Personal Development Industry – Automation Vs Personal Contact in Direct Sales

The path of personal development and self-growth can be a lonely and non-effective journey if we had no one to share it with. Yes, it’s wonderful and empowering to grow spiritually and mentally for the betterment of oneself, but how fulfilling is it really if you’re the only one who experiences it? What is it’s true value if you’re not able to reach out and share with others the new enlightened you, because you’re living it only inside your own head?

Personal growth includes the heightened and increased development of all of our five classical senses. We as humans need and crave the see, touch, feel, smell and taste of the universe and our fellow humans. Our greatest desire is to feel gratified in the belief that our lives have value and that we bring value into this world. Thus, we need to have personal human contact with the world outside of our own four walls.

Those of us who are entrepreneurs and run home based businesses tend to find that our personal human contact outside of our own four walls is greatly diminished due to the nature of the business. Sitting alone at our desks in our home offices, we use two major methods to reach out and contact others. One way is through cyberspace via the Internet. The use of cyberspace can be completely void of human interaction and therefore doesn’t necessitate the activation of many of our senses. It is difficult to transmit expression, emotion, tonality and inflection through the Internet. Although internet technology is working hard to duplicate the human factor by developing video streams, webcams and even the cyber appearance of actual people jumping out and talking to you on your screen, it still and always will lack the human touch and feel of communication in real time. I mean can you really feel like you had a satisfying personal human interaction with someone via your computer screen?

The other way, which is the main way of communicating in this business, is by telecommunication. Picking up the telephone to call and speak personally to another person. This still cannot replace face-to-face contact, whereas you are both breathing the same air and can feel and see each other’s vibration, energy and body language, but it is still better than cyberspace communication. When speaking on the phone we use our hearing sense to pick up cues that help us interpret the other person’s energy level, interest and vibrations. You can get a “sense of feel” as to where the other person “is at”.

So, what happens when you take the telecommunication portion out of your business and rely completely on cyberspace technology thus becoming fully automated? What you have accomplished by doing this, is completely discarding one of the most basic forms of the human factor by becoming automated much like a robot. Have we reached that point in our technological world where we prefer to interact with a robot vs. a live human? I certainly hope not and hope that mankind never reaches that level of social isolation. I don’t think there is anyone out there who has not experienced the frustration of calling a business for assistance only to endure 5 minutes of listening to an automated voice spew out an endless menu of options before you can actually speak to a live human being.

And how many of you actually enjoy talking to an answering machine vs. the real person? There are many entrepreneurs out there who do enjoy total automation, believing that a system can do all of the work for them and make them rich. But, systems are just that, systems and systems don’t sell, people do. A system is only as good as the product it’s pushing. A well made system could potentially work well for a limited time, but even the best made systems require human programming to continuously update and evolve to the ever changing world and to the tastes of the fickle human consumer.

The business of direct sales means exactly what the definition of the word “direct” implies. It’s you personally initiating contact with your potential customer, it’s you making the sale, it’s you who earn the commission and are paid directly.

Now, what does personal growth and development have to do with running a successful home based business? Well, if your business is based on Personal Development products, you must first become the product. And as I said at the beginning of this article, it’s a lonely and ineffective journey to experience personal growth without anyone to share it with. If you don’t have any human contacts to be the recipient of the gifts the new enlightened you can offer and teach, then what is the true value of your personal growth. Is a party of one truly a party worth having? You need to reach out and give of yourself to your potential customer through the personal factor and touch. Personal growth does not involve hiding behind an automated system, being afraid to pick up the phone and make human contact.

Any direct sales representative will tell you that one of the keys to success is the ability to network, mastermind and learn from other successful entrepreneurs. A strong successful network marketing business is based on a high rate of retention due to a solid foundation achieved through leadership and relationship building. Relationship building can only be obtained through human contact. And only by building a relationship with your individual team members will you be able to identify your strongest members thus enabling you to spend extra time to train and mentor them in becoming the future leaders that will help to solidify that foundation.

Building a big team rapidly with an automated system may seem like a gold mine at first, but it’s a team built on an unstable foundation that never will solidify and take shape due to the high drop out rate. It lacks the human personal factor. It lacks the relationship building block, because the whole process was so impersonal and automated from the start, the new member never receives a validated sense of belonging, a sense of value, a sense of being part of a cohesive group with a personal connection to their leader.

A critical component of leading by example starts with the human factor, which was created with your very first conversation. By personally taking the time to initiate contact, the leader has demonstrated to the member that they have value and is respected as part of the team.

A leader just on paper is not the same nor will it ever have the same impact and significance as a leader who truly leads through personal contact and relationship building.

Automation or Personal human contact, should that even be a consideration when seriously building a strong and successful direct sales home based business?

Three Steps to Direct Mail Success

Direct mail is still the number one marketing strategy used by many successful sales companies. With direct mail, you have total control over the presentation of your message. Direct mail is a unique blend of advertising and sales. While good advertising should certainly lead to sales, direct mail allows you to present the product or service, make an offer and try to close the sale-all at once!

Here are just a few of the advantages of direct mail as a marketing strategy:

* Allows you to target your message to a very specific audience.
* Direct mail is a relatively inexpensive medium.
* Direct mail messages can be personalized to add reader appeal.
* You can evaluate its effectiveness. You can keep track of exactly who responded and from where.
* Mail readers are actively involved. People read their mail when they choose. So, for at least a second or two, your message will have their undivided attention while they open and scan it.

There are three elements to an effective direct marketing strategy:

1. The List
2. The Offer
3. The Mailing Piece

The first of these three steps to a successful direct mail campaign is obtaining the right list. Targeting the right market is the key to this marketing strategy. When selecting your list make sure you target people most likely to have an interest in what you have to offer as well as some things in common with your present clients.

This common ground might be age, sex, occupation, income, geographic area, family size, magazines they subscribe to or any number of other demographics. You can obtain lists that are specific to the demographics of your particular target market.

You should also maintain an up-to-date list of all your customers and clients. Direct mail to this list can create additional business, introduce new products and services or promote sales or special offers.

The second step of this marketing strategy is the development of a “matching offer”.

The offer you make in your direct mail needs to be carefully thought out and matched as closely as possible to the interests, needs and motivation of the people on the list. The more specifically you match the offer and the list the higher the response rate.

Let me use an example to demonstrate. When I was a mortgage consultant many of the sales people in the office sent direct mail. The list that was mailed to was targeted to homeowners who had taken out mortgages with specific lenders in a specific time period. The lenders that were targeted were known to be lenders with typically high interest rates.

The response and closing rate of those mailings were higher than a mailing that was sent to all homeowners in the same area because it was targeted to a group of people that would be more likely to want to refinance.

The third element of this marketing strategy is the mailing piece or the presentation of the offer to the list.

The most common and least expensive mailing piece format used by small businesses is the solo format. It’s a single sheet, printed on both sides and folded in half or thirds and mailed without an envelope.

Another solo format that’s even simpler and less expensive is a postcard or oversized postcard. This can be a very cost effective way of communicating with your list of customers and clients.

The next step in the development of your mailing piece is to write the copy or present your offer. Copywriting is a valuable skill. I urge you to develop the ability to write good advertising copy. Here are some tips to get you started.

* Take proven sales letters and ads and rewrite them to fit you and your offer.
* Create a swipe file of successful ads and letters. When you see an ad that catches your eye, save it.
* Save your “junk mail”. A lot of it’s written by the best copywriters in the world.
* Subscribe to the National Inquirer, The Star, The Globe, etc. The ads in these publications pull in millions of dollars worth of orders.
* Make sure your message matches your market. This means your offer has to have perceived value to your prospect.
* Use lots of testimonials in your ad copy.
* The headline is the most important part of any ad or letter.
* Use multiple PS’s in your letter. Restate the offer, deadline, free gift, etc.
* Offer multiple options for your services. Label them ex. Gold, Silver, Bronze.
* Before you write, make a list of all the objections a prospect could have for not buying your product or service and then answer them in your letter.

Direct mail is a profitable marketing strategy if it’s used properly and all three components are well thought out. It can provide you with an endless source of targeted leads for your product or service.

How To Develop A General Practice Business In A Rural Area

There are many ways that general practice owners can overcome the challenges they face when opening up a practice in a rural area. According to practice management consultants, one of the most important things is to have a clear plan and be willing to adapt as needed. It is also important to build relationships with the local community, and to be aware of the unique needs of rural patients.

General practices in rural areas can provide much-needed healthcare services to their communities. By overcoming the challenges that come with opening up in these areas, they can make a big impact on the health of their patients.

A general practice business can thrive in a rural area by taking advantage of some key opportunities:

The first opportunity is building strong relationships with the local community. This means getting involved in community events, sponsoring local sports teams or clubs, and networking with other businesses and professionals in the area, so that people know who you are and what you offer.
The second opportunity is developing a strong online presence. In rural areas, many people don’t have easy access to healthcare services, so they may turn to the internet for information about your practice. Make sure your website is up-to-date, informative, and user-friendly, and that you are actively engaged in social media marketing.
The third opportunity is specializing in certain services that are in high demand in rural areas. For example, if there is a shortage of family doctors in the area, focus on providing those services. Or if there is a high prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease, specialize in providing care for those conditions.

By taking advantage of these key opportunities, you can set your general practice up for success in a rural area.

Professional GP consulting firms have come with the following challenges that are generally common to clinics looking to open in rural areas:

One of the biggest challenges is that patients in rural areas often have to travel long distances to see a doctor. This can be difficult for people who are elderly or have mobility issues. You may need to make arrangements for house calls or offer extended hours so that everyone in the community has access to your services.
Another challenge is that many rural communities are economically disadvantaged, which can limit the amount of money people have available to spend on health care. You may need to find creative ways to keep your costs down and still provide high-quality care.
Finally, it can be more difficult for a general practice to build up a patient base in a rural area. You may need to be more aggressive in marketing your services and reaching out to the community.

Despite these challenges, there are many advantages to opening a general practice in a rural area. The sense of community can be strong, and people are often grateful for the added medical services. With hard work and dedication, you can successfully open and run a general practice in a rural community.

Develop a niche in the rural area to attract patients

Develop a niche in the area you are practicing in. This can be a certain type of medicine you specialize in, or a focus on treating patients who have no other health care options. When people know what to expect from your clinic and that you are the only option for specialized care, they are more likely to seek you out.

Offer free consultations or introductory rates to new patients

By offering introductory rates or even free consultations to new patients, you can attract them to your clinic. This is a great way to show off what you have to offer and how you can help them improve their health.

Keep up with current medical trends and treatments

It is very important to keep up with new trends and treatment methods in the medical industry if you want to maintain a successful general practice. Make sure that you are up-to-date on the latest health news and information, and use this knowledge to better serve your patients.

Maintain an open line of communication with your patients

Communication is vital for any business, and especially so when it comes to healthcare. Make sure that you are always available to talk to your patients, and be willing to listen to their concerns. This will help build trust between you and your patients, which is essential for a successful general practice.

People living in rural areas expect a more personalised service, so make sure that you take the time to get to know your patients. This will help you provide them with the best possible care.

If you are dedicated to providing quality care in a rural community, then with hard work your general practice business is a viable option for you. By following the tips above, you will be on your way to success!