101 Best Sales & Marketing Ideas

"Selling sure isn't what it used to be." claimed Azni Hohd Hussain, the Managing
Director of a successful video production in Kuala Lumpur. Azni, operates one of the most
innovative and progressive companies in the country, still he knows that to win in the 90's you must have 2 things:
You must have "effective" strategies and You must act "consistently" on those
Since, Azni and so many others in Malaysia are so keen to get these 2 powerful
ideas going in their business, I thought I would share some of the best and most proven Sales and
Marketing ideas I  have used, taught and heard about.

1. Listen. God gave you one mouth and two ears. Let that dictate how much you use

2. Stay in touch. Make a decision to contact all your past clients at least once a
month. If you don't, guess what? Your competition will.

3. Differentiate yourself. Why should someone buy from you? What makes you different from everyone else? It better be more significant than you are a "nice, trustworthy, cuddly, sincere..."

4. Ignore the competition. If you are looking at them or worried about them at all, your
focus is in the wrong direction. You should make dealing with you so much more powerful that
competition doesn't even exist.

5. Control your mind. Whatever helps you stay positive is what you need to do first
thing in the
morning and the last thing you do before you see a prospect. For me it's loud music. I
put on a good song and my adrenaline starts to flow.

6. Get rid of negative people from your life. Now, that might be somewhat difficult if
you are married to them, and I am not advocating divorce but you need to surround yourself
with a solid group of positive, big thinking encouragers.

7. Send out 35 sales letters every week regardless. Get in the habit of sending out at
least that many letters to prospects every week. No matter what, make sure they go out every Friday.

8. Get computerized. Do you know how much moneymaking time you waste trying to
remember who your prospects are and when was the last time you called them? If you want to
make more money, get with it technologically! I'm a big IBM user and Window from Microsoft runs
my copy of ACT Contact Management software. I'd be lost without it.

9. Think Big. For heaven's sake see the potential within you. Someone once told me
that my income  (low six figures at the time) was garbage. "Garbage?" "Yes, it's garbage for you to
make that much a year when you have the potential to earn that much in a month.!" I had never ever
entertained the idea that I could. I did it. Now, I'm working on how I can do that much in a day. (Once I  figure that one out I'll let you know, then I'll figure out how to do it in an hour!)

10. Learn from your mistakes. Every sales job has some "failure factor" in it. Learn
from trying and keep on going.

11. Stop "trying." "Trying" to do something is a cop out. Either do it or don't but stop
lying to yourself.

12. Create Special Offers. No matter what you sell, you can create a special offer
which will put you in a favorable light in the eyes of prospects.

13. Write a Special Report. If you are in selling, you are in solving. What do you solve
for people?
Write a 10 page report, offer it to your prospects for Free and your telephone will ring
off the wall.

14. Give up manipulation tricks. Stop using those silly closing tricks you learned about
how to make the buyer buy. No instead, listen to them, build trust and they will buy.

15. Put your message on video. (Azni would be a good guy to call!) Put your entire
sales presentation on video and offer it for Free and prospects will see that you are different
from the competition.

16. Use contact cards. A contact card is a post-card that is printed on both sides.
One side has your picture, "A Note From..." and your telephone and fax numbers. Keep 20 of them
on you always with postage stamps already on them. After each sales call, jot a note to your
prospect, drop it in the mail box. You will create a positive impression.

17. Write a U.S.P. A U.S.P. stands for Unique Selling Proposition. What is your
number one competitive selling advantage? It should be brief, exciting and should compel people
to want to know more.

18. Realize that your past clients are gold. You will starve if you have to continue to
find new customers. Repackage what you sell and visit them again and again and again.

19. Make a deal with your competitors. Do you have prospects that you have been
unable to sell? Why not go to a competitor and give them a try. They might be able to sell people you
were unable to and pay you part of what they make. You do the same for their list of dead

20. Deliver fast. Society is impatient. This problem almost killed my business earlier
this year. People will not put up with slow delivery.

21. Go nuts with follow-up. I'm serious, you will never offend someone by sending
them cartoon through the fax or dropping a "Thank you" note. It will tell them you value the

22. Think long-term. If you are in it for the one off sale, you will be hungry and poor in
this business.
Everything you do should be focused on keeping this customer for the next 20 years.

23. Hand address envelops. My research and that of other experts in this area
indicates a significantly higher percentage of mail is opened and read if it is hand written.

24. Be confident. If you have confidence in yourself, your product, your company,
prospects will have confidence in you. If they have confidence in you they are much more likely to
buy from you.

25. Get related quickly. Establish rapport with prospects quickly by finding something
that relates the two of you. It could be a hobby, a common interest, faith, children but find

26. Ask more questions. People want to know that you understand what they are
going through.
Why not ask twice as many questions on your next sales call and see what happens.

27. Become a public figure. Remember that selling is more about perception than
about products.
Get interviewed, write a book or a booklet or a report. Produce a tape, give a speech
or debate.Become known.

28. Get your customers to own you. By that, if you sell insurance, make sure that when
they think of insurance they think of you. If you sell real estate they automatically think of you.

29. Use the Power of Because. Every time you talk about or describe a benefit to
your prospect for what you sell be sure to tell them why that is important to them.

30. Don't be like Archie Bunker. Archie, from the TV show "All In The Family" makes
arbitrarily. Never do that, test everything. Don't do what you think is right. Do what the
prospect thinks is right. There is only one way to find that out and that's to ask, test, and

31. Keep your customers happy at all costs. If you fail in this area (and most do, in my
opinion) you will fail to build the greatest assets in the sales world and that is a client base who
trusts you.

32. Develop and keep a positive attitude. I know of very few statues erected to
"cynics and critics." Get happy! Read a good book or listen to an inspiring message.

33. Be professional. Forget begging for business.

34. Hang up on jerks. When telemarketing if you encounter a "jerk" (anyone who tries
to make you feel bad.) simply hang up and move on.

35. Sell to help. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you
care. Get
your eyes off your commission and onto their problems.

36. Sell at your location. There is something called "home court advantage. Get them
to come to you if possible.

37. Break one bad habit today. Pick one thing you know you should stop doing (TV,
gossip, smoking, coffee house, etc.), decide to stop only one thing. Get someone to hold you
accountable, give them your plan and break it, finally and forever.

38. List 10 things you like about yourself. Work on building your self-esteem.
Sometimes it's so easy to focus on all our flaws. Give yourself a break today.

39. Set a goal for the year. What's one thing you would really like to accomplish in
your selling this year? Write it on a small card and carry it with you where ever you go.

40. Attract prospects by conducting a seminar. This is a great way for you to have
people who are pre-disposed to buy what you sell step forward and identify themselves. I speak to
thousands of prospects per week when I do a seminar tour. Why would you ever want to sell one
person at a time when you could sell to several?

41. Be unique. Do something different. Fax everyone a cartoon. Send people a dead
flower and tell them that you can bring flowers back to life with a special potion, all they have to do to
find out how is book an appointment with you.

42. Get funny. So many people are so uptight. Relax! Let your hair down. It is a
powerful sales tool. Humor can do for you in seconds what talking wouldn't in a lifetime.

43. Use testimonials. One of the most powerful tools you can have is the
endorsements from satisfied clients.

44. Use pictures. Pictures of satisfied clients go further than lengthy letters. People
are visual and if they see people just like them they will think you are Okay.

45. Create your own marketing binder. Put any awards you have in the binder along
with photos, testimonial, product information, how you do business, your sales presentation and
leave it with prospects, so they can evaluate you.

46. Be prompt. When you make someone wait it communicates lack of respect for
their time. Invest in a Rolex, it'll help your image and it will get you there on time.

47. Find the real objection. They don't always feel comfortable telling you the number
problem at first.

48. Be honest. I once caught a car salesperson in a small lie. I shut down
immediately. People, more than any other factor, want to buy from people they can trust.

49. Raise your referral rates. After surveying over 5,000 salespeople in Malaysia, my
research shows that the average salesperson gets less than 10% of their income from
referrals, that's terrible.

50. Don't do administration during Prime Selling Time. What are you doing shuffling
paper when you should be in front of prospects?

51. Stop cold calling. Get them coming to you. You can't kiss someone who is
backing away from you. Cold calling, for the most part is a function of prospect backing (or often, running)away from you. Give them some compelling reason to come to you. A clue: the word FREE is still one of themost loved words.

52. Welcome complaints. You can turn around most complaints if you are committed
to winning.Make it easy and acceptable for them to tell you how they feel about you.

53. Create urgency. Every letter, every sales call, every marketing piece must have a

54. Sell your guarantee. If you have a guarantee tell your prospects about it more. Too
many guarantees are full of small print and so salespeople never get the advantage they
were intended tocreate.

55. Ask for the order. This simple advice is obvious! Or is it?

56. Don't be door mat. If people are putting you or your company down, stand up to
them. You should have pride. You don't need any customer that much.

57. Save 10% of everything you earn. Starting with your next paycheck, put 10% away
for yourself. Why is it that we pay everyone else but ourselves?

58. Join Toastmasters. They will teach you how to speak in public. The benefits of that
are tremendous for your sales presentation and confidence. You can find their number in
the Yellow Pages.

59. Refuse to quit. You will never win in selling if you give up. I have felt like stopping
about amillion times (per week sometimes) but I know that I'll never learn anything from giving
up except how to quit.

60. Get organized. I use a Sharp organizer for my schedule, contacts and memo's. It's
handy, easy to use and portable.

61. Take responsibility for your results. You are the only person who can improve your
situation.You got yourself into it and you're are the one who'll get yourself out.

62. Attach something to every sales letter. Put a coin, dollar bill, anything. If you are consistently spending more than you are earning you are in for a terrible time. Trust me, get rid of the credit cards and cut back  your expense. You can't sell well if you are worried about debt.

67. Use a headline in your sales letters. Also keep in mind that every sales letter must
have a P.S.
You have less than 5 seconds to capture their interest, headlines and P.S.'s help.

68. Sponsor a contest. This will give you a vehicle to build your database in a hurry.

69. Record an interview. Get your best friend, with the best voice to ask you a series
of questions
and record it on audio cassette. Then give it away to prospects. Title it "An Interview

70. If possible charge differently than others. Make comparison shopping difficult.

71. Cleanup your life. Everyone has certain things they have procrastinated on doing
for ages. If you
have been planning to clean that desk of yours and it's getting in the way of your
increasing your
product, clean the stupid thing!

72. Qualify first. Don't start selling until you have enough information about what they

73. Assume prospects are NOT liars. Most salespeople I know think that prospects
are liars and
will do just about anything rather than give you the truth. I assume they tell me the truth
until they
give me some reason to not believe that.

74. Use the telephone to weed people out, not prospect. "Use the telephone to
non-buyers." as Bill Good says.

75. Create order in your client base. You should have a list of all your past contacts,
past clients,
hot prospects preferably on computer.

76. Position yourself as an "expert and authority." Even if you are new to your industry
you can be  perceived as an expert. The way to do it is with information. Write something,
research something or print something and you are an instant "expert."

77. Get in front of the right person or don't waste your time. So many salespeople
complain about not closing more sales but they spend forever trying to sell to the wrong people. If the
decision maker is the MD then you should stop talking to the Director of HR. Figure out how to
get into the MD.

78. Under pressure? Take a day off.

79. Use cross promotions. Find someone who is in front of your target market and get
them to send a really compelling offer to their client base.

80. Hurry up and finish this article. How much time do you have to be off the job?

81. Remember Rockefeller. He said "Take something common and make it
uncommon." Make what you sell or do extraordinary.

82. Build, manage and exploit your database. Your list of contacts is one of the most
valuable assets you have. Always add more names to it. Get them coming to you by regularly creating
offers that make them step forward.

83. Get rid of hassle rules. If you can get rid of all negative rules like "No refunds
without receipt."
or "No checks accepted."

84. Blow your customers away by exceeding their expectations. The word of mouth
benefits of doing this is fabulous.

85. Build a wall of fame. In your office create a wall for all letters of praise and

86. Post my article every week. This is not as self-serving as it might appear. It will get
people talking about similar things when it comes to selling.

87. Give something away. People love getting Free Samples, Free Offers, Reports,
Booklets, Tapes, Video's, etc.

88. Host an annual special event for your past clients. Want more referrals? Why not
host a party, social, seminar, debate, forum once every quarter and only invite your past clients?

89. Focus on the customer not on YOU. People don't care about you, your credentials,
or your company. They care only about one thing: THEMSELVES. More specifically, how
spending their hard-earned money will solve their problems?

90. Snap to it! Take your past client's picture and send it to them.

91. Keep in touch by fax. Send a weekly or monthly report or newsletter via the fax
machine. Send a positive quotation of the day.

92. Start your own association. A.A.R.P. is the American Association for Retired
People. It has 30 million members. Guess who started it? An insurance company who wanted to sell
to...retired people.

93. Write a book. I'm serious! If you knew what a book would do for you and your
sales, you'd be up for the next month writing it, beg, borrow or steal the money to print it and it would
be done.
Give yourself permission and reap the benefits. You don't have to write the next "Gone
With The  Wind" just "8 Steps Winning in the 90's"

94. Print a personal brochure. Even if your company has a corporate brochure, do
one up on  YOU. People don't buy from companies they buy from people. This will set you apart
from the competition.

95. Increase the size of each sale. Ask for bigger orders.

96. Invest in yourself. Get the best books, go to seminars, get a support system.
Spend money training yourself.

97. Be a person of integrity. Be a person your kids would be happy to emulate.

98. Take a break! When was the last time you kissed your spouse? When was the
last time you gave yourself fully to your kids?

99. Focus on the journey not the prize. Selling is about becoming a better person. It's
really about hitting the Home Run. Sure that's important but what is more important are all the
wonderful ways you are better because you are a professional salesperson.

100. Send me a note about your best sales & marketing tip care of this newspaper.

101. Pick 2 things from this article and start doing them.


I hope this information helps you in your business endeaver.You may copy and print this article. For more information read Reynold Jay's book    How To Think Small Business For Big Profits  and Born To Be Rich for business motivation. (CLICK for more information.)