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Are Sales Increasing? Make Sure Funds Reach Your Bottom Line
An entrepreneur who only pays attention to cash inflow is like a driver who is alert on the freeway but closes his eyes on the exit ramp. Both are on a collision course with trouble.

Judicious oversight of cash outflow is vital. Monitoring the handful of variable expenses that tend to significantly contribute to cash drains can help uncover any spending zones that are getting out of control. Five areas in particular deserve focus.
  1. Travel expenses. Meals and travel are a category of frequent excess spending. Track these carefully. This assures that cash from rising sales is not thoughtlessly devoured by business meals or travel, including local transportation costs.
  2. Technology. You don't need brand-new devices every year to operate your business efficiently. Reducing cash outflow for computers, smartphones, and software contributes substantially to profit.
  3. Office enhancements. You don't need expensive furniture, especially if you seldom or never meet customers at your location. And spending a lot on finishing off rented space is a mistake that's unfortunately quite common.
  4. Excessive outsourcing. Although legal and accounting work is best left to professionals, internal handling of many common tasks minimizes cost. Website maintenance, social media presence, document shredding, and office cleaning are duties every entrepreneur can allocate time to complete.
  5. Training expenditures. Training may be required to internally accomplish some activities. However, entrepreneurs should be selective about professional development. Avoid the temptation to attend multiple conventions and seminars. The fees can quickly eat away at your bottom line.

Are You Using the Vocabulary of Success?
When it comes to opening doors, closing sales, and clinching negotiations, certain words and expressions are significantly more effective than others. Top executives and salespeople choose their words and phrases carefully to overcome resistance and persuade listeners.

For example, it's well known that people like hearing their own names. Influencers also understand that people don't like getting long answers to simple questions. Long answers evoke uncertainty and suggest that the speaker is hedging or fibbing.

On the other hand, phrases like definitely, certainly, or we can do that sound authoritative and trustworthy. Imagine is another effective word that prompts listeners to conceptualize a good opportunity or a positive outcome. Certain rhetorical questions have also been shown to help advance a discussion or sales process toward conclusion. These include the questions "Does that make sense?" and "Is that fair?"

On the other hand, data analysis indicates that certain expressions turn people off. Absolutely and perfect are overused terms that impair a speaker's credibility. However is a waffler's word. Listeners lose confidence and interest when they hear it. Payment: No one likes to pay; say amount instead. The term contract has negative connotations for many people. Substitute a more neutral word, like agreement. Implement and implementation suggest things are going to get complicated. Just say begin or get started.

Ultimately, using simple, clear, and effective words and phrases - and avoiding bombast - is the best way to convince people of your position or the virtues of your products and services.

Five Secrets to Earning Customer Loyalty
A loyalty program is a great way to interact meaningfully with your customers. But coupons, discounts, and special sales don't engender loyalty. Successful loyalty programs engage with program members beyond mere purchase transactions and require continuous, intentional, strategic care. The components of a good loyalty program are many and varied, but five elements are essential:

Trust: Enduring relationships are underpinned by trust, and customer trust is more important now than ever, due to consumers' access to a world of choices. To create a loyalty program built on trust, make it simple, fair, and straightforward. It should deliver what is promised.

Customization: Once trust is established, customers want to know you "get them." A good loyalty program provides access or choices based on each customer's tastes, desires, and previous buying patterns. Technology gives even small businesses the ability to customize and enhance the loyalty experience.

Experience: A customer's experience with your loyalty program should be based on distinctive content and compelling context. The demand for fresh, relevant, meaningful experiences is growing, and the bar is continually hoisted higher as the competition grows and those competitors innovate.

Purpose: The need for meaning and purpose drives behavior in many aspects of life, including purchasing behavior. Loyalty programs that help consumers get fit or maintain their good health, celebrate an occasion, meet a goal, benefit a worthy cause, or make the world a better place build trust, reinforce loyalty, and help satisfy this basic human need.

Appreciation: A successful loyalty program is a reciprocal relationship that lets consumers know they are seen, heard, and valued, and that their business is always appreciated.

Build a loyalty program on these foundational factors, and you'll reap the benefits of a loyal customer base.

Measuring and Controlling Customer Acquisition Costs
A large and expanding customer base is the foundation of success for any business.

The first step in laying this foundation is determining where to find prospects. The next is to understand the procedure for turning them into paying customers.

A key in this process is optimizing your costs for acquiring customers. After an initial period of upward growth during the early stages of business operation, obtaining new customers becomes more expensive.

Business owners must evaluate the costs of their endeavors to ensure the effort produces the desired results.

How is this accomplished? By measuring customer value. It is important to periodically take these measurements to understand your marketing effectiveness.

Too many business owners fail to make these calculations. Often, the lack of effort is simply due to lack of understanding, but the process is actually quite simple when broken down into five steps.

1. Calculate your revenue per customer sale. If you perform contract services, simply measure your average revenue per customer project. If you make sales to a variety of random customers, you may rely on a sales software application to identify the average sale per customer.

2. Determine your gross profit margin. This is the percentage of revenue that you retain after paying direct sales costs, such as inventory, materials, and labor. As an example, having a sales price that's twice your direct costs renders a gross profit margin of 50%.

3. Identify repeat customers. Determine what percentage of your customers make repeat purchases. For instance, if three-fourths of your customers make future purchases, your repeat rate is 75%. Of course, this percentage is often a bit of a guess, especially if you deal with a large number of customers. But you only need to estimate the percentage of new customers who will make at least one more future purchase. Often, merely asking customers if they will return is sufficient to identify a degree of commitment.

4. Determine your gross profit per sale. Multiply the revenue per customer sale by your gross profit margin. Then multiply this figure by 1 plus the repeat customer percentage. The result is the value of each new customer. If none of your customers do repeat business, the value of each new customer is only your gross profit per sale.

That's because you're multiplying gross profit per customer sale by 1.0 rather than, say, 1.75 if your repeat rate is 75%.

Sample equation: Suppose your revenue per customer sale is $200 and your gross profit margin is 50%. You have a $100 gross profit per sale. If three-fourths of your customers do repeat business, each new customer brings you on average $175 of value ($100 multiplied by 1.75-since your repeat rate is 75%).

5. Apply the results. The pragmatic conclusion in this sample case is that spending up to $175 to acquire a single customer results in a break-even situation. That's a sound general spending goal because repeat customers deliver ongoing profits. Regularly reevaluating these acquisition costs will keep marketing efforts and repeat business on track for long-term success.
Michele Ball
Perfect Additions
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Worth Reading
Pet Tech Has Venture Capitalists Wagging Their Tails
By Nidhi Madhavan and Emily Fasold
Venture capitalists are champing at the bit to invest in technology-focused companies in the pet sector. From mobile apps that connect dog owners with dog walkers to smart-tech dog collars complete with GPS and activity trackers, there is no shortage of products and services for modern-day pooch parents to consume. And investors have taken notice.

Are You Craving Community for Your Customers?
By Aj Agrawal


Are you looking for ways to cultivate a consumer base that keeps coming back for more? Latest trends show that customers are more likely to return to a company when they feel like they're a part of something significant and meaningful. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources to help you build your own community. Take a look at these five technological platforms that will help you foster engagement and create a community of loyal customers.

Eight Office Design Trends That Will Dominate in 2018
By Spiralytics


With many employees spending more time in the office than anywhere else, it's important to create a workspace that is inspiring, comfortable, and conducive to productivity. In fact, studies have shown that the more employees enjoy their environments, the more engaged they become. So what are you waiting for? Check out these office design trends that are transforming the workplace.

Closing the Deal
You've worked hard to make the appointment, woo the customer, and make your pitch. Now what? How do you make the move from selling to sold? Use the following resources to strengthen your methods and close more deals:

Ever wish there was a simple formula for closing more sales? Here's one:
The Simple Formula For Closing More Sales In Your Business

A secret to closing the deal is closing the trust gap. Here are five ways to fill it:
5 Ways To Close Your Next Big Sale

Are your current methods ineffective? Try these unconventional tactics:
3 Unconventional Sales Tactics That Will Close More Deals

Closing phrases are key to sealing the deal. Consider adding these effective phrases to your repertoire:
18 Closing Phrases To Seal a Sales Deal

Different situations require different closing techniques. Learn about a variety of methods here:
How to Sell - Closing the deal
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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