When Should You Add Direct Sales to Your Marketing Mix?

Sales and Marketing will be more important than ever as we continue to recover from the recession. This is primarily true because growth through acquisition of smaller companies is more difficult given the tight credit markets. So the key question is, “When is it appropriate to add direct sales to your marketing mix?” Here are some important factors to consider.

Sales has many key benefits: Direct sales allows you to give your target prospect personalized attention and education, build a relationship, communicate complex ideas, overcome objections, demonstrate products and services, obtain immediate feedback, pursue larger deals, and customize your message to each prospect.

Sales has two important drawbacks: Utilizing a sales force can be quite expensive and is an impractical way to reach a mass audience.

Sales can take several forms: Direct sales can be conducted through the use of telemarketers, inside salespeople, outside salespeople, or a collaborative team approach. Compensation of salespeople can be achieved via a base salary, base salary + commission, or commission only. If you are not sure which form or compensation to use, research your or similar industries to see what is effective. If you are still uncertain about which approach to pursue, experiment with each method. It is difficult to find good salespeople that are willing to work on a commission-only basis, but obviously carry the advantage of representing no fixed cost to your business.

Use of the sales approach should be analyzed pragmatically: The bottom line question to ask is, “Does the lifetime value of my average customer exceed the acquisition cost for my average customer?” If the answer is no, you should obviously avoid utilizing a direct sales approach.

In summary, direct sales is a very effective part of the marketing mix with many important benefits. Conduct the proper analysis and experimentation to see if it is a good fit for your business.


Sanjit Singh is the CEO and Founder of SalesThink, an executive leadership and sales coaching company, and President of USS Logistics, a transportation company. Sanjit draws from his 18 years of award-winning sales performance in the software, medical device, and transportation industries to drive sales teams to reach a higher level of achievement. He has helped a number of successful sales teams and is considered a turnaround expert for poorly performing sales teams.

SMS Marketing Software – It Is Easy To Use and Effective

SMS marketing is a relatively new but highly efficient means of delivering marketing communication. The software is easy to use and extremely cost-effective in sales conversions compared to other marketing media.

SMS marketing is gaining popularity all over the world due to its effectiveness in delivering results. In most cases, it has beaten other marketing media in terms of performance. The reason for this is that this form of communication is usually directed at interested customers as opposed to other forms of mass media or direct marketing where the company has to reach out to a larger audience to get a percentage of that converted into sales. Using SMS as a marketing tool has delivered conversion rates as high as 70%. As a result, companies are setting aside a portion of their marketing budget towards this technique.

Starting a SMS marketing program for your business is easy. All you have to do is register online for the software and then start the process of capturing customer data either through in store sign up, your business website or through information from your staff who are in direct contact with your customer (such as in-store assistants). Once this is done, all you have to do is send out a message using the software about any promotions or offers that you are running. The software allows the message to be simultaneously forwarded to over 500 numbers depending on your agreement with the service provider. After this, all you have to do is sit back and watch as your sales revenue increases.

Certain websites offer added services where the businesses get a comprehensive service. They provide their customer’s contact information and the message to be formulated. The SMS marketing company manages the entire process for them from end to end starting with composing the text to sending out the message to the customers. The best part of SMS marketing is its cost effectiveness as it is much cheaper than other conventional advertising media for delivering the message to the consumer. Due to their cost effectiveness, even small businesses can afford to use these services. This is why businesses of different sizes and types including retailers, restaurants, health clubs and other businesses are using this medium to communicate directly with their customers.

Although using SMS Marketing is not as cost-effective as email marketing, the results are higher as emails sometimes end up in the customer’s bulk mail folder and get missed out. The advantage of using SMS is also the instant delivery of communication as most people carry their cell phones with them at all times.

The Legal Side Of Copywriting, Marketing, Email Marketing and More

When I began my first business it was important to understand trademarked names, phrases and logos. We had over 400 products we were drop shipping and while most vendors and dealers gave total permission to use the graphics and images in our online and printed catalog, some required that we only use 2-3 images at the most. These were companies who also sold the product we purchased from them for resale on their own company websites or catalogs.

Many times I used the phrase, “Bread Rising” in my marketing and was advised several times to have this trademarked or copyrighted. We never did and I honestly didn’t care who used it. No one could compete with me and how we did business anyways. That isn’t an arrogant statement it’s just that people are loyal to people in business.

Tony Robbins has a lot of training on this topic as do many other business trainers and coaches. So I knew that if that phrase was used by other stores online it wouldn’t affect my profits because they weren’t me….. and my customers loved me, not my marketing. * big wide smile *

It’s never been my mode of operation to set up a bunch of legal documents in an effort to protect my business.

It is my belief that the more contracts one has the more likely they are the one you should be keeping an eye on. Far too many companies are attempting to control employees, contractors, writers and more with contracts. Trust and respect work a lot better and go a long way.

So where do you draw the line between what you should protect, what you can’t use that belongs to someone else and the wide range of imaginary protection some companies use that just aren’t even legal?

When it comes to trademarked names, phrases and images it’s a good idea to check the Trademark Database. Here’s an example- a picture of a bull isn’t copyrighted or trademarked, that would be foolish. But a picture of a bull with a line through him and the words, ” No Bull” are a trademarked image used by the legends in Direct Response Marketing and Copywriting.

You can see them at: DanKennedy.com This little image is everywhere! On their books, their website, their banner ads…. you can see for yourself. So don’t go using an image like this and thinking you created it in your marketing. Major no no.

Trademarks aren’t hard to find and sometimes you can even ask for permission to use something and it’s no big deal. You might stumble upon a JV deal or affiliate product you want to add to your marketing.

When you do catalogs online or offline, ask for the imagines directly from your vendor. Even when you do JV deals, promote a book or a product from someone else, just ask for the images you can use. That’s easy to do. People are happy to provide them and respect the integrity it takes to ask.

The legalities of copywriting and writing ad copy is pretty significant.

I surely don’t want you to turn into a paranoid writer but be mindful of these rules. You can get a good overview of what they are here from The American Writers And Artists Inc. This book shares what you can and can’t say in copy and how to be wise. If you aren’t looking to make 6-7 figures AS a copywriter I don’t think you need this book.

However, if you are selling weight loss for example you might find it important to note that in this book you’ll see that outrageous claims, misuse of testimonials and stating things that can’t be scientifically proven could fry your butt in the long run.

I worked with a company years ago that had one of the best products on the market.

It flew off our shelves. Branding happened almost instantly because of the results people got. Then they made some foolish mistakes and didn’t watch what people were saying. When you called their corporate office to order a bottle of the amazing liquid supplement you heard story after story of miraculous events occurring because of the ingestion of said product.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe many natural products can heal the body. I take several every single day. But to make a claim that something cures cancer, kills cancer cells, makes every single person who takes it drop 5 dress sizes in 24 hours is just not a good thing to do.

Legal rules in the marketing of nutritional supplements is important to understand. Easy remedy- listen to what your company supplier tells you if you are in direct sales and honor those recommendations. They have a lot more at stake than you do. The company we worked with mentioned above went out of business with a $ 3 million dollar lawsuit and an FTC fine. Yikes!

Back to trademarks….. I’ve often heard it’s better to ask for forgiveness later than to seek permission from the get go. Whoever came up with that statement was a nut! In my humble opinion. No further comment.

Don’t copy what others do.

Just because someone else was very successful using a phrase or word in their copy doesn’t mean you can copy and paste it into your campaign. Especially if they used someone else’s trademarked product, slogan or graphics.

What about the original idea?

MaryEllen Tribby has a brilliant article on the original idea myth. There’s no such thing as protecting every creative thought or idea someone has who works with you. Not to mention wants to control people around you like that- they’ll be so scared their creativity will be thwarted. I highly recommend you read this article, “Debunking The Original Idea Myth.”

In closing here are a few tips:

1. Be careful you aren’t using someone else’s trademarked logo or graphic or phrase. But don’t be paranoid about this topic.

2. Remember that original ideas might not always be the best thing to come up with. Most successful businesses are built on someone else’s idea that had a unique selling proposition attached to it.

3. Just because someone has a ton of contracts does not mean they are in control.

4. Build your business, fan the flame of creativity in everyone around you, and work together as a team to get the best results possible.

Don’t get into trouble with a trademark!

Kick your business into higher profits by being yourself in marketing, being creative and understanding good copy sells because the words trigger a buying response, not because someone else’s trademarked image was used.

The Influence Of Aggressive-Subtle Internet Marketing Strategy On Your Business

In the on-line environment nothing plays as crucial a role in your businesses success as that of the internet marketing strategy. Marketing is a necessary tool in any business environment but in the high competition environment of the internet it plays an even greater role. When you consider a well established internet marketing strategy you can often see it divided into two main categories, aggressive marketing and subtle marketing. These two categories are efficient on their own but when you are able to develop a plan that incorporates both ideas, you’ll develop a fantastic internet marketing strategy.

The aggressive website marketing strategy is often a company’s direct method of trying to reach clientele and inform them of their goods or services. There are many different types of this strategy which range from the use of target marketing to direct mailing efforts. The internet represents one of the first environments where target website marketing strategy becomes efficient, allowing you to advertise specifically on sites which appeal to your clients and then track the efficiency of those ads.

You could also discover one of the best direct marketing opportunities that have ever existed. While not every person has a mailing address, nearly every person across the globe has an e-mail address, usually more than one. This allows you to get your message to customers directly without the uncertainty relating to the postal service.

While aggressive website marketing strategy is reminiscent of traditional marketing methods, the subtle website marketing strategy opportunities create new ways for businesses to help clients find them. With the advantages of search engine optimization tools, you’ll be able to do this most effectively.

Through this exclusive online feature you will be able to utilize keywords that would aid clients find your website over others in search engines. The more efficient your keyword implementation is with search engine optimization tools, the higher you will appear on search results and the higher the percentage clients will visit your website as a solution to their search. Those businesses that do not look into keyword proficiency opportunities are often left low on these search engine results, resulting in gaining no additional business from the free search engine searches.

Internet marketing strategy is a necessary component of any business plan and when you make this feature secondary on your priority list, you’ll only be delaying the chance to find new clientele. The online environment might have millions of potential customers but the longer it takes them to find your business, the greater the opportunity for other companies to establish brand recognition and consumer bonds.