Negotiating Is Key

Negotiating is an everyday life event that we do even when we do not realize it. When you think about, we negotiate where or what we want to eat almost everyday. Negotiating can be an incredible skill to carry around in your arsenal and can ultimately make you a lot of money. Being a dominate negotiator takes years to accomplish, but having a foundation can get you started in the right direction. Negotiating can be similar to a game of chess, you don’t know what they are going to do and they don’t know what you are going to do, so we make a move and try to anticipate our opponents next move. It’s like an art, that can be extremely fun when executed correctly.

In negotiating we want to get the game going in our direction and keep it going in our direction until we are ready to close the deal. The most important aspect of doing this, is doing your research. You have to know all the ins and outs to your negotiation before you start negotiating. The person with the most superior information always comes out on ahead. So gather as much accurate information as you possible can to determine your opponents goals, deadlines, and alternatives. If you can figure out little things about your opponent then this could help you develop a personal connection with them. You have to set yourself up for success, every advance that you make will depend on the impression that you give off in the early stages of the negotiation.

Another key to successful negotiation is listening. You must get your opponent talking and listen to the information that they are willing to give up before the negotiating begins. You would be surprised at how many people will tell you their life story when simply asked. This could be very valuable information that could put you way ahead of the game and you haven’t even started negotiating. Do not cut your opponent off when they are speaking, take in everything they have to say and see what delicate information they are willing to give away.

Asking the right questions will also allow you to get that valuable information that is much needed to put you ahead of the game. If you ask open-ended questions, then your opponent has to answer, they have to come back with something to keep the conversation going. When it is time to get down to business, always ask for more than you expect to get. For one, this broadens your negotiating range – the margin between their price and your price. Secondly, you might actually get what you ask for! Also, by putting such an outrageous price tag on what you are offering, it can raise the perceived value of what you are offering. Making your opponent think that they are purchasing something with greater value. If you are buying, you can never go down on your price but you can always go up. If you are selling then you can never go up on your price but you can always come down. So always start your negotiation with a large negotiating range.

5 Ways a Copywriter Can Help You

Also known as “web copy”, a copywriter can help you explain concepts and persuade online readers to do something positive. The buzzword today is content. Marketers use the word content to describe anything on a website or published on social media.

Copy, in contrast, focuses on sales, not traffic. For copy to be successful, sales numbers must go up. For content to be successful, web traffic must go up. See the difference? Copy deals with sales, content deals with traffic. Since sales equal dollars, let’s focus on copy.

Here are some examples of how a copywriter can help you:

1) On-Page Text

A marketer will try and “stuff” your website with keywords to help with Google rankings. These days, Google penalizes for keyword stuffing. Keywords are important but an attempt to overdo it will show in the writing.

A copywriter focuses on leading the reader down a buying path. Good web copy will fire the reader up to click or call to buy something. Are you focused on net income or website visits? While website visits are exciting, net income keeps bills paid and people employed.

2) Blog Posts

Good copywriters excel in writing blog posts. Give them your idea and they will churn out a compelling 750-1,000 word article for you in an hour or so. A good blog post will be original, have the correct number of keywords, and end with a call to action.

Publishing longer posts keep readers on your site longer and receive more shares. According to Mark Schaefer, “If the content is worth reading, your customers will value and share in-depth articles.”

So how do we know if the blog posts are worth reading? The true feedback comes from social shares. If you have a big enough audience and don’t get many shares, tweak the next article.

Sometimes the headline is not engaging enough to get people to open the post. So, your titles need tweaking.

Sometimes the paragraphs are too long, causing the reader to lose interest. Easy fix: break the article into small paragraphs and bulleted lists.

A copywriter can help you with this.

3) Case Studies

Case studies are an underutilized tool in the crowded content space. These studies resemble an extended customer review. Much like a product review after a purchase, you take a satisfied customer and put their comments into a report.

This report should use call-out quotes and photos of the satisfied customer. Why is this so effective? Nothing builds credibility like reviews. To build ultra-credibility, turn a review into a case study.

Why are case studies underutilized? Case studies take time to compile. And, they require a satisfied customer willing to say good things about your team and its benefits.

If you do not have any customers yet, the “negative spin” approach is effective. This is when you take a dissatisfied customer of your competitor and write about the problems encountered.

Don’t have time to compile a 3,000 word case study? Copywriters do this every day.

4) White Papers

If case studies are the guided missile of the marketing world, white papers are the atomic bomb. White papers inform and teach people how to solve problems with information. White papers do not provide a lot of sales speak or even a call to action. They are in-depth articles written and distributed to solve a problem.

White papers are more academic than blog or social media posts. They provide references for all the findings and point readers to more information. This type of information sets you apart as the expert in an area of interest. If crafted properly, the white paper will drive traffic to your doorstep.

Anywhere from 3,000 to 25,000 words, white papers dig deep into a topic. Since these papers take a long time to write and an even longer time to distribute, look for a copywriter to help you with both.

5) Email Marketing

In recent years, email marketing has taken a nose dive. Random emails come off as “spammy” to readers, and readers rarely open emails from strangers. Is email marketing dead? Not really.

If you combine case studies and white papers into email or direct message campaigns, you can get extraordinary results. When you give without an expectation of return, you get a higher response rate. The emails should be simple and have the piece you want to distribute as an attachment. Sounds simple, right?

These campaigns take time. If you are a busy entrepreneur, you don’t have a lot of time. Where do you get help? You guessed it, a copywriter.

Conclusion

I am biased when it comes to copywriters. I am one and promote the craft often. No longer are copywriters dressed in cheap suits, a cigarette in his mouth, and plugging away on a loud typewriter. Today, they know how to operate most social media sites, how to optimize search results, and ask many questions to write compelling pieces

How To Boost Your Holiday Sales Using BOGO

The holiday season is peak season for most small businesses. One of the most overlooked marketing tricks to boost holiday sales is using BOGO (buy-one-get-one) offers. In fact, BOGO is one of the most powerful marketing weapons. It’s also one of the easiest. All you have to do is make your customers feel like they’ll miss out on a great opportunity if they don’t take advantage of this one and buy now. Many retailers and small business owners look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday to boost company sales, but it’s usually after those dates the discounts began to simmer until the week before the final holiday of the year.

So, if you want to give your sales an extra boost this upcoming season–Choose BOGO. BOGO is a popular acronym that means buy-one-get-one free or at a reduced fixed price. It is used by many big and small businesses for sales promotions. It’s appealing to consumers because, psychologically, nothing feels better than getting something for free. Right now, as I write this, shoppers are either using their phones to research trendy items online to buy at a reduced price or they are signing up to receive special offers and discounts in anticipation for the holiday sales of the season. Shoppers always intend to spend less than they did the year before and if the benefits of said discounted or free offer beats the benefits of the compared market price of a high quality item–they will jump at the chance.

Below are three ways your small business can benefit from the BOGO marketing strategy to boost your sales.

1. Use A Sense of Urgency – Start a holiday clock countdown. Think of the “Only 10 days left before Christmas” style promotions to use for your BOGO offers. Tell your customers that availability of special items are now limited and promote the end date to drive the point home. Appeal to the senses using rich media like photos, memes and even video. Be creative and make it colorful and fun.
2. Showcase Using Social Media – Whether you run an online business or not, social media marketing is prime for any small business. Use your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social sites to showcase your holiday promotions, sales, events, menus, clearance sales and inventory. You can also utilize social media to promote Secret Santa-style BOGO promotions that are only available to your followers who unlock the offer by using a time limited code on your website or in-store.
3. Gift Giving – Capture your customer’s attention using BOGO holiday gift offers. Gifts are everything and everyone wants one. This is also a good way to appeal to last-minute shoppers by showing them that they benefit from said gift if they buy one item of equal value. Offer a different BOGO-gift offer everyday or spotlight a different product every week until Christmas. Not only does this boost sales but it invites new customers, drives traffic and gets rid of excessive inventory.

As we approach the busiest shopping season of the year it’s time to get started prepping your promotional offers. Whether you’re crafting a new discount strategy or trying to figure out how to refine existing campaigns, you can utilize the BOGO promotion. It is a very effective marketing technique that is guaranteed to generate sales making the 2017 holiday season a success for your small business while helping your customers maximize their savings.