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2009-06-25: Are Your Rules Affecting Business?

Do you believe good customer relations are what help to build your business?

If you agree that is so, then would you as a proprietor sell a program that still had undefined boundaries? Would you let your clients know this is the case and give them a choice as to whether they wish to continue or have their money refunded? Or, would you proceed with collecting money from clients as if everything were in place?

If you answered Yes to the last question, do you think there is a slight possibility your action might discourage future repeat and referral business?

This is a look at two completely different types of sales in every regard. The industries compared are different - network marketing and real estate - as well as regard for the client and client loyalty.

The first study is of an affiliate program gone haywire. This program was unique in that the unique selling proposition was they would only have 500 members in their exclusive club. In exchange a modest fee of $500 was required upfront to join. The members would sell specialized products and services with the help of an outside company already committed to doing the marketing to a highly targeted niche. The marketing itself was well-worth the fee of $500.

A required trip for training was pre-arranged to learn how to sell the products and services. Many of the members had to fly from across the country and everyone had to secure lodging due to the remote location of the classroom. The first morning of training it was announced that instead of 500 exclusive member affiliates the number was increased to 1,000. By afternoon, the number was increased to 5,000 members.

The next day, the members were told the outside company contracted to do the marketing did not in fact officially sign up to take part. Instead, the members were told they could invite strangers into their homes to view the products and services. This thought was not welcomed by anyone.

Members in attendance were divided equally by people already advanced in their business and those who are new to the business world. Those who were new fell into a deeper financial hole. On the second day of training, everyone was told they would need a website, and certification was required through a video verification process requiring a video camera.

By the end of the second day, only 1/3 of the group was enthusiastic about being a member of this so-called exclusive affiliate membership. The other 2/3 had doubts as to whether they would pursue the program and certainly would not pursue future ventures with this organization. The organizer thought of himself first and gave no credence to his membership base. The fallout was obvious.

On the other side of valuing your customer is the story of a real estate agent. Property prices are down throughout much of the country. The agent advised his clients to place their condo on the market for less than it would have sold the previous year but with some reasonable profit built in.

This agent worked hard on for his client to bring the right clientele in to view the condo. Although properties were on the market for longer periods than normal, this agent brought in a highly qualified buyer within a very short period of time. He played by the rules by telling the seller he was also representing the buyer.

The offer to purchase was solid in every way except for the monetary value as it was $10,000 less than the buyer desired. This real estate agent offered to reduce his commission by $10,000 to ensure both the seller and the buyer felt as if they won.

Holding the interests of his client first, the agent was easily able to advance the sale in a very slow market. Furthermore, both the seller and the buyer will offer testimonials and send referrals his way. No wonder this agent was and still is the top producer for his area over the past 5 years.

The real estate agent did everything right and enjoys a thriving clientele. Putting the interests of your clients first will provide you, too, with a loyal clientele.

About the Author

Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC and author of Nice Girls DO Get the Sale trains others on her proven relationship selling techniques through services and products. Her book sells worldwide. Services include training, coaching, and speaking. Her products suit all learning styles.

Visit Smooth Sale or call 800-704-1499.

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