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Maximizing profits involves cost-cutting methods of selling
your products. We are assuming for this article that you, like
most marketers are specializing in information and publications
The best way to increase sales cheaply and effectively is to
offer more items at any given time, and here's how to do it. By
all means examine every commission circular you see for
possibilities. It might be worth carrying. Camera-ready
circulars are available for most of the publications you see in
your mailbox, and all you need are a group of them on file that
can be reprinted as needed.
In all cases, we repeat, DO NOT rubber-stamp your commission
circulars. Insert your name and address with dry type such as
Pres-Type, Geotype or Letraset. A professional appearance is a
If you've been in business for a while, you already know what
your bestsellers are and how to test new items. If you have
reports collections and other good items that are not such hot
sellers, keep your leftover circulars and include them WITH
PRODUCT when you fill an order from your home. Include as many
as you can up to the postal limit that applies to the product,
and you're basically sending it free of charge.
As you have probably seen by now, we advise all our customers to
shop wisely but to continue learning about the business, and if
you have a slow-moving product which is nevertheless is an
excellent item for a small order dealer to own, this is an ideal
way to move it.
It's an excellent idea to include a freebie when doing a direct
mail. This works especially well if you're handling a lot of
popular items. Chances are a good many of your packets will go
to people who try to get on a number of lists to keep abreast of
the latest offers, and since so many of them are so vague,
they'll be much more responsive to someone who can give them an
idea of what they'll be receiving.
If you currently handle chain letters and report collections of
dubious value, it might be cheaper to drop them altogether than
to continue to include them, even if they do make you a small
profit. First time buyers are truly shocked when they see some
of the terrible scams going around in mail order, and you'll
lose them forever if you turn them off, which is never your
You can make this absolutely painless. You might like to try
putting your best reports on the backs of your best circulars,
maximizing the value of each sheet of paper. If you're not
doing it now, you had better try doubling up your circulars at
the very least.
One of the best follow-up offers you can give your non-dealer
customers, and you can tell which if your customers is a dealer
and which is not by the kinds of items they order, is a quality
book catalog. Melvin Powers, DAX and others offer excellent
dealerships in unusual books, and they pull extremely well on
The catalogs themselves are usually fairly heavy and not
cost-effective without a quality mailing list (a rare bird
indeed) or unless you can get cash up-front for printing and
mailing. You'll probably wind up buying some of these books
yourself! If you're marketing fairly common items. you've got
to have an advantage, something that makes your offer look
better than comparable offers for the same items.
Unquestionably, the best advantage is a lower price. Free
bonuses and rebates won't cut quite as well. The reason is
simple enough. The customer might be sold on an item to begin
with, but he may be waiting for a better deal to come along. If
you're the lowest bidder, you'll get that sale. These sales
will not come right away in most cases. They will be trickle-in
orders, made by the customer after filing your circular and
waiting to see who can match the price.
We feel much of the information offered by mail is ridiculously
overpriced when introduced, and we have on file dozens of
examples of some people offering item X at five, then, even
nineteen times the best price offered by others with the same
If you've been enclosing your own envelopes with return
addresses when you send out advertising, you might try a
half-and-half mailing to see if they're really pulling more
Traditional schools of thought say the return envelopes,
especially the business-reply type which allows you to pay the
postage for the customer, do pull orders.
However, most people use plain printed #8 envelopes without
business-reply marking, and especially for the small operator
specializing in a few selected items, it may be a poor
investment. If so, it's cutting into your profits and taking up
valuable weight in the envelopes better served by a circular.
Adsheets can be good investments, but in most cases you'll only
really profit from them if you're offering something you've
developed yourself which can be sold through other dealers.
Adsheets are generally advertising's version of the pyramid
plan. They circulate only among small time dealers, each trying
to get the other to sell what he's selling. Still, if you can
put a new twist in the advertising, and run a short ad in
selected adsheets (most dealers receive a large number, and
subscribing to several dozen is wasteful) asking for full
purchase price when they order, and NOT requesting information,
you could still do a profitable business, although the cost
involved adds up to much more than the usual $1 for a one-column
ad. You have to figure your costs in preparing the ad and
getting it to each publisher.
If you have an article you've developed yourself and you want to
put a big push on, a great number of dealers will print and mail
your circulars with theirs. The cheapest deal is to have their
ad printed on the back. Many of these firms will take your
money and run, however, so it would be smart to call and write
first, get references from happy customers, and talk to them.
If he won't reveal his customer list and still claims to do a
good job, well, need we say more?
Don't be afraid to compete with other dealers in a print and
mail deal if you've got a good product, but you do your
homework. It is probably the most cost-effective way to reach a
large number o dealers, but take care that you choose a
Multilevel enthusiasts know that many of the better multilevel
programs requires substantial amounts of literature to fully
explain. If you're not prepared or equipped to expend the time
and money required to let every mail prospect know about the
programs you're using, why not make up a small half page
circular which briefly outlines each program, and offer to
refund postage for anyone interested in learning more? That
cuts your expenses, gives you inquiries of real value and should
take no considerable dent in your eventual downline.
This takes five minutes, costs pennies, and give your commission
circulars a personal touch that also looks professional.
Please stop writing hand-written notes and changes of copy on
your commission circulars! Save those hand-written notes for
leaders. A close matching letraset message will print
beautifully and get the message across much more effectively
than a freehand note. When using letraset, take care to make
the heading on a separate set of paper, clip the heading and
tape it with Scotch brand magic tape (we recommend Scotch
because it has a lower peel strength than competitive
translucent tapes and is easier removed).
Don't do your first heads directly onto the circular or you'll
end up with minor mistakes that detract from the impact. Notice
how sloppy the "K" looks, and how small a mistake it took to
make it that way? (Believe us, your clients will notice
mistakes like that!).
One cost-cutting method we do not advise is folding your
circulars so an outside surface is empty, taping it and mailing
it like a newsletter, without an envelope. It looks just plain
shoddy. One thing that does look good, however, is the white
9x6 envelope instead of the usual wheat-yellow manila envelope.
Anything different makes an impact.
Speaking of different, try a few of your circulars in two
colors, perhaps red and black, especially those which many other
dealers are using. It does pull more orders on a competitive
item. And don't forget about using colored stock for a few
sheets (NEVER for your personal notes), but not too many.
If you want to keep your customers for repeat business, don't
become a commission agent for mailing list firms unless you have
thoroughly researched and used their lists yourself. We
personally know of one firm which advertises premium lists, and
offers a very attractive dealership, but they have no trouble at
all selling our name to no fewer than 25 people in a four-month
span who all offer the same product! Those poor people wasted
not only the cost of the list, but the cost of the mailing as
well, and that is an absolute travesty.
By all means, use your personal letters to inform the paying
customer of services you've had success with. This tells the
customer you're serious about his satisfaction and if he
experiences the same success, he'll trust you enough to order
from you again.
And if you know of any popular plans that are no good, and you
have seen that the customer might be considering such a plan
from a letter or group of purchases which indicate he's
heading in that direction, tell him to steer clear.
Finally, and this is absolutely vital to getting reorders, know
exactly what you are offering. If you're selling books, own a
few of them and read them. If you're selling plans and reports,
check them out to make sure they really do what they claim. You
are doing your customers a horrible disservice by advertising
Plan A as one of your biggest sellers (which may be true) when
it's an outdated piece of junk and maybe something you have
never even seen.
If you're selling gifts from catalogs or other related
merchandise, there are really only two things we can advise that
will cheaply help sales.
First, if you're selling catalogs and having your orders
dropshipped from the supplier, write the home office and tell
them you'd like to establish contact with other distributors to
help each other increase efficiency.
It is highly unlikely this request will be turned down. The
supplier is every bit as interested in increasing sales as you
are, and will probably be happy to send you the names and
addresses of some of the company's top producers.
Establish regular correspondence with these people and exchange
information on what campaigns and techniques are working for you.
If you're selling products for which you are the prime source,
don't hesitate to send advertising for your other products when
you fill orders from newspaper or magazine advertising. If you
don't have other products, work an exchange program with other
sources and sell their products on commission, and drop-ship the
orders from the source of supply.