Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Fundamentals of Effective Communication.


Success is heavily dependent upon our ability to communicate.
Improving your ability to communicate will be one of the most important things you will ever do.
One of the easiest ways to improve your communication is to start by working and improving on the fundamentals.
Communication is powerful - The Bible says; "The tongue has the power of life and death." This is true, the ability to communicate is a powerful responsibility. You have within you the incredible power of communication. You can create tremendous things in your life if you communicate effectively. The knowledge of communication combined with a good heart is the first step in unleashing an incredible force!
Communication must be purposeful. In order to be effective. In order to become an effective communicator, you should know what you want to communicate, when you want to communicate, and how you want to communicate.
Decide what kind of communication will enhance your life and your environment, and then plan your communication steps.
What you say must match what you do. Remember, people watch what you do, not just what you say. What you do always outweighs what you say. If you say one thing and do another, people will follow what you do.

Improve the Big Two Speaking and Writing: When it comes to communication, these are the Big Two that everyone can improve upon--speaking and writing. For every one step that you take to increase your ability to speak and write, you will improve your desired position two steps. Just set your sights on the next level above where you are now. Once you get there, then continue to work to the next level.

Here are a few tips on becoming a better speaker and writer:
Becoming a better speaker:
Join Toastmasters
Take a college course on public speaking
Give a speech in front of a mirror
Just speak - wherever you can
Becoming a better writer:
Keep a journal
Join a writing club
Have people who are more skilled than you help edit (critique) your letters and emails
Take a college course on writing
Write that book you've been thinking about

Becoming a better speaker and writer will be based on three things: doing it, getting feedback, and acting on that feedback.

Learn to listen: Communication is not one direction. It goes both ways. To become an effective communicator, you must be a good listener. Once you know what your "audience" wants, you are better able to communicate to them.
You should care about the people with whom you communicate. Talk with them, not to them. People don't want you to talk at them. They want to communicate. Think about it: the root word is "commune." It means to live and share together. This is what we do when we communicate together--we share words and ideas. This means we must care about the people we are communicating with. We should be interested in their needs and desires.

Focus on clarity: The most effective communication is clear communication. Many speakers believe that they should be as ambigous as possible--but that is not what makes them effective! The important principle is clarity. Do they (your audience) understand your message?. Be as clear and concise as you can. Never go any longer than it takes to make the communication as clear as it needs to be.
In order to be effective, communication must be done over and over again. Very rarely will you be able to communicate something just once and have someone or some group walk away with full understanding. It just doesn't happen that way. You need to do it often and with varied ways. This is what will make it most effective.

Improve your vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling: When people hear you or read what you have written, they look for class and style. This can often be noticed through your vocabulary, your pronunciation, and your spelling. If you want to be more effective, then focus on improving in these areas. A key phrase is that our vocabulary directly affects the way we both view and interpret the world around us. If we have a small vocabulary, it limits our ability to define or communicate what we see, feel and hear. The larger the vocabulary, the better our ability to relate.
You can become an effective communicator! Start with improving the fundamentals and you will get better. Once you have mastered the fundamentals - and very few have - then you can start on the advanced areas and become a world-class speaker!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Real-Life Home Business Scenerio


This is a post in an online business forum from a regular guy (Timothy) making an income from home. He is not a marketing guru and he had a difficult start, but the response to his query is relevant and will appeal to several people out there in the cold.
Hi everyone,
I'd be interested in hearing people's results from their email campaigns, in a general percentage way of course so I can get an idea of whether my expectations are set too high or not from my campaigns.
Two weeks ago I offered a sale price to our email list, and followed that up on the last day of the sale with a reminder and summary of benefits.
From around 200 emails sent out, we had 35 unique visitors to the ad campaign's landing page, and of those visitors we made 7 sales. Our JV partner also sent out a letter and generated hits to a different landing page, but with slightly lower percentage results.
I haven't had too many problems with bounced emails or unsubscribes so far (touch wood), with only a couple of requests.
I expected to get more visitors from my emails, and more purchases from my visitors - but am I setting my expectations too high?
I'd appreciate some ideas on the sorts of percentages I should be aiming for regarding email delivery, clickthrough rates, and conversions.
And the answer from Nicola a top marketing specialists:
Hey Timothy,
I've got a lot of experience with email marketing, so let me be the first to congratulate you.
People would KILL for your conversion rates! ;-)
You sent 200 emails. Got 35 visitors. And got 7 sales.
That means, 1 in 6 people you emailed clicked through to your website. And 1 in 5 of your website visitors purchased.
That's excellent.
Generally speaking, click-throughs of 1 in 50 to 1 in 300-500 (no kidding) are considered good. And visitor-to-sale conversion rates of 1 in 20 to 1 in 100 are considered really good.
Why are the ranges so big? Because your conversion rates will vary dramatically depending on:
#1... How targeted is your email list? (i.e. You'll get higher conversions mailing a list of people with a narrowly defined interests, like ferrets, than people with a broad interest, like "pets.")
#2... Do you have a close relationship with your list? Do they know who you are right away? Do you have a good relationship with them?
... I would GUESS, based on your conversion rates, that you're mailing a targeted group of people, with a narrowly defined interest.
So if you want to increase your sales with your email marketing campaigns at this point, my advice would be to focus on attracting more opt-ins.

You can register at to get access to some of the homeworking and marketing gurus
What is network marketing if it is not consistent in purpose?
The name of the game is; know what you stand for - stand for it - and act today until you meet your objective.
The problem is that the negativity and rejection you get all the time affects even the strongest willed person and he will occassionally have moments of doubt.
But if you can pay yourself along the way and validate what you do as the right thing, you will meet your goals . . .
Then you are on the path to great success.
Always be consistent in your actions, but make sure that the things you stand today are the things you can stand in 10years time.
There is no one way, there are many many ways, and the more you add to the mix, the more powerful and stable your business becomes.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Positioning Tactics

There are two basic positioning tactics to take. One is to consider and bill yourself as an educator. The other is to consider and bill yourself as a consultant. You see, a sales person is seen by many as one who wants to take another person's money. Educators and consultants are viewed differently. Let's take a look at each and the benefits that come from positioning yourself in these ways.
The Educator: What does an educator do? He or she teaches others. They are perceived as helping others learn so they can make their own decisions. Rather than saying, "I sell widgets to people," when describing your work, say, "I educate people on the widget industry and the choices they can make to improve their lives or business." There is a big difference. Who wants to get sold? No one. Who wants to learn? Everyone! Position yourself as an educator. Tell people you are in the education business.
The Consultant: What does a consultant do? He or she consults. The perception of a consultant is that they are a third party. The idea here is to position yourself as one who consults with people who would like to know and be educated about their options. You work on behalf of the customer. That is key. You work for the customer as a consultant. You help them see all of their options so they can make an informed decision. Who wants to be sold? No one. Who wants to see all of their options? Everyone! Position yourself as a consultant. Tell people you are in the consulting business.
Now let's take a look at listening skills. It is a firm fact that if you will listen, and ask good questions, the customer will tell you what they want. And once they tell you what they want, you can sell them. Imagine that you sell cars and someone comes on the lot and says, "I am looking for a blue, two seat convertible, under $30,000." Would you take them to see the large four door luxury sedans that cost $60,000? Of course not, and yet many salespeople focus on what they want the customer to buy rather than servicing the customer in what the customer wants to buy - and getting the commission as well as the long-term relationship. Yes, your job as a salesperson is to first and foremost listen.
Here are 14 tips for becoming a better listener. These tips will serve you well in sales - and in life:
1. Keep eye contact with the person speaking. Don't look around.
2. Focus on what they are saying. Allow your brain to process it, so you understand.
3. Avoid emotional responses. Don't get mad or sad at what they say.
4. Don't get distracted. Don't let your mind wander or give your attention elsewhere in the room. 5. Ask mental questions. Be thinking and interacting with the information you are hearing.
6. Use your body language to show you are listening. Don't slump. Sit straight - just like your mother taught you!
7. Nod your head to show that you understand them.
8. Keep your body open - don't fold your arms. That signals that you are closed off to what they are saying.
9. Lean toward the speaker. This shows engagement.
10. Ask questions to clarify. You want to make sure that what you are hearing is what they are intending to communicate.
11. Don't make assumptions. Hear what they say and take it at face value.
12. Paraphrase what you hear them saying. Say it back to them.
13. Restate the key points or issues. This will make sure you are on the same page.
14. Listen without interrupting. Let them finish. Interrupting says, "What I have to say is more important than what you have to say."