How to attract referrals

Whatever field your company is in, I think it’s safe to say you are looking to sell your products and/or services to as wide an audience as possible. Although it’s natural to want to concentrate solely on attracting new customers, I believe it’s just as important to focus on attracting referrals from existing customers. Referrals and word of mouth marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing available to marketers today.

Regardless of the frequency and/or level of spend from existing customers, you need to be proactive in establishing great relationships with your existing customers that not only ensure they want to continue to buy from you in the future, but are also keen to tell their friends and family members about how great your company is.

So, how do you go about doing this? The first step is making certain your company is one that your target audience are inclined to talk about positively. I know it sounds obvious, but if the goods you provide and the level of customer service you offer are less than perfect, why should you expect people to go out of their way and recommend you to others?

Then examine how you can generate long-lasting relationships with customers so they are encouraged to recommend you to others. Ask yourself some key questions:

• Are there complimentary products that you could offer as part of an aftersales service?
• Could you initiate a retention marketing campaign via email or via post (highlighting special offers, exclusive products or new additions to your range?)
• Could you offer a discount on a repeat purchase or some other form of customer loyalty discount or incentive?

One way to stay in contact with your customers is to send a thank you a few days after the sale. You could do this either by email or post; whatever medium you choose it’s important to personalise your message. Address your email or letter to the individual and tailor the content so that it relates to the customer’s area of interest. That area of interest may be similar products and/or services to the customer’s most recent purchase. Some marketers use “basket analysis” to help them determine what products customers may be interested in buying after their initial purchase.

If you implement a customer retention mail strategy, consider enclosing small promotional gifts with your marketing literature. Whether this is a branded printed mug or a pen, these items can reinforce a positive image of your firm. Research by the British Promotional Merchandise Association shows 56 per cent of people have a more positive opinion of a business after being given a promotional product.

Alternatively, you could run a scheme where customers receive something – perhaps being entered into a competition or getting a discount off their next purchase – for referring you to a friend. In doing so, existing clients will feel they are getting something for relatively little effort, while your business not only reaffirms its relationship with a current customer but also gains a new one!

Are referrals an important source of enquiries for your organisation? What steps is your business taking to attract referrals? Leave a comment and let us know!

Don’t Give Up on Investing – It Gets Better!

Investing is a world that a lot of people find themselves fascinated with…even though it usually ends up costing them money in the long run. Now, you might think that it costs them money because they stay in too long, but we disagree. If anything, investing costs them a lot of money because they’re only thinking about the short term. They stay in for a very short amount of time, only to find that it really doesn’t serve them any purpose. It only makes life a lot harder for them in the long run, and that’s definitely not what you want to actually deal with. It’s better to make sure that you have realistic expectations of what to expect from the world of investing.

Forget the shows like “Mad Money” and other investing spots. You have to make sure that you focus on sound investing principles. Looking at smart websites that teach you about the core principles of investing is far better than all of the stock tips in the world. You have to go beyond that in order to get an investor.

What about when you do all of the planning and you’re still having the same problems of loss, then you might need to just step back. Don’t freak out every time you have a loss. Don’t freak out every time that you don’t have things going your way.

The more that you can focus on the bigger picture, the brighter your investing future will be.

Don’t be afraid to invest in training that is for the long run either. You might have to papertrade for a while until you really understand the basics of investing. Far too often people just leap in and think that the profits are going to be automatic. If it sounds that way on your favorite financial news show, that’s because the person in question has been investing for a long time. It’s all about the level of risk that you can live with. Never invest with money that you absolutely need beyond the shadow of a doubt. This means that using your rent money is going to be really dumb. What if you lost it all? You would have a rough time making your bills. No one really wants to go through that agony if they don’t have to!

Remember that you don’t have to have it all covered at once — you can space things out and learn as you go! Good luck!

Alternative Ways to Make Money From Binary Trading

It is great to make money and many of us are looking for new ways to do so. Some people have a go at binary trading to make money or use other investment schemes. This can give a payback to some people, although it is a big risk. If you want to make more money from it, without having to risk your own, then getting involved with an affiliate scheme can help.

Affiliate schemes work by giving a person commission if they recommend something to someone else. This means that if you have a blog or website where you can promote something, then you can use it to try to encourage people to sign up. You will have a special affiliate sign up code so that you will be automatically recognised as the person who has recommended the new customer.

There will be ruled with regards to how much you paid and it will probably be a percentage of what they pay out. Sometimes it can be based on how much they earn. This can add on an additional level of earning for the person that makes the recommendation.

An example of a binary trading affiliate scheme can be seen at 24 option. They have a 24option affiliate network where you can sign up. They will provide you with banners, links and other promotional materials that you can use to promote the site. You can also use newsletters and announcements that they send to you as well.  Many people will already be trading using the website and enjoy doing so. Then they can also bring their experience to the attention of their potential affiliates, so that they can relate to them and realise that there is someone that has success with it.

You will find that once you sign up, you will be able to track how many sign ups you get. You will also see how many click throughs you get on banners and links and how many of those actually lead to someone signing up and activating your account. When they do this, you get some commission. This will allow you to monitor whether your advertising campaign is working well or not. It can be a great way to earn some extra money without having to invest any.

Many of us do not have capital to invest and so this can be a way to build some up and you may decide to spend your earnings on binary trading, to find out more about how it works and to have a go at earning more money. It can be a lot of fun watching your earnings increase and helping others to have fun and potentially make money as well. With no pay out required by you, it can be an ideal way to make some extra cash.

Keep Up The Pressure With PPI Claims

There’s something you need to know about the PPI scam — it’s dirty. It’s been shown that the lenders knew the scheme wasn’t going to work out, and salespeople had to push the policies on just about every financial product you can think of. Think your mortgage is safe from PPI? Don’t be so quite. It might not be called payment protection insurance, but it could be in there under “loan cover” or “loan care”. Looking through all of your old contracts is definitely a good idea.

Once you do find that you have been paying PPI premiums without realizing it, it’s time to put an end to them. You will need to get legal presentation on your side. Don’t even think that you can do this on your own. There are some guides floating around that say you can fight back on your own, but this is not the case. However, let’s pretend that it is — why would you even want to? The truth is that working with big companies can really drive you up the wall. You want to keep up the pressure on this industry by turning to legal representation. That’s the universal sign within the business world that you’re serious. Do companies always back off from messing with each other? Not until lawyers are involved. You can see that play out in the business news world each and every day. You just need to make sure that you are always thinking about the bigger picture around you.

If you don’t fight back against the lenders, they will continue to make up schemes to get more money out of you. After all, you’ve proven that you will not fight back, so why shouldn’t they get anything and everything they want out of you? Why shouldn’t they take advantage of you?

We don’t believe you have any reason to be ashamed of seeking compensation. It’s high time that you work on getting things started in the right direction with multiple PPI claims, if that’s what it takes. The world isn’t going to stop if you fight for what you want, but it can definitely change right before your eyes once you start standing up for yourself. We wish you the best of luck!

The Advantages of Payday Loaning

There has been a lot of talk over the practice of payday loaning. The understanding that payday loans often come with extortionately high interest rates, plus the lack of sufficient financial background screening for borrowers has put the institution under much scrutiny.

Allegations made to payday loans company Wonga about loaning money out to children has further fuelled anger towards the practice, with feelings against payday loaning being so strong that protests have been made against the advertisement of payday loan companies. However, there is much to suggest that payday loaning may be doing a lot more good than harm in this current economic climate. Here are the advantages of payday loaning, which we tend not to be reminded of.

Protests against Payday

The numbers of cases in which protests have been levelled against payday loaning are numerous. In effect, any company, business or institution that advertises the services of a payday loan company is in essence tarnished by this and prone to face scrutiny. Thus when Newcastle United Football Club announced a sponsorship deal with Wonga, they expectedly found themselves the subject of intense anger and disappointment.

Furthermore, football fans across the country protested against the association and advertisement of the English Football League with Wonga. This anger was so strong that the Football League had to eventually cut all direct ties with Wonga.

In addition, TV show presenters Ant and Dec were criticised heavily for their association with the ITV show Red and Black which advertised Wonga.

Understandable but NOT Justifiable

Taking into consideration the high interest rates involved in the practice, plus the fact that some payday loan companies (namely Wonga) tend to serve almost anyone, anti-payday loaning sentiment is understandable. In fact, considering the practices of Wonga, some payday loan companies should be heavily criticised.

However, not all payday loan companies are like Wonga and most act within the limits of the law and common morality.
Furthermore, from an economic perspective, there is much to suggest that we actually need payday loaning as a society. In such harsh economic times, many Brits are suffering to make ends meet. Bank lending has been somewhat limited in this period of mild austerity and therefore, and thus poor Brits have little option of debt or financial stress alleviation. Payday loans provide a solution that isn’t loan sharking or even drugs or prostitution.

Extortionately high interest rates aren’t ideal, but they’re a lot more ideal than the alternatives for many Brits in financial distress.

Are Social Security Concerns Really Exaggerated

Social Security has been a hot button issue since the days of LBJ, and that distinction is not likely to go away anytime soon. You’re going to want to think about Social Security as it applies to you, and that only makes sense. After all, when you look at your paystub and see that Social Security taxes have already been taken out, you might think to yourself you’ll never see Social Security in your lifetime. That means that you will need to really think about the bigger picture, which can be hard to do when it seems that everyone and their cousin has an opinion about Social Security. if you ask most people, they will tell you that there’s no way that Social Security will ever be around for you when you get old, which means that you’re essentially paying your Social Security taxes for no reason other than to support the current wave of retirement candidates. Is that fair? Not really, but that’s the system that we live under.

Of course, there could be a contrary view here, that Social Security concerns are being greatly exaggerated and that means that you’re going to still have hope for keeping your retirement. We think that it’s more or less in the middle between these two views. While Social Security isn’t going to just go quietly into that good night, we also have to remind people that it’s not going to be the way you would expect when you retire.

Yet that’s not a bad thing at all. The assumption that a lot of people make when it comes to Social Security is that it’s something that’s supposed to let you retire, and that’s not the case at all. It’s always been a supplement to retirement, a little boost to help you along. There’s no reason to give up your current annuities or pensions or anything else that you have in the bank designed to make your golden years a little more golden. We have t stop assuming that the government is supposed to take care of our every little need, and that’s the underlying feelings behind the push on Social Security. Don’t get us wrong — Social Security is still a good thing that helps a lot of people. But the cost of that “good thing” is the issue here, and we’re paying a lot higher cost than we should.

If you’re worried at all about Social Security, take that alarm as a great time to start your own investing life. Start reading up on what good investors do and take small steps. There’s nothing wrong with going towards the index funds rather than trying to play hot potato with the stock market, running from hot tip to hot tip. You’re going to need to decide that you don’t have to be financially illiterate anymore – with the rise of the Internet and all of the free information out there to get you started, there’s no reason why you can’t make the best run of this for your own purposes.

Getting everything in line is a smart idea, and getting things organized can take some time but it’s definitely worth it. Why not make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row today? After all — if you already have a great blueprint for retirement, then it doesn’t matter what happens to Social Security, really!

Do Investing Gurus Ever Get It Right – And Should You Care?

If there’s one piece of advice that we would like to pass on to newcomers to the world of investing, it’s simply this: blaze your own trail. Far too often we let the financial news outlets control us from start to finish, pretending as if we have to listen to everything that comes out of their mouths. Of course, it’s in their best interest to pull this off. After all, if they have you scared and cautious, they have you under their control. And that means that you are going to be a lot more susceptible to advertising and marketing designed to take money out of your pockets. Now, we’re not going to say that it’s against the rules to make money off investors. That’s kind of the way the world of investing is set up. However, what you do need to understand here is that it’s all about limiting the amount of fees and services that you’re paying for.

Let’s talk about financial gurus on TV — are they really what you want to listen to when it comes down to it? Is there advice really timely? We disagree in theory, actually. Yes, we think that most investors that have a national presence are good investors for their own personal portfolio. But you really can’t time the market, and the trouble is that the hot stock pick circuit is convinced that you can. Just because stocks are taking a beating now doesn’t mean that you sell off everything and move into bonds. If you can stomach a little more risk than someone else, that shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. It’s all about how fast you want your money to grow, and how much risk that you can tolerate. If you only have 5 years before retirement, we don’t suggest going through the process of high-yield junk corporate bonds. Even though the word is charged, all it really means is that there is a risk that the company won’t pay back the money — depending on the numbers and profile of the company, this can actually be unlikely to happen. But what if it did happen Are you really willing to risk the money that you’ve put towards this effort.

This is why there are so many calls for a balanced portfolio. Because the last thing that you really want to do is find that you don’t have any balance in your portfolio. If you put all of your eggs into the proverbial basket, you’re not going to be able to actually move forward. This is because when there’s a big market swing, your whole portfolio is going to feel it.

Long term, you need to make sure that you’re choosing diversified funds over the “sure thing” that the financial gurus are touting at the moment. No matter how much time passes, there seems to be a new stock darling, or a new technique that’s designed to put lots of money into your account today — just like the last ten or twenty techniques were supposed to do.

Instead of thinking about gimmicks and fast cash, you might want to fall back on fundamental and technical analysis with value investing. Slow growth. These are things that raise portfolios.

No Time Like The Present To Revisit Your Will

Here’s a subject that no one really wants to deal with — setting up your will, or revisiting your will. However, it’s an issue that you really need to tackle right here, right now. Otherwise, it’s just going to end up making your family’s life a lot less vibrant and a lot less healthy from every angle. How can we say that? Well, we’ve seen it too many times — if there’s no will in place, it’s a rollercoaster of uncertainty and instability. No one knows what goes to whom, and there’s a lot of fighting. Now, we’re not saying that a will eliminates hard feelings and emotions completely. However, if we had our choices, we would take steps while we’re alive to make a will that spells out exactly who gets what.

So let’s revisit the will you set up, okay? That’s right — just because you set up a will doesn’t mean that you should just let it collect dust. You will still want to make sure that everyone listed in your will is exactly where they need to be. What if you got divorced and you no longer want your first wife to be able to just take your assets? Maybe you have a second wife that needs to get everything. What about who needs to watch over your children? That should be spelled out in your will and updated at least every year or two.

You don’t have to get a lawyer to update your will, but it’s not a bad idea to get an attorney with experience to go ahead and touch up your will. This is something where things can get nasty in hurry, and that means that you will need to make sure that even if you weren’t here to defend your wishes, things will go smoothly.

Since most lawyers charge by the hour, this is not something that has to cost a lot of money — but you do need to get started!

The Essentials to Include in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a process that can really stress you out and wear you down.  You don’t need to feel like it’s absolutely impossible to get the things you want — you just need to make sure that you really figure out what to include in the bankruptcy itself. Since bankruptcy is considered to be a clean slate and a chance to start over at a new life, you should make sure that you are including all of the right things — and leaving out the things that would be better suited to other methods of debt reduction and elimination.

The truth is that you will need to disclose just about everything that you possibly can and then double check to make sure that you haven’t left anything out. A lot of people make jokes that bankruptcy truly opens up your life in many ways, but there’s nothing really laughter-inducing about it. Seriously — you will need to disclose your financial history, income, assets, and debts. Now, what a lot of people get caught up on is that you can choose to keep paying certain debts in spite of the bankruptcy. This means that you’re reaffirming those debts instead of just letting them pass on by. This can help you keep your property that really matters, like your house and your car. However, you will still need to check with your lenders and make sure that you have to reaffirm the debt. A lot of the time the lender will just let you keep making your payments as if the bankruptcy had never happened — all without making you actually on the hook for those payments. If you were to stop making payments, you would simply lose the property — definitely not something that people are actually looking to do.

When it comes right down to it, just about every debt that’s holding you down needs to be included in the bankruptcy. Yes, there are debts that may not be eligible for discharge. For example, if you have student loans, those are pretty tough to discharge in bankruptcy. That’s why so many financial circuits tell you not to actually do anything as crazy as take out a bunch of student loans that you know you cannot pay back. Private student loans are great — they’re helping a lot of people go back to school and then some. However, they can trap people and make them feel like there’s truly no way out, and that’s not a good thing at all.

Moving back to the world of bankruptcy, if you’re ever unsure about how to disclose your information properly, you need to consult with a bankruptcy advocate and attorney. Even if you don’t want to hire an attorney, you at least need to have them look over all of your papers. Unless you’ve got a secret life as a bankruptcy lawyer, you’re bound to miss something that the bankruptcy lawyer would know off the top of their head. It’s nothing to feel embarrassed about — a lot of people don’t know a lot of things about every subject in the world. That’s why we have experts!

So, we definitely hope that this guide helps you when it’s time to start thinking more about the bankruptcy process — why not take action today? You’ll be definitely glad that you did!