Category Archives: Sales & Marketing Tips

Want More Sales? Writing in Active Voice Gets Others Excited

eliminate-passive-voice-in-writingEven as a professional writer, I have to review everything I write to make sure I am writing in “active voice.” I review for it in my professional writing as well as my everyday correspondences via email or letters, and believe it or not, I usually find at least one place where I can make my writing stronger.

What is Active Voice?

When using active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb: The girl brushed the dog. An example of this same sentence in passive voice would be: The dog was brushed by the girl. One tip for identifying a passive sentence is to look for the word “by.”

Why is Active Voice Important?

Active voice sentences are preferable in writing because Continue reading →

Does Your Marketing Copy Tell Your Story?

what's-your-storyAre you using plain, nondescriptive words on your website and marketing materials? Words that everyone else is using? If so, you might be falling into the copy dead zone.

I learned a technique as a magazine writer. As an exercise, we wrote a sentence or paragraph using ordinary words, as in this example:

  • John went to the store to buy bananas.

Then we had to replace the ordinary words and phrases with more descriptive ones, as in this example:

  • John lumbered into the small neighborhood grocery on his quest for the most perfectly ripe bananas to please his perfectionist mother.

The first sentence merely says what he does, the second sentence tells a whole story.

By simply expanding your vocabulary you can wake up your copy, make it inviting and exciting, and attract customers. After all, we don’t buy the product itself, we actually buy if for what it does for us or how it makes us feel.

Does Your Copy Just Say What You Do, or Does it Tell a Story?

How can you use an expanded vocabulary to better describe your business in a way that tells your story? Continue reading →

How to Give the Perfect Pitch

elevator-speechIf you have ever been to a networking group, you were probably asked to stand and give your “elevator pitch” to the group. Members are trained in how to present who they are, what they do, and the benefits of their product or service in 30 seconds or less, or the time it would take to travel in an elevator from floor to floor (which is why it’s called an elevator pitch).

Even if you don’t network, you will constantly be asked, “So, what do you do?”  It will happen at family gatherings, parties, social events…pretty much anyplace people gather.

Therefore, you need to be prepared with an elevator speech. It doesn’t have to be canned, but it does need to outline the basics that not only tell what you do, but inspire the listener to ask more. Here are some simply steps to developing your perfect pitch. Continue reading →

Running a Home Based Business? Keep Doing It!

woman-working-from-homeMany an entrepreneur has started a business from home. You might recognize some of the more famous names: Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple), Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), and Walt Disney (Disney). These men all started their companies from their garages.

In 2013, Small Business Trends reported that 69% of startup and 59% of established businesses were home-based. Even more interesting, the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report stated that more than half of U.S. entrepreneurs continued to operate their businesses from home long after they had been established.

There is no stigma in stating that your business is run from home. In fact, there are many smart reasons to continue doing it Continue reading →

Your Website is Sooooo Out of Date

website-audit-image-All-the-Buzz

It’s time for a website audit.

I can’t believe how many websites I see that are just plain awful.

  • Their copy is out of date.
  • They have only bulleted lists on each page.
  • They haven’t used keywords or internal links.
  • They have typos or bad grammar.
  • Their pages only have pictures, without even having captions.
  • They are even lacking copy altogether.
  • Worst of all, they have the dreaded “Under Construction” on their pages or their entire site.

Egads! Are people turning away from your site because they get a bad impression from it?

When’s the last time you changed or updated your copy?  One year?  Two years?  Ten years? Continue reading →

“The Art of Closing the Sale” Teleseminar

On Thursday, April 16, 2015 Linda Barrett led a teleseminar on “The Art of Closing the Sale,” for the members of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI).

Tips and Techniques to Closing the Sale

Keep-calm-and-sell-onIn the seminar, Linda gave tips and techniques to closing the sale, covering topics including:

  • What to bring with you and how to present your offer
  • Why listening is more important than talking
  • How to tell when the prospect is ready to buy
  • Why you should never discount
  • How to upsell and create packages
  • Major mistakes salespeople make and how to avoid them
  • Overcoming fear of rejection
  • How to get your prospect to practically talk themselves into the sale

One-on-One Sales Coaching

Linda Barrett offers one-on-one and group sales coaching designed to help business owners and salespeople overcome their fears of selling or rejection, set systems into place, increase their sale price, and close more business. Contact All the Buzz for more information or for a copy of our tips sheet titled, “The Art of Closing the Sale: 22 Big Mistakes Salespeople Make.”

Direct Mail Isn’t Dead | All the Buzz | Marketing Tips

All-the-Buzz-MarketingSherpa-preferred-customer-communications-channels-survey-results-graphic

Preferred Customer Communication Channels, MarketingSherpa

Business owners may say that they aren’t using direct mail any more, but statistics show that customers want to receive it. Direct mail isn’t dead after all. Following email as the first choice in receiving business communications, direct mail showed a very strong presence.

Customer Communication Preferences
Survey Results

In a recent study released by MarketingSherpa, 2,057 adults were asked how they would prefer companies to communicate with them. Their top two responses were:

Use “I Can” to Enhance Your Client Relationships | All the Buzz | Sales & Marketing Tips

Yes-I-CanWhen speaking with your clients, let them know what you CAN do, not what you can’t do.This positive attitude can make all the difference in a positive outcome.

In The Freelancer’s Bible, Sara Horowitz compares the “I can’t” statement to the “I can” statement. Here are a few examples:

  • Rather than saying “I can’t do a call until 3pm,” say, “I’m here from 3pm until 5pm. When would be a good time for you?”
  • Rather than saying “I can’t start for 3 months,” say, “I’d love to work with you, if we can start in June.”
  • Rather than saying “I can’t start until I receive the initial payment,” say, “I look forward to starting work after receipt of the initial payment.”
  • Continue reading →

Sales Secrets from the Girl Scouts | Marketing Tips | All the Buzz

thin-mint-cookies

Girl Scouts’ Thin Mint Cookies

If you are in the Northern Virginia area, good news!  Girl Scout cookies are on sale this weekend!  To find out where you can purchase them, go to the Girl Scout website and on the top of the page under “Find Cookies,” enter your zip code.

Other than sparking my desire for Thin Mints, this news got me thinking about my own sales success as a Girl Scout, and how we all can learn a little bit about marketing from these junior saleswomen. Continue reading →

Most Popular B2B Content Marketing Tactics | Marketing Tips | All the Buzz

B2B-content-marketing-usage-by-tacticAccording to the Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs research,
over 90% of all marketers use content marketing in some way.

If you’re not using content marketing, you should be. Here is a graphic of the most popular tactics of B2B content that you should find helpful when defining your content marketing strategy. (Detailed below).

Continue reading →