.
If anything, it made things worse.
But in a crazy way, they were still madly in love with one another.
I know. It makes no sense at all. But they loved one another even though they fought all the time.
On one thing they agreed - their kids. They never argued about their kids.
They argued about finances, where to vacation, what to have for inner, what movie to see, what video to rent, and what they should wear for an evening out.
Let's say you pay 50 cents for a click and Barbara in Oregon goes to your website and spends 8 seconds seeing what you're selling... then leaves.
50 cents divided by 8 seconds is $225.00 per hour. Barbara in Oregon's attention is pretty expensive, wouldn't you say?
Attention is the most precious commodity in the world today, and when you've got it, you'd better use it effectively. Seconds are ticking by.