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3 Reasons Why “Big Data” Isn’t Really All THAT Big


Quality Payday Leads

Over the last couple of years, Big Data has been unavoidable. It’s not just big, it’s massive. If you throw a stone down the streets of London or New York, you’ve got as much a chance of hitting a big data guru as you do a social media guru.

Undoubtedly, there is great power in data, but is Big Data all it’s cracked up to be?

50% of my brain thinks Big Data is great, and 50% of me thinks it’s a neologism. I’ve found it difficult to reconcile all of the varying information out there about it.

So join me for the first part of a two-part series looking at Big Data. In part one, I’ll look at Three reasons why Big Data is a big load of baloney. And next week in part two, I’ll look at Three reasons why Big Data is awesome.

1. Big trends are trendy

My pet rock still hasn’t moved, and my Tickle-Me-Elmo still won’t shut up. And also, Big Data is big, at least according to Google Trends:

Targeted Data
Source

Some other terms once synonymous with the inter-web were pretty trendy too. Remember this one?

Auto Finance Leads
Source

The adoption curve of the term “web 2.0” looks quite similar to where we are now with Big Data. And yet, if you still use the term “web 2.0” in your job, then you probably think the Fresh Prince still lives in West Philadelphia. (He doesn’t.)

The thing about Big Data is that it really isn’t anything new. Cluster analyses, propensity modelling, neural networks and the like have been in use in the marketing sphere for quite some time.

The phrase used a few years ago for this sort of stuff was ‘business intelligence’

STUDENT LOAN DEFAULT LEADS
Source

But now, we don’t care about business intelligence anymore. Who needs intelligence? It’s over-rated. Like Goethe said, “All intelligent thoughts have already been thought”.

And yet, Big Data is everywhere. Why shouldn’t it be? It’s BIG. However, you ask 10 people what Big Data means, you’ll get 10 answers, none of which make much sense.

Maybe it’s because of this:

EDU LEADS
Source

We’ve all seen Moneyball and read Nate Silver’s blog. There are people out there who are better at statistics than you. And this is scary.

So what’s the solution? Throw a bunch of money at Big Data, whatever it is, and sleep soundly knowing that you’ve gainfully employed a math graduate.

And therefore, Big Data is a big load of baloney.

2. Missing one V

Gartner defines Big Data as requiring Three V’s: Volume, Velocity, and Variety. So let’s look at this a bit deeper.

Volume of data: for sure, there’s loads of data out there. Huge amounts. Check.

Velocity of data: yep, data is moved around in large quantities faster than ever before. Check.

Variety of data: in most digital marketing ecosystems, there are the following types of data (yes, I know there are more, but for the sake of argument bear with me):

  • Site stats.
  • Email engagement stats.
  • Mobile/SMS stats.
  • Past purchases.
  • Demographics, preferences etc.

And within each of these, the options are finite. For example, in email, most people measure (at the very least) opens, clicks and conversions. That’s three types of data.

And for all of the other areas above it’s the same. For the sake of argument, let’s say that we’ve got 30 types of data in total.

This is the thing. 30 types of structured data. Processing this data doesn’t require a super-computer, it simply requires robust statistical methodology.

So, if you’re a digital marketer, what you actually have is ‘a few sets of structured, small data’, not ‘Big Data’.

And therefore, Big Data is a big load of baloney.

3. You can perfectly predict the past

With the beginning of the National Hockey League’s 2013-14 season fast approaching, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to determine the best bets to place on the eventual winner.

And of course, it seems Big Data is the best route to my next million dollars. (Btw if anyone is interested in joining my hockey pool then drop me a line – go-live is 1st October!)

I downloaded as many team statistics as I could from last season and embedded them into a spreadsheet. It included rudimentary statistics such as Goals For and Goals Against, right through to Winning % when trailing after two periods, CORSI 5v5, and defensive zone exit rate.

Then I ran a multiple regression and removed non-causal variables. I perfected the model such that the formula spat out expected point totals that were on average within 0.5 points of the actual result.

When I plugged in the raw data from the previous season, the outputted expected results weren’t even close to the actual results.

This is a perfect case of what is called ‘over-fitting’.

When you have a lot of data, the urge is to use all of it and create an uber-complex, bullet-proof formula. Take all of your data points and find the trendline that touches everything. But there’s an inherent problem with this – all you’ve done is create a formula to perfectly predict the past.

The risks that come with an over-fitted model are twofold:

  1. You are assuming that the future will      be the same as the past.
  2. Adding or removing variables becomes      extremely difficult and risky.

So despite there being lots of data out there, the dominant strategy is to focus on the causal variables. In the hockey allegory above, while I won’t reveal my secrets, two of the stronger predictors of eventual success are goal differential and shot differential.

Not rocket science, I know – if you take more shots than your opponents you’ll generally score more goals than your opponents. However, I did learn to remove strictly correlative variables (such as Faceoff Win %, PDO and punches thrown).

Instead of focusing on Big Data and its billions of variables, I’m instead focusing on a small amount of variables that actually matter.

Within your organisation, what are your causal variables? By looking at all the Big Data available to you, you run the risk of the truly valuable signals being obfuscated by irrelevant correlates.

And therefore, Big Data is a big load of baloney.

Disagree?

I do too. Well, 50% of me does. Feel free to elaborate on your point of view in the comments section below.

Parry Malm is Account Director at Adestra and a guest blogger on Econsultancy. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Google+.

Topics:Data & Analytics

by caesararum

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USPS Makes Simplified Address Direct Mail Trial Permanent


The US Postal Service is asking regulators to allow its simplified direct marketing service for small businesses to become a permanent offering.

The Every Door Direct Mail service has proved successful since the start of trials last year, USPS told the Postal Regulatory Commission as it filed a request to add the programme to its portfolio of market-dominant products.

EDDM allows small businesses to use Standard Mail to send out advertising materials to every residential address on a carrier route, sending out up to 5,000 mailpieces at a time without requiring a mailing permit.

The key to the success of the saturation mail service is the ease with which an SME can select which carrier route or routes in which to distribute marketing materials through an online tool. Items are then dropped off at the customer’s local post office.

Along with simplified rules, EDDM is seen as an important way to bring onboard small businesses who have not used the mail as a marketing channel before because they lack staff with specific direct marketing skills.

USPS has also been trialling a larger scale version of EDDM for larger companies dropping mail at business mail entry units, but this week said it wants to add the retail version of the programme to its Mail Classification Schedule.

The retail programme has brought in $43m in revenues since trials began at the end of March 2011, the Postal Service said this week, while revenues since the start of April – when USPS launched a major advertising campaign surrounding the service – have already reached $38m.

Up to June, more than 32,000 small businesses had signed up to participate in the programme, while there have been more than 105,000 transactions at post offices.

USPS believes the programme will reach the $50m limit on revenue from a trial service by September.

“The market test has already demonstrated that sending advertising mail to every address within a community, with fewer rules, rates, and regulations, is a popular way to connect to potential and actual local customers,” the USPS told regulators.

Executives have said including the bulk mail version of the service, they want to see Every Door Direct Mail become a billion dollar revenue generator.

Rates to rise

The EDDM retail programme is currently priced at the Standard Mail saturation mail rate, but when it becomes a permanent fixture, USPS wants to set a 16 cent per piece rate, about 10% more than the standard saturation rate.

The new price would set the retail version of the programme as more expensive than the version for larger mailers.

So far the trial programme has proved quite profitable for USPS, with its regulatory filing suggesting that attributable costs for the service have been just under the 8 cent per piece level.

USPS said the higher rate proposed for the retail product was justified because of the added convenience for its customers of being able to drop off items at post offices and avoid paying a permit fee.

Source: Post&Parcel/PRC

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Virtues of the Quiet Entrepreneur


You don’t have to be loud to be a great leader.

Think back to your elementary school report cards. Does this sound familiar? “Linda needs to work on deciding when it is appropriate to speak.” “Malcolm needs to contribute more in class.”

In our culture, expressiveness plays a big role, and people are generally rewarded more for being chatterboxes than silent observers. Being a confident talker and a persuasive speaker can get you attention in meetings, get you the sale, and even get you elected. No one gets kudos for sitting quietly, or saying, “Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.” Shy people may end up feeling overlooked, like mumbling Milton with his red stapler in the movie “Office Space;” his desk is moved further and further away until he is in the basement.

So the last time I was picking up reading materials in the airport, I was surprised and pleased to find both a new bestseller called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, plus an issue of Time magazine with the headline “The Upside of Being an Introvert (And Why Extroverts Are Overrated),” by Bryan Smith. Suddenly, reserved people are having a moment in the sun! In her book, Cain battles the “omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight.” In his article, Smith says, “It may be time for America to learn the forgotten rewards of sitting down and shutting up.”

The louder people of the world tend to treat the quieter people of the world as if there is something wrong with them that they must surely want to fix. In my experience, however, quiet people are quite content to be as they are. When Judith Warner reviewed Quiet in The New York Times, she said: “My neighbor…once told me I was the most introverted person he’d ever met. I took this as a compliment. Who wouldn’t?”

I can tell you who…corporate America and many organizations. I’ve been working in business for more than 30 years and in many ways there’s still a gap between the value of expression and how it’s perceived, just like in those elementary school report cards.

Our culture has over-simplified what it means to be quiet with what it means to be social (or non-social). So far I have put many different words into play in this article, including “quiet,” “shy,” “introverted,” “gregarious,” “bold,” and “extroverted.” It was deliberate—these terms are related, but they are not interchangeable, and they are not opposites.

A typical introvert is often expected to be reserved, solitary, and focused inward—but are there not introverts who are also entertainers? A typical extrovert is supposed to be people-loving, outgoing, and talkative—but can’t a people-lover also be reserved? Some quiet people have very strong feelings, but they don’t wear them on their sleeves. Those who enjoy solitude may in fact also be quite social. You don’t have to be loud to be a good friend.

“Introvert” and “extrovert” lumps two different brain functions—thinking and behavior—into tidy, corporate-ready packages. Either boldness and people-power (“extroversion”) or data-driven, quiet focus (“introversion”).

People are far more complex than that, though, and really these characteristics are like apples and oranges. Your social thinking is an apple; it’s your level of interest in being empathic, compassionate, caring, and supportive. Your expressiveness is an orange. It’s a behavioral attribute anyone might notice about you, and is the amount of energy you bring to explaining to the outside world what is going on inside your head.

This thinking and behavioral mix means a lot for you as a leader as well as your business. I think about a CEO I worked with whom I heard give a rousing speech to his employees. He did a fabulous job and seemed like an energetic, fascinating man. When he left the stage and sat next to me, I was thrilled. I love a good conversation, and I was sure we would have lots to talk about. It wasn’t the case. He barely even spoke to me. Obviously he could be highly expressive, but—without a strong degree of social thinking in his makeup (which I’m aware of because I read his Emergenetics psychometric thinking and behavioral workplace profile)—he wasn’t innately attuned to personal connection.

This CEO had worked his way to the top by using attributes including his behavioral expressiveness (prototypical “extroversion”) and conceptual thinking, but not necessarily an empathic connection to others (social thinking).

It’s often harder to realize how to be a quiet leader, so here’s a few tips for you (and your employees), especially if any of the descriptors above sound like you:

  • Be aware that other people are not mind-readers
  • Remember to speak up
  • Maximize your influence in writing
  • If you need time to reflect, ask for it
  • Schedule your socializing for the mornings when you      are fresh, and leave solitary tasks for the afternoon
  • Try business breakfasts instead of business lunches
  • Even though it will tire you out, dial up your      expressiveness for phone calls, meetings, or teleconferencing

People will appreciate that your solutions are always thought out well. Your calm demeanor and ability to listen will serve you well if you can harness it. You don’t have to change who you are in order to be a successful entrepreneur…no matter what your report cards used to say.

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Your Brain at Work | Geil Browning

Your Customer Database Is One of Your Greatest Business Assets


Database marketing allows you to market to your customers based on their past behavior. And that means spending money on customers that are going to more responsive to your message.

Start Adding Some Fierce Muscle with ApexDM‘s Database Analytics!!

You’re probably familiar with the old saying that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That may have been true back in the days when conversations about competitive advantage concerned memberships at prestigious golf clubs and lavish expense accounts; in the days when data was regarded as mere records of transactions, production and inventory levels.

Today’s conversations about competitive advantage may still include talk of personal relationships. More frequently, though, these conversations reflect the relatively recent appreciation of the intrinsic value of enterprise data – a value seen not just by senior executives, but also by employees in virtually every department. There is broad consensus in most organizations that enterprise data, and perhaps more importantly, the ability to analyze large volumes or smaller subsets of data at will, in real time, are crucial business differentiators.

Analytics – A Critical Competency

To be fair and accurate, capturing, studying and teasing actionable information and insights from enterprise data are not by any means new areas of business activity. Senior managers and dedicated data analysts have been doing this for years. The appearance of spreadsheet programs propelled a great leap forward in enabling their efforts. Subsequent technological advances, including data warehousing, data mining and the development of user-friendly tools allowing individuals to query data stores and generate their own reports without the need for IT mediators further enhanced organizations’ analytic capabilities.

Challenges remain, however, in the effort to fully exploit enterprise data by democratizing access to enterprise data, and providing ever-growing and more diverse user groups across organizations with the ability to analyze the Niagaras of corporate information in a myriad of ways.

If there is a single must-have competency on which business success – indeed survival – depends today, it is this enterprise-wide ability to access and thoroughly analyze the enormous volumes of data businesses have gathered and continue to amass on a daily basis.

Unearthing Buried Treasure

It is now pretty much an article of faith for companies that effectively use analytics are able to outperform their peers and improve processes such as customer targeting and retention, product development, pricing, risk assessment and management, marketing and sales. The more advanced your analytical capabilities are, the better equipped you’ll be to craft and fine-tune effective business strategies and make operational decisions on the fly with confidence that those decisions will increase productivity, efficiency, revenue and profitability, and enhance brand value.

The good news is that in most organizations there is no shortage of data to analyze. Organizations often have more data than they’re even aware of. And more data floods in every day. The challenge is to find the most effective ways to process and collect that data, ensure its accuracy, store it in an affordable manner and increase the speed and flexibility with which end-users can interrogate it from multiple perspectives to uncover the treasure trove of insights it contains.

The Road to Predictive Analytics

Data warehousing applications have clearly been a boon to organizations as they strive to compete in today’s ultra-competitive business environment. The introduction of the column-based analytics server, designed from the ground up for the unique rigors of analytics and optimized for analytic business intelligence, data warehousing and reporting, has been particularly empowering and beneficial.
Still, as enterprise data volumes have exploded from megabytes to gigabytes, terabytes and petabytes, and the pace of business has accelerated to the point at which in some industries, a performance gain of nanoseconds can make huge differences in business results, challenges remain.

Until now, enterprise information explorers have been stymied as they’ve tried to optimize the value of the data available to them. This has become particularly frustrating as the emphasis on predictive analytics has emerged and intensified. Predictive analysis requires the ability to process very large volumes of data very quickly and thoroughly. Data volume, accuracy and processing time represent the critical success factors underpinning predictive analysis.

The conventional wisdom, however, based on the limitations of traditional analytics approaches, has been that while this is true, you can only pick two of the three; achieving all three has simply not been an option.
That barrier to truly effective and optimal predictive analysis has now been broken.

Enter In-Database Analytics

As companies have used their favorite business intelligence tools to query enterprise data stores over the years, they’ve had no reason to think about what was happening behind the scenes in order to return their answers or to generate their reports.

The process has been transparent. Users have been shielded from the fact that traditional approaches to data analysis required the movement of data out of the database for analytical processing. These information explorers have not had to contend with the fact that the conventional approach to analytics has imposed performance constraints as data was moved out of the database and into a separate analytics environment. Nor have they had to consider the security issues inherent in moving data from one environment to another.

As the pace of business has accelerated, however, and the volumes of data to be analyzed have soared, users have begun to experience the challenge of simultaneously achieving the three critical success factors for predictive analysis. This has at times forced them to settle for one or two of these factors. For voracious information consumers, this sort of compromising has not been a welcome experience.
The emergence of in-database analytics eliminates the need to settle.

Greater Speed, Accuracy and Cost-Effectiveness

An in-database analytics approach is much faster, more efficient, and more secure than traditional analytics approaches. In-database analytics delivers immediate performance, scalability and security improvements because data never leaves the database until results are filtered and processed.

Eliminating the movement of data is accomplished by embedding analytical functionality directly into the database. For instance, in one example of an in-database analytics offering, an extensive library of numerical and analytical functions, ANSI SQL OLAP extensions, and new libraries of pluggable analytical algorithms have been embedded into a columnar analytics database.

Using this in-database analytics capability, organizations can now make business decisions that were not previously possible. By running predictive analytics business logic directly ina database users can perform critical drill-downs and deep analyses that were previously impossible or impractical. Businesses can also do so faster, more accurately and more cost-effectively than ever before in even the most data-intensive environments.

The Bottom Line?

With the ability to run real-time analytics on years of organizational data directly in the database, users across a broad range of industries can make better, more timely business predictions and decisions. Compromising on the three critical success factors for advanced analytics (data volume, processing time and accuracy) is no longer an issue.

This means that telecom organizations can conduct more thorough and meticulous churn analysis and create optimal pricing programs. Insurance companies can run more effective exposure assessments, improve fraud detection and develop targeted customer retention programs. Banks can enhance their ongoing portfolio analysis activities, better mitigate risk and increase individual customer profitability. Marketers in virtually every industry can conduct real-time campaign analysis, enabling them to tweak or abandon campaigns in order to maximize their marketing spend.

From C-level executives to line of business managers and frontline employees in sales, service, finance, marketing and other disciplines, leveraging in-database analytics will improve performance, productivity, innovation and overall competitive fitness.

No, it’s not the technology equivalent of an all-powerful magical potion or some mythical crystal ball. But it sure does offer powerful and compelling analytics capabilities that enable organizations to out-think and out-perform the competition. And these days when it’s what you know that powers success, you can ignore this capability at your own peril.

Contact us today to learn how we can boost your marketing ROI tomorrow!!

http://www.apexdm.net
tyler@apexdm.net

Summertime Marketing. Your Leads and Year End Goals for 2010


 

Summertime is traditionally when most of us kick back and relax in the sun. But marketing managers know it’s also the calm before the storm. With so much revenue potential on the line in Q3 and Q4, summer is when managers turn their attention to setting strategy for ramping up their sales teams toward fall success.
So, how is your money best spent? What really helps salespeople move business through the funnel? What messages are most likely to resonate with customers? The following 10 tips are based on years of experience living the challenges you face at yearend.
Tip No. 1: Know how your efforts fit into the big picture
Too often, marketers are overwhelmed by the “crisis du jour” and not afforded the opportunity to look at whether individual projects can make a measurable impact on marketing or company goals. As you approach Q4, remember: While you may be working toward short-term objectives, they can have long-term results.
The ultimate goal of your efforts, of course, is to support your sales team’s ability to generate revenues. We call it “marketing for sales enablement.” And, as you’d expect, the discipline of enabling sales is a process, not an event—just like the discipline of sales.
As a marketer, you’re likely very familiar with the customer “buying cycle” of awareness, consideration, preference, purchase, and repurchase. What you might be surprised to learn is that 70% of a company’s marketing budget is typically spent on the awareness phase of the buying cycle , and too little on the balance, where the real selling is happening.
Salespeople actually follow a similar cycle of embracing, and then successfully representing, your company’s product or service. If you consider that your salesperson is your first customer, the process makes sense. We refer to this as the “buy-in cycle,” and it includes awareness, knowledge, application, expansion:

Think about the projects you’ve completed throughout this year. Next, attempt to map each project into this table.
Is the table balanced across internal and external audiences? Have you populated each stage with meaningful tools? This chart is helpful when considering what tools to create and when they are appropriate.
Print and cut this out and tape it to your wall. Once you start using it, it’ll become second nature to consider at which point in the process everything you build belongs, and whether you’ve supported a complete sales cycle for both customers and salespeople.

Tip No. 2: Understand the end-of-year goals
Make sure you know what the goals and expectations are for sales in Q3 and Q4, and work toward developing the tools and resources to support those goals. Instead of full-blown sales kits, consider smaller, targeted tools that can help speed the selling process.
We’ve found that opportunity briefs (focused on specific industries or market segments) can help salespeople understand specific selling scenarios.
Tip No. 3: Increase efforts for the Consideration and Preference stages of the sales cycle
These are the stages where your prospects are deciding whether you have answers to their problems and whether you can solve them better than your competition. In an era of extremely knowledgeable customers, thought leadership is more important than ever.
The table above provides examples of some of the kinds of tools that support consideration and preference stages. But remember, it isn’t enough to just create them. Salespeople have the responsibility to move the customer through the buying cycle as quickly as possible, so they need to understand how to leverage case studies, white papers, ROI tools, and other thought-leadership pieces into the selling process.
Tip No. 4: Use demand-gen only in appropriate circumstances
The reality is that every company on the planet announces something in Q3/Q4, whether a product, a service, or a special promotion. So, your targets are going to get bombarded with demand-gen programs, and the possibility of getting any traction is difficult in the best of circumstances.
Your best chances for success are in these areas:
1. Campaigns designed to expand your presence in existing accounts—upgrades and cross-sales, for example
2. Campaigns where the resulting net-new customer lead can realistically close in fewer than 60 days (usually leaves out any hope of an enterprise sale—think SMB)
3. Campaigns where you’re trying to build some momentum for calendar 2007 business
In all cases, remember these demand-gen tips:
1. Make sure your campaign budget is aligned with the resulting sales opportunity. For example, it doesn’t make sense to spend $50k on an integrated demand-gen program for maintenance renewals valued at $399 each.
2. Always offer something meaningful—something of intellectual value, such as a white paper, executive brief, or event.
3. Try to instill a sense of urgency to motivate your customer to act quickly for competitive advantage.
4. Make sure that your sales force is aware of the campaign, and also understands its goals and what is expected of it.

Tip No. 5: Step up your field communications program
Regardless of the methods you use to communicate with your sales teams, kick it up a notch in Q3 and Q4. That doesn’t mean blasting them with useless information; it means making sure they understand you’re poised and ready to help them with every sale.
For example, a simple list (including links) to resources goes a long way for a busy salesperson. Work with sales management to monitor sales performance. Publish internal case studies in real time to help educate and motivate field salespeople regarding wins as they happen.
Tip No. 6: Touch all the people who touch your customers
Sales enablement isn’t only for field sales people. Remember pre-sales engineers, telemarketing, and any other organization that participates in the sales process. Make sure they are included in whatever sales tools and communications programs you develop.
It’s always important to be sure that you’re all using the same messaging and definitions when you talk to a customer, but it’s even more important that you’re all moving them in the same direction—toward closing the sale.

Tip No. 7: Support the close.Providing current, accurate proposal information can be a nightmare for some companies. If you’re one of them, spend time this summer updating your proposal library so salespeople have what they need when the heat is on. Better proposals make it through legal faster, and provide better transition from the messaging and communications you’ve been presenting throughout the sales cycle.
And for the deals that do close, consider creating special Q4 “welcome kits” that build loyalty faster and pave the way for add-on business sooner.

Tip No. 8: Get face-time with channel and alliance partners
Most sales managers would love to hear about a strategy to get “more feet on the street.” But, the reality is that channel and alliance partners already offer those feet—and they’re already targeted on the midmarket accounts that are more likely than their large enterprise cousins to close deals in the Q3/Q4 timeline.
Be sure to provide your channel and alliance partners with enablement materials to support specific opportunities or segments. For example, try diverting some internal telemarketing cycles to contact channel partners directly to be sure they have the marketing and enablement materials they need to support your Q3/Q4 product launch. You may find the partners understand the launch and appreciate its value, but still need a little more help educating their salespeople to support the campaign.
Tip No. 9: Don’t forget that 2011 is just around the corner
Q4 is the time to gear up your 2011 sales enablement programs. And now that you’re adept at mapping tools to sales cycle, you’re better prepared than ever to hit the ground running as your company launches new products, services, and programs.
You and your team will be able to show up at the January kickoff with a full suite of tools and resources for both internal and external audiences that are both on time and on target.

If You Market, They Will Come…….


Right now, selling is tough business. After the heady days of excess, people are tightening their belts in a natural reaction to an economy that may or may not be in a recession. Yet there are still people out there who need or want to buy your products and services. If you are a salesperson, it is more important than ever to be at the top of your game.
Here are seven tips for selling your products and services even if the economy is in a recession:
1. In a down economy, people are more comfortable buying value, reliability, versatility and effectiveness. They want practical solutions for their problems. They may not be so interested in the bells and whistles right now.
2. Re-train yourself not only in selling but in your products and services. Brush up on your selling technique. And study your own products and services. Become an expert.
3. Remain positive with your prospects. Your prospects are already fearful. Make sure you don’t add to that fear. Highlight the positive aspects of your business and products. Be confident in your presentation and follow-up.
4. Be authentic. Don’t try to be what you are not. If you are naturally funny, a little humor in your presentation can be a great way to break the ice with your prospects. But if you are normally a serious person, contrived humor can fall like a brick and disengage your prospects. Be yourself and let your prospects get to know you as you get to know them.
5. One-on-one personal selling is back. Converse with your prospects in order to develop long term relationships. Ask questions and really listen to the responses. Be sure to incorporate those responses in your presentation. Devise a custom solution to solve your prospects’ problems.
6. Communicate with prospective customers. Deliver an accurate, thorough proposal to your prospects. And be sure to follow up. Completely answer any questions your prospects may have. And ask if there is anything else you can explain.
7. Make it easy for your customers to buy from you. Prepare your paperwork in advance. Offer a variety of payment methods. And once the deal is signed, be sure to keep in touch with your customers.
This is not the same selling environment you probably faced a couple of years ago. Salespeople now have to sell their products and services. It’s what we should have been doing all along. Get back to the basics of selling.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Annette_Greco