Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What is a cross promotion?

A cross promotion is a technique for distributing your coupon, discount or message about your business. It is low-cost because someone else hands out your message at no cost to you beyond the cost of printing and paper.

One of the greatest benefits of a cross-promotional effort is that you can transfer the responsibility of the discount to someone else. As an example, you can set up a cross promotion with a nearby bowling alley during which they will be giving their customers coupons offering specials. The coupons read that the offer "'Compliments of Jake's” incentive to eat at your restaurant is from the bowling alley.

You have provided your promotional partner with a nice surprise he can give his customers and his customers believe he is responsible for the discount, not you. Therefore, you are not perceived as having discounted your product.

Cross promotions not only help you maintain your regular price credibility, they also provide you a means of controlling your couponing in terms of both quantity and locations. If the local theater has 5,000 customers a week and you don’t want 5,000-coupons out, print only 2,000 and limit the distribution to a couple of days. The key to a successful cross promotion effort is to personalize each coupon, flier or discount card specifically for the group or retailer who will be distributing them for you. You should seek out businesses with high-volume traffic to approach as cross-promotional partners. 

Examples of high-traffic businesses include:

Retailers or services such as supermarkets, banks, car washes, convenience stores, and book stores - Professionals such as doctors, dentists, and realtors - Recreational centers such as theaters, bowling alleys and skating or roller rinks - Travel and tourism entities such as hotels, motels and your local Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

How to Increase Your Sales With Very Little Effort

Increasing your order size with every customer is one of the best ways to increase your sales without adding any extra expense.

For example, when I check into a hotel I normally ask for a better price. I am sure most people who stay in a lot of hotels do the same thing. I was in North Platte, Nebraska, checking into a hotel and out of habit, I asked for a lower price. Normally the hotel clerk asks if I have any discounts, However, this time she said, “you look a little tired, we do have a room with a jacuzzi for only $20.00 more.” I ended up taking the room. Instead of getting a $10.00 discount, I ended up paying $20.00 more! The hotel ended with more revenue.

Another example was in San Jose, California. As I was checking in I asked for my normal discount. The hotel clerk behind the counter said she had to check with the manager. She came back in about a minute and told me the manager said we can’t give any more discounts today. I said fine and paid the full price.

Here’s the interesting part. I went over to the elevator and as I was waiting another guy came in and asked the same thing. The hotel clerk gave the same response about checking with the manager. She went back into the office to check with the manager. I could see the whole office from where I was standing and THE OFFICE WAS EMPTY! She came back out and gave the same response, “the manager said we can’t give any more discounts today.”

Many retailers use this “add-on” technique when selling to their customers. Buy a suit and you end up with an extra pair of pants, plus shirts and ties.

You buy a computer and end up with software and a printer.

You go into a fast-food restaurant and you supersize the fries and drink.

I was in a diner near Phoenix, Arizona, and the waitress came over to take my order and asked, “before you order, what would you like for dessert?” Is it any wonder the restaurant dessert sales were through the roof?

Here is the psychology behind the technique.

Once a person decides, their mind works to reinforce the decision. By getting a small commitment first the buyer will start to justify the decision and it becomes easier, not harder, to add on additional items.

Why? Think about your own decision-making process. Once you decide your mind does a search, similar to a computer doing a search for additional information. Your mind is looking for ways to justify the decision you just made.

Your customer's mind works the same way. This tactic is being used on you every time you buy a car. First, the car salesperson will get you to agree on the color, then options, then an extended warranty, and before you know it you bought the car - one small piece at a time.

The last-minute add-on involves throwing in an extra request at the final moment, just when you, the per, have put down your defenses and assumes you have a deal.

To successfully use this technique, don’t rush the customer. If you are selling multiple items, sell the first one. Wait a few minutes, sell the second one. Wait a few more minutes, sell the third one, and so on. Give the customers mind a chance to justify their decision.

It is like going to the grocery store and buying a chicken. I bought the chicken - I better buy the potatoes - the salad - the rolls - the dessert - and before you know it your shopping cart if full.

This technique has several names such as upsell, add-on, cross-selling. The one thing you can be sure of, it works! 

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Friday, September 20, 2019

Impossible to fail

Do you know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to fail in sales? It is impossible to persistently apply and reapply the principles of selling and fail. It can't be done!

Once again, the key is to persistently apply and reapply the principles of selling.

People don't fail because they are "not cut out" for sales. They fail because they are not willing to do the things successful people are willing to do.

Application of selling principles is the key. Many sales people talk a good game. They can tell you about the big sale they almost made, the hot new account they are working on, or the big sales goal they have. They can talk a good game with their customers as well.

"Sure, I will get back to you on that."

"Trust me, this is the product and program for you."

You know the type.

The person who continuously looks for new ideas and better methods of selling is the one who moves forward. The person who learns something new, applies it and reapplies it over and over until it becomes a skill. This doesn't have to be some "new" selling secret, it only has to be "new" to you. The basic principles of selling never change!

The person who DOES what he or she says they are going to do is the one who makes it in the long run.

Customers are not sold by empty promises made by sales people who are insincere. They are sold by a sales person who WEARS WELL. The person who looks for ways to show their customers how to make more money, how to sell more, how better manage their business, is the person who is not full of hot air and promises. They really don't SELL as much as they HELP CUSTOMERS BUY.

To be the type of person who wears well all you have to do is simply…

1. DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO. Don't be "All Sizzle and No Steak"

2. Apply what you learn and then reapply it again and again until it is automatic.

The toughest door to open is the one that gets you out of the house early and the toughest sale is the one we have to make to yourself. You have to convince yourself to do what you learn until you own the skill, to apply what may seem difficult at first.

There is no magic rabbit that you pull out of the hat and say "here is the secret of selling." There is no silver bullet that will win the sale every time.

It is impossible to persistently apply and reapply the principles you are learning and fail.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

How do you apply the KISS principle to sales?

KISS is an acronym for "Keep it simple, stupid" used as a design principle by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

Here are the 13 attitudes and activities that will make you a superstar in sales.

1 Attitude. Train your mind to stay focused on your goals. Maintain the attitude of a winner. Aggressively approach each problem as another opportunity to increase sales.

2 Respect. Earn the total respect of your customer by being an expert in your business.

3 Service. You will KNOW with absolute certainty that you can sell anybody if you approach people with the thought of "How can I be of service".

4 Urgency. The way to attract customers to buy from you is by responding to every problem, opportunity or situation at the speed of light.

5 Confidence. Without the security of a guaranteed income you must stop your mind from continually interrupting you with fears of failure and rejection.

6 Persistence. Selling can be done with mathematical certainty when you know how the numbers work and work those numbers with persistence.

7 Planning. Implement a few effective planning strategies and you will increase your call effectiveness as much as seventy percent!

8 Attention. Have an irresistible offer that will have your prospects leaning forward asking for more!

9 Questions. Ask questions that will have every buyer give you a blueprint showing exactly how to make the sale.

10 Presenting. Give an honest, persuasive presentation and you will have the key that will open the door to every sale!

11 Objections. Buyers give objections because you have not done your job of thoroughly presenting your irresistible offer.

12 Closing. The skill that separates the amateurs from the professionals is not being timid when it is time to close the sale.

13 Follow up. Be so good in your follow up activities that you lock out the competition and keep customers buying.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Customers Can Sense the Attitude of Your business

There seems to be too much ho-hum selling going on today. There are too many businesses that just don't get the fact that enthusiasm is contagious and as a business owner or manager, you have to infect everyone with a good dose of excitement.

How do you get everyone in your company excited?

Here's how to get UN-excited. Tell yourself you are a loser. Tell yourself you hate what you do. Tell yourself your company just can’t get it right. Tell yourself you never got any of the breaks. Tell yourself the competition is ruthless. Tell yourself that everybody buys on price. Tell yourself that your marketing area is saturated and there are no customers.

Do you know what ninety-five percent of everyone in prison were told over and over again as they were growing up: "You are going to end up in prison someday?" Think about it. Over and over again they were told they were going to end up in prison someday. What if they were told something different? What if they were told over and over again that they might be in a little trouble right now, but they will get past it? What if they were told that they were going to grow up and be successful? Would that make a difference?

The stuff you put in your mind is what controls your actions. So to get excited up you have to put things in your mind that will get you excited and passionate about what you do for a living.

Put this affirmation in your mind. Carry it around with you and watch the difference...


“I am excited! I stay focused on all the good things I have to be excited about. I am excited about my career, my opportunities, and my challenges. My excitement drives me to do everything with energy and enthusiasm. My mind is focused fully on what I am doing, and I am able to get things done by telling myself to “DO IT NOW”. I am excited and act enthusiastic and everyone around me catches it. Every time I see someone I know or meet someone new I am excited and enthusiastic about seeing them. By being enthusiastic, excited and full of energy I am a more valuable person. Energy and enthusiasm guarantee my success as well as the success of my business. Energy, passion, and enthusiasm will attract customers and sales to me. This energy will be like a magnet and attract bigger customers and larger orders to me. I am going to give everything I have to everything I do.”

Don't be a daydreamer. Don't wish you were somewhere else doing something different. Life is what it is. For whatever reason, you are where you are right now, so you have to deal with it.

Keep this quote on your dashboard or on your bulletin board:

"My job is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand!"

That means there is no getting around it... you have to make the prospecting call, send the email, mail the letter, take care of the follow-up and keep going.

Forget about whether you feel like it or not. Actions come before feelings. ACT enthusiastic, and your feelings will follow. If you wait until you FEEL jacked up, you will be like the woman sitting on the park bench who turned into a skeleton waiting for the perfect man. It ain't gonna happen!

Here is another way to stay excited about what you are doing. Make training a DAILY part of your schedule.

Spend time EVERYDAY learning something new about your business. Get excited about sharing news and information with your employees and customers. In other words, start acting like you mean business. There is no excuse not to! Don't think it is up to the company to train you. It is up to you. Take responsibility. Invest in yourself. Read a book, take a course, listen to an audio CD, read your marketing product sheets.

The bottom line. Learn something new today. Make something happen. Call someone. Call you last 20 customers just to say “thank you” Stop whining. No one said it was going to be easy! Your customers need help in making good decisions. Go help them make the decision to buy from you and your restaurant, hotel, store or shop by being excited, enthusiastic and appreciative of their business! Let them know you really care!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Being aggressive in sales - free eBook

Being aggressive doesn't mean being pushy, it means being mentally strong!

To be successful in sales you have to have a sense of toughness. If you don't, you will give in to failure. If you go into the prospects place of business with only a mild sense of confidence you will likely get beaten by a competitor. If you don’t have a strong need to be mentally tough, you won’t have the dedication or determination to take the psychological abuse that comes with the territory.

The more mentally tough you are, the more likely you will be able to endure the hardships and earn the rewards.

Reviewing your goals and learning new selling principles is not a one-time procedure. If you become mentally lazy and take for granted that your skills are always sharp, you are unprepared. If you assume that you don’t need any mental preparation to get the sales numbers you know are possible, you will pay a price.

The competition and tough buyers can make your days long and hard. Even a slightly less than aggressive attitude will have you going on the defensive.

Mental toughness is about your thinking patterns. If you don't have a clear goal, you will have difficulty forming your plan of attack. Aggression is a state of mind that will dominate your thinking process during the adversity that is inevitable. It is about being methodical with a strategy to overcome the threat of quitting.

If this is an area you feel you need a nudge, I have a free (free - no strings attached) eBook that will help.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How I went from a failing sales person to the #1 sales trainer in a $200 billion dollar industry...

The year was 1992. On August 25th I was in Boise ID for a company meeting. It was also my 25th wedding anniversary. I soon discovered the purpose of the meeting was to fire me. This is a period of time when the industry was going through huge consolidation and cutbacks.

I went to the airport to fly home to Oklahoma and called my wife.

“Two things, Honey. 1. Happy anniversary. 2. I just got fired."

I decided to strike out on my own as an independent sales trainer. A profession that has a 97% failure rate. I also wanted to show the company I worked for what a HUGE mistake they made by handing me my walking papers.

After selling our house, putting our belongings in a storage facility we spent the next SEVEN YEARS traveling the country living in hotel rooms and working out of our van! TOGETHER WE DROVE 418,000 MILES, TRADED OUR VAN IN ON AN RV AND SPENT ANOTHER FOUR YEARS DRIVING AN ADDITIONAL 279,000 MILES!

We spent many nights in Wal-Mart parking lots, truck stops and rest areas throughout North America racing from one city to another to be on time for another seminar. We kept going, and going, never giving ONE THOUGHT TO QUITTING.

All my sales came from writing sales letters while driving from one seminar to another. If I couldn’t write a persuasive sales letter and close the deal with a phone call, we simply could not eat. Every time a prospect got a sales letter from me it was postmarked from a different city. We had no outside help what-so-ever.

After presenting over two thousand seminars (my wife sitting with the audience in every one of them, coaching me and taking notes about the audience reactions), and selling over 100,000 copies of my self-published training manuals, we realized that we accomplished the impossible. Some of the largest companies in the industry were hiring me to speak to their sales and management teams. I had become the #1 independent sales trainer in a 200-billion-dollar industry.

I still hold the record for training more salespeople in the food distribution industry than any other person in the history of the business.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

What does price tell your customer?

With effective, intelligent pricing, you can out-maneuver, out-market, and out-sell your competitor and get a bigger share of the market.

1. More products fail because of a price that is too low, than because of a price that is too high.

2. It is easier to cut prices than raise them.

3. "Prestige" pricing can often build your perceived value.

4. One particularly effective strategy is to start out with a relatively high "prestige" price, then cut the price later. The result is a high perceived level of quality, plus a "value" look.

5. A low (or "defensive") price can discourage new competitors.

6. Price testing with a sample group of customers is an excellent way to get important information. Check for positive or negative reactions at various price levels.

7. Price in such a way that you build up your bottom line.

8. Do not get involved in price conspiracy or price-fixing agreements.

9. Your pricing strategy should attract customers and confuse competitors.

Price is a vitally important element in your market strategy. You can usually change it quickly, unlike your product or its packaging.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Is selling an art or a science?

Let me ask you a question. Is selling an art or a science? What do you think?

(BTW This is important for sales managers.)

If you said it is a science, you would be wrong. That doesn't mean you can't use scientific principles for your selling activities. It means selling itself cannot be a science. If you are trying to use scientific principles to predict your future sales plan you will have a hard time.

Here's why. In science every time you perform a certain act you will get the same result. Let's take boiling water. If you are at 5,000 feet above sea level water will boil at 203 degrees F. It will do it every time. You will always get the exact same outcome. If you boil water at 10,000 feet above sea level it will boil at 194 degrees F. It won't boil at 190 degrees or 193 degrees. It will boil only when the temperature reaches 194 degrees. Every time!

Here is a scientific chart that will make you feel certain about your knowledge. It has been tested and proven over and over again. There is no room for error. You can count on these numbers.

Sea Level 212 degrees F

984 ft. 210 degrees F

2,000 ft. 208 degrees F

3,000 ft. 206 degrees F

5,000 ft. 203 degrees F

7,500 ft. 198 degrees F

10,000 ft. 194 degrees F

20,000 ft. 178 degrees F

26,000 ft. 168 degrees F

Stay with me for a minute. I will show you why some people have such a difficult time in sales. I am not saying that only certain people can sell. I am saying that certain people have a harder time with the sales process than others. The reason is they are more of a scientist than an artist. This is important to know when it comes to hiring and training as well as why you get so discouraged at times.

Selling is not a science, it is an art. In art every time you perform a certain act you get a variety of outcomes. An actor would be considered an artist. Ask 10 people what they thought of the actor in a play and you will get 10 different answers. This would be very difficult for a scientist because they would want the same predictable outcome from everyone who watched the play.

An artist can live with the fact that every time they do something, they get a different outcome. A scientist has a more difficult time because they want a predictable outcome for every action.

A salesperson has to deal with people and you and I both know that people are not predictable. We are under the continuous influence of thousands of things every day. Anyone of these things can make us change our minds about something.

If sales could be reduced to a science, we would not need any salespeople. We would only need order takers or a system to get the order turned in.

If selling was a science, what fun would it be? Isn't the excitement in not knowing what the outcome will be? However, by using certain skills you can influence the outcome. That means the more understanding you have of the sales process the more you will be able to deal with the everyday ups and downs you have in sales. This is also the reason why management gets frustrated with the sales department.

Management wants an exact, predictable outcome, which is not possible unless the sales department is given the time, tools and training to improve the skills of the sales team and improve the outcome.

Here is how you can use scientific principles to increase your sales: Focus on the activities and not so much on the outcome. Make a decision to do something and do it. That is scientific.

Here are the 7 scientific principles or skills that will greatly improve (not predict 100%) your success in sales.

1 Planning

2 Questions

3 Attention

4 Presenting

5 Objections

6 Closing

7 Follow up

I have been teaching and applying these scientific principles for more than 20 years. I know for a fact that successful salespeople improve the outcome of their activities by being more skilled in these 7 areas.

Make the decision to improve your skills. That is something you CAN do with a scientific and predictable outcome. Your sales will increase, but exactly how much is unpredictable. Let's just hope it is enough to keep yourself, your management and your family happy. However, if you don't do anything to improve your skills I can predict the outcome with scientific certainty.

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Are you a headline reader?

If not it might be a good hobby. Pick up the newspaper and pay close attention to the headlines. Which ones grab you and make you want to continue reading? Which ones do you pass over and why? Sort through your spam file and look at the subject lines. Do you know that the folks in Hollywood will pay as much as one million dollars for a one-word title if they think it is the right one? That proves the value of the headlines we use to sell our products and services.

The how-to headline:

People are looking for answers. When your head line promises to tell them how to solve a problem they are having, you will have captured a customers attention. Be sure your copy fulfills the promise, even if the final answer doesn't lie in your copy but in a catalog you will send if the reader requests it, you have fulfilled the promise in the headline.

The news headline:

New and now are words that are so overworked that most readers discount them almost immediately. However, all readers are seeking something new and they want what they want now. Your product may be new, but anything you can do to get rid of the overworked word "new" will help make your news headlines draw more readers. The solution to boring advertising is to make news instead of filling space. News is almost never boring. News is a benefit. The news that can honestly tell your potential buyer what he wants to hear.

The picture headline:

A strong visual can often be used to tell the story, and all the headline is expected to do is provide the transition to the copy. The headline may just state what is seen in the picture-in terms of benefits-or it can be used to begin the copy. Don't worry about redundancy in advertising. Tell em' what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and tell 'em what you told 'em.

The prediction headline:

When you use this approach, you will find it most effective to use the second person. That is, use "you." This headline makes a positive prediction and includes a very strong benefit. ‘You will save over 50% with our system’.

The command headline:

When you can use a commanding statement that is in the reader's best interest, you will have a strong headline. In a sense, the command headline is the prediction headline without the "you." To be most effective, command headlines should be relatively short. Consider this example: ‘Cut your processing time in half with our system’. This approach will work, but your copy should follow the style of the headline. If you use the prediction approach, continue to talk in terms of what will happen when the product is used. The command approach lends itself more to direct copy and a closing that suggests an immediate further investigation by the reader.

The testimonial headline:

Most people like to know how others have fared with the product being advertised, and a testimonial can be a productive way of answering the question and getting the copy read. Be careful that you quote someone who will be respected by the readers. The person may not be well known, but as long as he or she has a position that will be respected, you will be on safe ground. Make sure that the quote sounds natural. If the person being quoted says something out of character (the quote was obviously created by the copywriter), you will have a very weak ad. Of course, the testimonial doesn't necessarily have to be the words of an individual. If you get permission from a user to say that the company increased production by 60 percent when your product was used, you will have a strong testimonial.

The short story headline:

The short story headline must lead into a short story or a brief piece of copy that gets the message across in story form. Although the story approach often features people, it is not necessarily used to give testimonials. More often than not, this approach is best used with a human interest angle. For example, a tax consultant could use something like this: ‘Joe Young saved six thousand dollars on his taxes’.

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

How to lose the sale in one minute

When you are approaching a new account think of your first few words as the sales copy on the envelope. The job of the sales copy is NOT to make the sale, but to get them to OPEN IT UP!

Keep in mind that if they don't open the envelope the sale will NEVER be made! The same with your opening line. If you don't hit the right button the door doesn't open.

Here are some of the standard openers and my translation. If you are guilty you might spend a little time creating something that works for you. Be easy on yourself, everyone has used them.

"I am sorry for interrupting."

Translation: I really don't amount to much - you are much more important than I am - you see I am just a doormat waiting for someone to wipe their feet on me.

"I know you are busy."

Translation: I really don't have any respect for you or your time - you are a busy and important person and I am intruding on your day.

"I was in the neighborhood."

Translation: I am not very organized - I simply drift through my day from neighborhood to neighborhood making random calls on people and waste their time.

"Do you need anything?"

Translation: I am not much of a salesperson and I was wondering if there are any crumbs left over from a real salesperson who has been here.

"I wanted to stop by and introduce myself."

Translation. I am not ambitious enough to have done some homework about you, so I guess I will tell you all about ME.

I think you get the point. Things are different today, so you must be different, or they eat you alive.

Today’s customers are being bombarded with thousands of sales and marketing messages every day. How do you stand out and set yourself apart from the crowd? You have to hit them with a HUGE BENEFIT. A benefit that will have the same power as if you hit them between the eyes with a baseball bat!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How many customers do you need?

For many sales people marketing seems to be a separate division of the company with its own, unrelated agenda. However, marketing strategies can be used individually to help build your business.

The first step in marketing is to identify your target customer and determine how many customers it will take to maintain your business. Here’s what I mean, using examples from different industries.

Let’s say you wanted to sell residential real estate for a living. You would need to stake out an area that has a minimum of 500 houses. If you began a systematic schedule of contacting these 500 homeowners on a monthly basis, some in person, some on the phone, some by mail, there would be enough houses bought and sold each year to make a living.

Another good example is insurance. You would have to have a list of one thousand households and contact them on a regular basis. There would be enough insurance needs to earn a living. Both examples depend, of course, on your ability to out sell the competition.

Even a nursing home with one hundred beds has to have them filled with residents. If they have ten empty beds for any length of time their expenses go up and their profits go down.

A hospital is in a similar situation. The success of their marketing is measured by their “occupancy rate”. The next time you call on a hospital ask what their occupancy rate is and you will be surprised at how quickly they can give you the percentage.

A manufacturer looking for national distribution needs 200 distributors.

Looking at a restaurant’s business from a marketing perspective can also be measured with mathematical precision. A restaurant needing to sell a thousand meals each week to take in enough money to pay all their expenses needs a customer base of five thousand. A marketing “rule of thumb” for a restaurant is to take one week’s business and multiply it times five. Restaurant customers normally rotate their eating out, so we would want to be sure that we had five thousand people “rotating” into our business at least once every five weeks.

This brings us to our basic marketing strategy as a Distributor Sales Rep (DSR). How many customers do you need and how much do you have to sell each account to make a living?

The average DSR sells a little over two million dollars each year, or $40,000 each week. The average order size in the industry is $500. That means to be “average” you would have to sell 80 accounts $500 every week. NOT A GOOD PLAN!

What if we double the order size to $1,000? That brings the number of accounts down to 40. Forty accounts purchasing $1,000 each week sounds better, however, we are still only “average”.

Let’s give it one more twist. Let’s weed out the low margin price shoppers and carefully select 40 accounts that could buy at least $2,000 per week from you. Now you are investing your time and effort with accounts that will give you sales exceeding four million dollars per year.

It look’s good on paper, as all marketing plans do. However, it is still up to you to make it happen the old fashioned way, by selling.

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