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3 Simple Ways to Increase Your Small Business Sales

Charlie Cook

Are you making as much money as you could be from the services you market and provide? Want to know the fastest way to double or triple your business revenue?

Pat, a voice coach in Kansas City, used the simple ideas you’ll find below to increase her revenue by 300% in just two weeks.

Pat sought out my help because she just couldn’t seem to make her business into the huge success she knew it could be. Pat helps business executives improve their speaking skills and move up the corporate ladder. She had a web site and was using Google Ads successfully to generate leads, and that was the problem.

Pat was generating plenty of interest with her web marketing efforts, but with all the time she spent talking to prospects and then the time she spent coaching clients, she was going flat out and still not bringing in as much revenue as she wanted.

I’ve coached hundreds of independent service professionals over the years; accountants, authors, coaches, consultants, plumbers, trainers, search engine specialists, web designers, real estate agents, and other independent professionals – people who provide services of every kind.

Almost everyone I talk to is working way too hard and putting in long hours. Very few are making as much as they want to make or could be making.

Sound familiar?

Want to know three easy ideas you can use to double or triple your revenue in a month or less?

You’ll find the 3 simple ideas on what to do and how to do it to sign up more high-paying clients with less effort. Use this link >>

When I start working with a new client, one of my goals is to help them see immediate results. I want to give them straightforward ideas they can put to use right away to start making more money. Then we can work on the long-term projects that will continue to grow their business. There are three strategies I teach my new clients right away:

1. Get Rid of the Time-wasters
Focus your marketing efforts on your best prospects and stop wasting time talking to people who aren’t likely to buy.

When Pat got a prospect on the phone, she’d been spending up to 30 minutes talking to them. She was spending a lot of time every day talking to people who hadn’t spent a dime on her services and weren’t likely to.

I helped Pat write a phone script that qualifies her prospects within three minutes so she can quickly determine whether or not they are high-paying coaching prospects and she should continue the call.

Then I showed her how to get the prospects that don’t fit this profile to buy her low-cost CDs. For the rest of the callers, the time wasters, I showed Pat how to politely end the call before they wasted a fourth minute of her time.

To close more sales, learn how to quickly separate the buyers from the time-wasters.

Want to discover the fastest way to make more money with less effort? If you provide a service of any kind, whether in-person or online. Find out how >>

2. Raise Your Prices
Most service professionals think that they’re already charging as much as they can, because prospects and clients often balk at their existing prices.

But nine times out of ten when prospects complain about price, its not the total cost that’s the problem. The problem is that the price is presented out of context, so prospects don’t understand the value of your services. Without understanding the value you provide, a very reasonable price is going to seem high and become a barrier to sales.

Does this happen to you? Do prospects ever tell you that your fees are high or that the price for a project seems too high?

When I first suggested to Pat that she raise her prices, she thought I was nuts. I explained how to present her prices in terms of the value her services deliver. She agreed to try my methods, and beginning that day, started charging – and making – 50% more with each client.

3. Close More SalesWhat would your profits look like if you signed up 7 to 9 of each 10 prospects?

What is your closing rate? Could you be closing more sales?

Pat detailed her sales conversations for me. She told me how she explained her services, outlined all the benefits, asked for a commitment and then tried to close the sale. It sounded like the approach that almost every other service professional uses – and it was all wrong.

I don’t know why, but we all seem to start with this approach, and it works just well enough to keep us thinking it’s the best way to sell. Its not!

When I started coaching Pat, her closing rate was 30%. Respectable but not great. I showed her how to sequence the sales call, what to say and when to say it to get the prospect to sell themselves. When she put my system into practice, her closing rate more than doubled; it increased to 70%.

In just two weeks, Pat eliminated time wasters, increased per client revenue by 50% and more than doubled her closing rate. Her income grew by 300%. Let me repeat that; her revenue grew by 300% in just two weeks.

No hype; this strategy works! Pat is now making more money with less effort by applying the 3 easy strategies above, and you can, too. Ready to start making up to 300% more? Use this link >

3 Easy Ways to Make More With The Same Clients

Charlie Cook

An accountant once told me that he never met anyone who didn’t want to make 30% more money. Whether you want a better lifestyle or to take more vacations, buy a fancy car, spend more time with your family, send your children to college or to give it all away, you could always use more money.

If you sell services, your primary limitations on earnings are your costs and the number of hours in a week. Most independent professionals are already working well over 40 hours a week and can’t work longer hours to increase earnings. Your goal should be to find a small business marketing strategy that enables you to work less and increase your earnings. How can you market smarter and make more money?

Don’t Discount Your Services
Have you ever heard of a lawyer or carpenter offering a 20% discount on their hourly or daily rate? Every time you offer a discount or reduce your regular rates, you are sending a message to prospects that your services really aren’t worth what you’re asking.

Once your clients know that your prices are discounted or negotiable, you will always be fighting a battle to be the paid full price for your work. Never offer discounts; your clients will assume that they are expected to pay the asking price for your services.

Is your marketing and sales strategy helping you earn as much as you’d like? Does your marketing plan help you generate hundreds of prospects a week and help you convert them to paying clients? Are you getting the results you want from your marketing?

Define the blueprint for a profitable web site. You’ll learn the sales / marketing strategies and tactics that can help you grow you online and offline business.

Overcome Objections To Price
Prospects invariably want to know your pricing before they understand the benefits your products and services provide. Quoting prices is meaningless until prospects can put the cost into the context of the results they can expect.

When prospects show concern about your pricing, it’s a good sign. It indicates their interest in buying your services and a need to understand the value you provide. You could list all the benefits of your services but if you really want to make the sale, it’s far more effective to let prospects sell themselves.

A client’s perception of value isn’t based on how much they pay, but on whether their expectations will be met and the benefit they will receive. Don’t get stuck on the dollars you charge per hour. Instead help prospects define the dollar benefit of your services.

When prospects query you on price, respond by asking questions to help them identify for themselves the problem they want solved, the cost of the problem, the solution they need, and how you can help them. Prospects buy when they think their expectations will be met. Let them define their expectations and they’ll be far more likely to sell themselves when you finally explain your pricing at the end of the conversation.

Position Yourself as an Expert

Differentiate yourself from your competition by using your articles to regularly provide insight and ideas to your prospects and clients so they come to view you as an expert in your field. Use expert positioning and consider raising your prices.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger first arrived in the U.S. he had trouble getting work as a stonemason with his funny accent, despite charging less than his competitors. A friend suggested he set his prices above the competition and bill himself and his partner as exclusive European masons. His business took off and look where he is now!

Learn how to increase sales with your internet marketing strategy. Use the step by step sales & marketing system in “Creating Web Sites that Sell” to get attention, position your products and services and to sell more.

Use this link to order your copy of Creating Web Sites that Sell.

Avoid Hourly Fees
Unless you sell hour-long massages, charging by the hour is the best way to limit your earning potential. When you charge by the hour you lose money if you work efficiently or if you get a great idea right away. Prospects can always negotiate with you on the number of hours they want, undermining your ability to put in the time needed to meet their

Prospects want results. Help them clarify the results they want and then set a project fee for accomplishing those results. Make sure your contract or letter of agreement allows you to adjust your price if the project changes mid-stream.

Use Value Based Pricing
You can pay $30 or over $5,000 a night for a motel or hotel room. Both provide a roof over your head, a bed and your own bathroom, so why do some people pay over 150 times more for one than the other?

People buy based on their perception of the value provided. If they understand the value that your service or product provides, they may be willing to pay much, much more than you are currently charging. Look at the results you provide for clients and reassess your pricing.

Leverage Time and Money
Like most service professionals you have limited time and money to spend on marketing. Much of your time is spent delivering services. Is your small business marketing helping you earn more? Do prospects understand the unique value you provide? If not, take a look at the way you are positioning your firm and adjust it to clarify your value to clients.

Are you making what you could be? If you apply even one or two of the above strategies, you’ll be making more money than you are now without working any harder. You’ll probably still wish you had 30% more.

Should You Give Up On Cold Calling as a Small Business Marketing Tool?

Charlie Cook

Ever had second thoughts about using cold calling to find new clients?

Before you pick up the phone to make a single cold-call, there are several things you should know. First, few people are naturally successful at cold calling.

Second, cold calling has a bad reputation. Most people find cold calls intrusive and obnoxious.

Third, conversion rates for cold calls are typically about 2%, compared to 20% for solid leads and 50% for referrals.

With three strikes against cold calling, shouldn’t you cross this marketing strategy off your list once and for all? No! The reason most cold calls fail is simply because they’re done wrong.

If you’re thinking of giving up on using the phone to generate leads, first ask yourself if it is cold calling that annoys people, or the way its done. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater — many businesses have been built on the basis of successful cold-calling campaigns.

Ready to find out how to avoid small business marketing that kills sales? Get your prospects to sell themselves on your products and services. Get the details >>

One of my clients, Steve, confessed that he didn’t want to be bothered with most marketing activities. Give him a list of leads and a phone and in a couple of hours and he could find a warm prospect. Instead of alienating prospects, his cold calls resulted in more business.

Cold-calling worked for Steve because he was a master at it. You too can become a master of cold calling when you know how to prepare and how to make the calls using the strategy detailed below.

Why Do People Hate Most Cold Calls?
We’re all assaulted by hundreds of advertising messages each day. Many we choose to ignore, a select few catch our interest. The ones that annoy us the most are the ones we are forced to pay attention to without any choice. If you want to overcome this natural resistance you’ll need to find out how to make your cold-calls less intrusive.

Get Your Prospects’ Permission
One of the most effective ways to generate a lead on your website is to ask a prospect to give you his or her email address and then, with their permission, send them ideas and information they want. The same is true when you pick up the phone to call a prospect. Get a prospect’s permission, give them the information they want, and you can generate a warm lead and a sale.

The traditional approach to small business marketing and cold calling shoves a  ‘sell’ in the prospect’s face. Most people don’t respond well to this.

The more effective alternative is to get a prospect’s attention, ask permission, find out what they want and then give them what they asked for.

Discover how to increase your confidence and competence in using the phone to grow your business. I wrote these small business marketing tools to show you how to avoid common marketing mistakes and how to apply simple marketing principles and techniques to attract a steady stream of clients. Get the details >>

How To Generate Leads and Sales with Your Phone Calls

Before you make the call; prepare for success

1. Don’t blindly pick up the phone and except to get results. When at all possible, research your prospects’ needs. The more you know about what they want the more effective you’ll be on the phone. Depending on who you’re calling, you can:

– Research the individual company and person to identify problem areas where you could be of assistance. Send a letter or a series of postcards in advance of your call.

–  Use a response form on your web site or a postcard to prompt your prospects to tell you what they are looking for. On the form, ask the prospect to tell you what his biggest or most intractable problem is.

When a prospect completes an inquiry form on your web site, you’ve got the most important thing to a successful call; their permission for you to contact them again, to discuss how you can help them.

– Survey your existing clients to define the 3-5 reasons they find your products and services valuable.

2. Your first objective with a prospect isn’t to sell to them. Before a sale can take place you need to establish rapport and find out what they want and need. If you haven’t already done this with your marketing then you’ll need to take the first couple of calls to do this and then you can move towards a sale.

Making the call –  partner with your prospect

1. State your name and ask the prospect if they have a moment. (Get their permission to continue the conversation)

2. If they’re busy, schedule a time to call back. This way you’ve got their permission to have the next conversation.

3. Give them a reason to listen. Let them know you’ll be brief and tell them why you are calling. Tell them what your firm does in terms of the benefits you provide. For example, ‘We help hotels like yours increase bookings and generate more revenue per guest.’

4. Tell them you’d like to ask them a couple of questions and get their permission to proceed. Then find out what’s working and what’s not and what types of solutions they are looking for.

5. Summarize what they’ve told you about their needs and wants. Then ask them if you could solve the problems they just told you they wanted solved, whether it’d be worth schedule at time to talk further. Next, schedule a meeting or follow-up conversation.

Advertising, web sites, email, and sales letters are great ways to market your products and services, but picking up the phone and personally talking to a prospect can get immediate results when you apply fundamental marketing principles and techniques.

Tired of trying to figure out on your own how to take your business to the next level? My clients have seen their businesses grow by as much as 200% within months of applying the principles detailed in my marketing tools. Find out how you can have this same kind of success >>

Small Business Sales Ideas & Tips

Charlie Cook

Marketing & Sales Ideas to Help You Grow Your Business

Charlie Cook

How You Can Use The Same Marketing Strategies That Win Elections

Charlie Cook

Marketing your company may be more like running for President of the United States than you ever imagined. Even though you may not have over a hundred million dollars to spend to convince people, and you don’t want to kiss a lot of babies, you can use many of the same small business marketing strategies to grow your business.

Like the incumbent president and the democratic challenger, you want people in your target market to make up their minds to vote for you. The difference is that the presidential race is focused on getting people to go to the polls on one critical day. Your small business marketing involves getting people to vote with their wallets and buy your products and services on a weekly or monthly basis.

Your marketing plan can incorporate the same small business marketing strategies used by presidential contenders and other highly successful marketers. Discover the secrets >>

When you apply the 5 essential principles to marketing your services or business you’ll attract many more clients and see your business grow.

Learn how to get your marketing message across to get attention and win the hearts and minds of your prospects with “15 Second Marketing: Creating 0pportunity with a Brilliant Marketing Message”. You’ll find yourself and your firm generating more leads and more business.

Your business and the presidential contenders require similar small business marketing objectives and strategies. Your marketing plan should consider the following:

A. Marketing Goals
Presidential Contenders – To convince over 50% of voters to vote for them.

You – To help people in your target market make the choice to purchase from you.

B. Marketing Issues

Presidential Contenders – To appeal to voters’ greatest concerns, hopes and fears, whether it’s health, safety, or prosperity.

You – To appeal to your prospects’ greatest concerns, hopes and fears, wants and needs.

C. Solutions
Presidential Contenders – To demonstrate that their solutions to current economic, educational, environmental, and safety problems provide the greatest value to the American voters.

You – To demonstrate that your products and services provide high value to your prospects.

D. Credibility

Presidential Contenders – To establish their own credibility. Too often, politicians try to do this by undermining their opponents.

You – This is one area where I recommend your small business marketing objectives and strategies differ from the presidential candidates’ negative approach. Establish your credibility by standing above the competition. One of the best ways is by getting past clients to describe the value you provide.

E. Staying In Touch

Presidential Contenders – Repetition, repetition, repetition is the strategy here; staying “on message”.

You – To make sure your prospects and clients remember you when they have a need and want to do something about it. Regular contact works.

Want to save time, attract more clients and increase your revenue? Discover how to plan and implement an effective marketing campaign >>

Get your marketing message across to win the hearts and minds of your prospects with “15 Second Marketing: Creating 0pportunity with a Brilliant Marketing Message”. You’ll find yourself and your business generating more leads and more sales.

Your Marketing Campaign
You may not be running for President of the United States, but you are the one responsible for running your company’s marketing campaign.

Goals – What’s the percentage of your target market you want to win over this year?

Marketing Issues
– Relative to the product or service you offer, what are your prospects’ primary concerns? What do they want and need?

– What is the solution you offer and how can you demonstrate its value?

Credibility – What do you do or could you be doing to help establish credibility with prospects?

Staying In Touch
– What’s your strategy for making sure your prospects remember you when they have a need?

Want a winning marketing strategy, one that helps you save time, attract more clients and be more successful? If so you’ll find “Earning More by Marketing Smarter” a valuable training manual.

You’ll learn how to generate more leads and close more sales. In “Earning More by Marketing Smarter” I’ve mapped out in detail how to create a steady stream of prospects, referrals and clients.

Here’s the link to order Earning More by Marketing Smarter.

How do people get to be president of the United States? Regardless of their party or experience, the key is their ability to win voters’ hearts and minds. How do they do that? By understanding and being highly successful marketers.

Whether you want to be President of the United States or just part of a highly successful company, you need to win the hearts and minds of your prospects. Apply the marketing strategies used by the Presidential contenders and you’ll be a winner, no matter who wins on election day.

Small Business Marketing Articles

Charlie Cook

of Small Business Marketing Articles and Marketing Ideas & Tips

The 4 Most Important Objections To Eliminate To Increase Sales

Charlie Cook

You want to increase the flow of sales revenue, but you are stymied by prospects’ seemingly endless objections. Prospects say they’re not interested. They tell you your price is too high, or this isn’t the right time. You’ve heard all the objections. What can you do to simplify sales and get rid of these once and for all?

Engineering Your Marketing
When I was seven one of my favorite ways to spend a hot summer day with my friends was playing a backyard game we called “waterworks”. We’d use a trowel to construct channels in the dirt, put the hose at one end and watch the water flow. If we wanted the water to go straight, we’d remove rocks and debris to clear a path. We became sophisticated engineers, guiding water around corners and across short aqueducts. We felt like masters of the universe, directing the water where we wanted it to go. (You can bet my mother loved seeing us come into the house at the end of the day.)

Plan your small business marketing to take charge of increasing your sales Your marketing can lead prospects to your products and services the way my friends and I engineered our waterworks; by making clear paths and removing obstacles. Channel your prospects’ attention and interests and eliminate objections.

Discover how to engineer your small business marketing plan to provide a steady stream of clients >>

Below are the four most common objections and ways to eliminate them.

Lack of Interest
Prospects need to understand what you do before they can become interested in what you have to offer. It is that simple. If you’re marketing yourself as a lawyer, coach, accountant or fitness center, you’re not telling people why they should be interested. To capture their interest, explain the problems you solve from their perspective.

Lack of Leads
You want people to email you, call you or go to your web site to buy your products and services. But first you have to motivate them to contact you so you can market to them. Once you have their attention, use your conversation, your emails and your web site to ask them what they want and need.

Lack of Credibility
You want prospects to see you as the expert; the person and the firm that has the products and services they can rely on. One of the biggest challenges to attracting new clients is gaining their trust and being seen as the essential expert. Use your articles, ezine, and web site to demonstrate your expertise. Use testimonials from clients to tell prospects about the results you and your products have achieved.

Pricing Objections
Whether it is a $25 subscription or a $50,000 consulting fee, prospects object to price when they don’t understand the value of the purchase. Establish a set of questions you can use to help prospects define what they want and what you are providing. When price is put in context, it becomes much less of an obstacle.

Still not converting as many prospects to clients as you’d like? Use questions to find out more about what they want, and what their concerns are. Then address each of these objections up front and remove them as potential sales killers.

Discover how to use your web site to eliminate objections and generate a steady flow of new clients.

Think of your target market as a reservoir of water waiting to be tapped. If you eliminate the barriers between them and you, you could send a steady stream of new clients and customers your way. now, don’t just imagine it, do it.

Start eliminating your prospects’ objections and create a clear path for them to become clients and customers. Help your prospects get what they want and you’ll be sales to more clients.

Are Your Prices An Obstacle to Sales?

Charlie Cook

“I’m having trouble selling my business development system. Do you think the price is the problem? Is $500 too much to charge? Should I sell it for less?”
David R., MI

Ever have a potential deal fall apart because your prospect isn’t happy with your price?

You know the situation. You’ve got a qualified prospect on the phone or you’re meeting with them in person and they’ve agreed that your product or services are the perfect fit. Then you mention the price, and they don’t bite. They tell you that they want to think about it or they need to talk to X or they just flat out tell you its too expensive.

But is price really the issue?

In fact, price is rarely the problem. And if your prospect isn’t buying, lowering the price won’t guarantee the sale.

Typically when your prospect objects to price, the real problem is that they don’t understand the value of your products or services. And it’s not their fault; it’s the fault of your marketing strategies. Whether you sell consulting services, hand tools, or chicken legs, the price you can charge is based on your prospect’s perception of its value to them.

Use this link to claim your copy of Eliminating Obstacles to Sales >>

Want to avoid losing clients due to price? Here’s an example of what not to do.

Earlier this fall, I was planning a family reunion at a charming old inn in the Berkshires. As part of the festivities, I wanted to organize a light breakfast buffet for the 50 or so relatives attending. The inn quoted me a price of $29 per person, without giving me any information about what was included. When I got the quote I was shocked. It was much more than I’d anticipated, and I decided to drop the whole idea.

What was the fatal small business marketing mistake the Inn had made?

Without a clear understanding of what I was going to get for $29 per head, I had no means of determining whether it was worth the money. I didn’t know whether the $29 per person charge included just a cup of coffee and a doughnut or a full buffet breakfast with a chef on hand to cook custom omelets.

Either way, the inn lost an opportunity to feed us all another meal and profit from the presence of our large group.

Read your prospects’ objections to price as a signal that your marketing isn’t doing its job. Your business marketing information and process isn’t giving your prospects the information they need to understand what your products or services can do for them. As a result, they don’t buy from you.

The purpose of small business marketing is to minimize the effort needed to close a sale. If you’re still working hard to get prospects to buy, find out how to remove objections so more people will buy from you. Use this link to claim your copy of Eliminating Obstacles to Sales >>

Want to avoid objections to price, sell to more people and even raise your prices?

Since the price a prospect is willing to pay for your products and services is directly related to their understanding of its value to them, then the higher the perceived value, the more you can charge.

One of my clients, Janice, was working way too hard at bringing new clients to her phone coaching business. She helps clients eliminate anxiety and replace it with self-confidence so they can be more productive in their work and lives. She had dozens of prospects, but when she quoted her fees, too many prospects opted not to sign up.

When I asked her to describe the things she does for her clients and the benefits of her services, she gave me a lot of information and many examples of her successes. Then I asked her how much of this information her prospects knew. Very little, she said. Whoops!

The solution was simple. I showed Janice how to structure her sales conversations and how to ask the right questions to get her prospects talking about their goals and needs. This sets the stage so that when she explains the services she provides, it’s clear that they are the perfect solution to her prospects’ problems.

The result? Instead of lowering her prices to get more business, Janice increased her fees. Within a week she was making 50% more money.

Poor understanding of value = High resistance to price

Perception of high value and benefit = Low resistance to price

Wouldn’t you like to have prospects be eager to pay the prices you charge? Sound impossible? It isn’t.

When your prospects fully understand of how much better off they’ll be or how much more successful they’ll be with your products and services, more people will want to work with you and they’ll happily pay more to do so.

You could be closing more sales and making more money, but it’s not going to happen if you keep using the same marketing and sales strategies. Discover what works >>

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