Increased Options to Sell Gold May Decrease Consumer Confidence

Since the economic downturn starting back in 2007, the price of gold has steadily increased coinciding with catastrophic collapse of several markets: bank, housing, mortgage, and government. The increase in gold price has translated in to the increase of gold buying and selling from public, private, and government sectors, yet this increase in buyers has created a great confusion for sellers amongst all the choices, how to choose the best buyer that will create the greatest benefit. It is a healthy decision to sell gold and can come in hand a time of great need, the following will attempt to provide you with a basis for finding a reputable gold buyer and increase your confidence to sell gold.

Since the creation and popularity of the internet has eliminated barriers to entry for businesses and sole proprietors, there has been an increased level of competition. This allows for business to greatly compete on basis of price, quality of goods, and customer service. There are also many options to gather customer feedback or referrals. In order to sell gold, as a seller it is important to evaluate a gold buyer on the basis of each of these aspects. A buyer that does not provide some type of information on their prices, estimated transaction time, shipping carrier speeds and insurance, communication before the customer decides to sell, reviews, and overall level of transparency.

Out of the several options to sell gold whether online through the mail or locally in person, there are certainly trustworthy positive experiences to be had. The requirements necessary to create this experience are common sense and a basis for any successful transaction. Additional attention and care is needed with precious metals transactions since this industry is heavily enforced and small volume can translate to very high prices.

By taking the time to investigate the information provided by such businesses you will prevent yourself from being taken advantage of or not receiving a fair percentage of cash for gold.

Easily Get Restaurant Reviews From Customers

These days, people don’t buy anything without reading reviews first. Amazon.com is the world’s favorite shopping mall. Visitors look for an item that is both heavily reviewed and has a mostly positive rating. There is suspicion of items that have no reviews, as that means to most folks that the business is probably new and the item they’re looking at is of questionable quality. Positive customer reviews weigh in big time within the consumer psyche and the convenience at which reviews can be posted means that every interaction with a customer is a potential opportunity to make or break many future sales. These ideas began with the retail industry, and they’ve spread like wildfire to restaurants.

So, should you ask for reviews or not? Let’s review the pros and cons:

PROS

Incentivizing is a great motivator for everything in the world. If you want reviews from your customers, offer them something of value. Asking for reviews isn’t bad as long as you’re not flat-out paying for them. Put something fun together: drop review submitters’ names into a monthly raffle for a free lunch, pick a top reviewer and send them to an exotic themed vacation (think Olive Garden sending families to Italy), have your top chef prepare dinner for a certain special patron. There are tons of ideas that involve a thematic approach to incentivized rewards versus just handing out cash. Get your patrons involved and excited and reap the benefits of a truly passionate reviewer!

If you choose to nudge patrons in the right direction, make it easy for them. Offering them a comment card is one way to go, and you can put that review up on your website, but how can you get the word out on UrbanSpoon or Yelp, two of the most popular restaurant review sites? You’ve got to tell customers where to submit their feedback. “Search for us on UrbanSpoon!” is a quick, easy and non-pushy way to let people know you’re active on that site. Make sure to develop a way to track your review-submitting patrons so that you can reward them. You’ll generally receive an email notification when a review is submitted to either one of those sites.

Posting restaurant reviews can be fun! Think about the power of mobile Smartphone applications: a patron can take a picture of your menu (or their meal plate) on their phone and post it online instantly, even while they’re still eating their Southwest Quesadilla Special. They can then immediately “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” your business based on their experience. This is incredibly helpful to other customers. PRO TIP: Consider taking clear pictures of your menu and your location and uploading them to review sites before someone else does. Doing so helps potential new customers decide if they want to eat at your establishment by taking the guesswork out of what you’ve got to offer. The more information that’s readily available about your business, the better.

CONS

The first question you need to ask yourself honestly is this: “Is my restaurant ready to be reviewed?” Many restaurant owners get antsy and jump the gun, so to speak, in taking steps to force reviews. They may have had a slow grand opening and think that getting “good press” on sites like UrbanSpoon and Yelp is the only way to stay operative. These sites are dynamite for influencing potential customers, but hard selling reviews is not the way to go. If your restaurant isn’t 100% where you want it to be at, incentivizing reviews could also mean reminding people that they can post negative reviews, too. As many small business owners have learned, one negative review that’s boosted to the front page of Google can spell doom for their business. Just like a positive review can encourage new folks to try an unfamiliar restaurant, a negative review can drive just as many away. Lesson: don’t force reviews if you’re not ready for them.

Positive reviews from non-incentivized customers will almost always feel more “real.” So although it may take longer to get a review, it may be worth your wait.

Have you ever read a restaurant review and just known that it was the owner writing it, or one of the company’s employees? How did that make you feel? Most consumers who feel like they’ve experienced a fake review will immediately go elsewhere, with a permanent sense of distrust in that business.

Some review databases (like Yelp) frown on incentivized/paid reviews. They’ll go as far to delete over-zealous, fake sounding reviews in order to keep their site “honest.” In this case, it may not be worth the investment to reward a reviewer.

If your restaurant is outstanding on both service and menu fronts, you may not have to encourage review submittal at all. A new patron should be so floored after having left your establishment that they want to share their experience with the world. Have you ever been to a restaurant where the server was “on it,” the food was excellent, the wait was nonexistent, and the atmosphere was just fun? I bet you wanted to tell people about it. This same theory applies to restaurant reviews: provide an entirely excellent experience at every point of contact and expect to be rewarded for your hard work.

The answer is up to you. If you can solicit reviews in a fun, creative way, that plan might work out well for your business. Beware of over-incentivizing; remember you want honest reviews, not a bunch of fluff. No doubt, reviews are a superb way to generate new business. You might even say they’ve become essential in today’s world of infinite information. Keep in mind that consistently great service will be rewarded with words of praise, so keep your bar set high, your plates clean, drinks full, food hot, and staff friendly. You’ll eventually get to the point where you don’t need to solicit reviews anymore, they’ll just come naturally.

Blog For Money – You Must Have Something To Sell

Blogging has become a successful home business for many people. It’s an easy business to start, because there are few or no start up costs. However, if you want to make money, you must have something to sell on your blog – create a “sales” blog.

Although content-heavy blogs on which you sell advertising do make money, these blogs take time before they become profitable, simply because you need a lot of content. How much content? Since blogging has become mainstream, and there are many content blogs, it may take at least 500 to 1000 posts on a content blog for profitability.

“Sales” blogs, which sell products or services, can be profitable with as few as ten to 20 blog posts.

So aim for a sales blog, so your blog becomes profitable more quickly.

Before you start blogging, you need a plan. Create your plan first, before you create your blog. It’s difficult to make money with a blog which hasn’t been set up as a money-maker from the start.

Let’s look at four easy steps to developing a profitable sales blog.

1. Decide what you’ll sell on your blog

To make money, your blog must sell something: a service, or a product. Many bloggers sell affiliate products from their blog.

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you can sell your blogging services from your blog.

2. Make a list of the products, or services which you’ll sell

If you’re selling as an affiliate, make a list of products you’ll sell – reviews of these products will form the basis of your blog articles.

Many affiliate bloggers sell lots of products on a single blog. However, it will be more profitable to divide the products you’re selling into topics; then create a new blog for each topic. This means that each blog can be more focused, and this will mean more traffic.

If you’re selling your own blogging services, set up the blog to do this. Write articles promoting each service you provide. Essentially, the blog becomes your online portfolio.

3. Start blogging, but keep SALES at the forefront of your mind

Next, you can start writing blog posts. However, plan your posts. Planning is vital for a sales blog. For example, let’s say you’ve created a sales blog to sell affiliate products related to pets.

You’ve collected ten affiliate products. Plan articles related to those ten products. You can create review-style articles, as well as general content articles with a link to one of your affiliate products.

If you want to get hired as a blogger, then this must be obvious on your blog, and on every post you write – write several articles promoting each of your services.

4. Promote your blog

Finally, it’s time to promote your blog. There are many ways in which you can promote your blog: with classified advertising, Pay Per Click advertising, and article marketing.

How you choose to promote is up to you. However, do remember that you must promote your blog.

So there you have four easy steps to making money with a sales blog. When you plan your blog for sales from the start, your blog will be profitable for you from the start.

David Ogilvy’s Classic Work: How to Create Advertising That Sells Review Part 3

How to Create Advertising that Sells Review Part 3

Almost Home…

David Ogilvy’s classic How to Create Advertising That Sells Review Part 3 looks at rules eighteen through twenty-seven. It starts with the maxims about TV ads and moving to the maxims of ads in print. The advertising medium isn’t necessarily what’s important here. These maxims pay big and offer a proven history. Get the most out of each advertising dollar. Apply these maxims, regardless of the chosen medium.

Rule 18: Music

Even though, according to Ogilvy, most won’t believe this, music behind the ad in commercials decreases the consumer’s ability to remember ads. Not good, right?

Rule 19: Standups

Stand-up Pitches work if “delivered” with honesty says Ogilvy.

Rule 20: Sore Thumb

The average viewer watches more than 20,000 commercials in a year. Desperate times call for desperate measures! Ogilvy says brand it and make it one of a kind. A symbol (like imperial’s crown) or even a mnemonic device can be used.

Rule 21: Animate?

Cartoons really sell to children. Children don’t hold the power of the pocketbook however. It’s critical to know the audience. Cartoons and animation doesn’t turn over to customers when adults are the target. Grown-ups can’t “identify” with animation. This makes it less persuasive.

Rule 22: Save it!

Find out WHY an ad didn’t work. Then, repair it. Once fixed, it’s ready to go to work for real!

Rule 23: Factual vs. Emotional

In the big scheme of things, commercials which offer facts about the product or service will rank as more effective than ones using emotions. Ogilvy’s example was Maxwell House Coffee. It was very emotional and a huge success. It goes both ways, but stats say go with the facts.

Rule 24: Attention Grabbers

Commercials which open with a fast, grab the attention of viewers, and tend to hold their attention significantly better to the end than the quiet-start commercials.

What Works Best in Print…

As part of this How to Create Advertising that Sells Review Part 2, we’ll move to print advertising. We’ll look at what works and what does not.

Rule 25: 80/20

What’s 80/20? Sadly, only twenty percent of viewers will go past headlines in order to reach the content. Since eighty percent DO read the headlines, the sale takes place in the headline! There’s a conversion rate which is 5 times greater than not creating a dynamic headline. Ogilvy always used his company name and gave promise in the headline.

Rule 26: Benefits

Headlines giving a solid benefit get more sales over those that do not. Human nature makes anyone want to find out what’s in it for them! This is one of the strongest maxims in this How to Create Advertising that Sells Review Part 3 to be found.

Rule 27: News

People are curious about new products or service. They want to know which products have been changed or improved, giving reason to read on. The stats say headlines that tell sell.

Review in Summary

That completes this next part of David Ogilvy’s How to Create Advertising that Sells Review, part 3 of 4. Television and print are obviously very different advertising mediums. However, there is much to learn and apply from both arenas… Remember: Say ‘No’ to background music. Stand-ups work. Stand above the crowd. Fix whatever isn’t converting and try it again. Facts sell more than emotion. Grab the viewer’s attention right out the door. Power is in the headline… don’t mess it up! Show the consumer “what is in it for them”… give the biggest, strongest benefit inside the headline. Finally, share newsy points about what’s being sold will work extremely well.

Part four of How to Create Advertising that Sells Review will conclude more million-dollar truths by Ogilvy and show what works and what doesn’t. If viewer’s attention isn’t grabbed or demanded, the sale is lost! Part 4 promises to end with a bang, so keep looking.

Soft Selling To Boost Your Affiliate Commissions

If your are an affiliate wanting to promote products online, and did not consider the art of soft selling to boost your affiliate commissions, you are probably behaving like the sales man who knocks on people’s doors only to get them slammed shut more often than not and because people do not like being sold to, they would naturally back away from you.

In online terms, there is nothing worst than not knowing the best course of action when it comes to promoting products and services. What do you think it’s going to happen when you blast emails to every person on your lists or put links around the forums? Let alone spam article directories with sales pitches for unrelated programs and services?

On the other hand, when your prospects are actually interested in buying something and they seek and get a second opinion from another customer or friend, who have already bought the product or know about it, they would more readily want to buy from you in this case than when you were simply acting as a hard sales person.

The fact is that people buy into people and this principle is real also on the web. So when someone gives an opinion about somebody else and his services or products, the results is much more powerful than selling face to face. This form of referral is what is known as soft selling and it can be achieved mostly through reviews of products and services or from word of mouth of course.

If you write reviews about services or products that you have or know about and post these articles all over the web, provided they contain the most targeted keywords possible, the search engines will pick them up and index them high in the rankings. Clearly then, these reviews will give your products a lot of exposure to create traffic to your sites and thus boost your commissions.

This is not going to work very well for highly targeted very competitive words where the big companies are already spending huge amounts of cash on back links to stay at the top of the rankings but if you go after the long tail keywords that target derivatives of the main expensive keywords or subsets of the niches you are in, followed by “review”, you can go to the top of the rankings as well to give you the chance of picking more commissions.

Soft selling a product then can be done very well by recommending it, after you have used it yourself, know about it through comments on forums or by studying the benefits given in its sales letter. In other words, you are doing a review of it and highlighting what the product can do for your customers as well.

In the soft selling reviews that you make, you will include the links to the merchant’s product, in addition to what you discovered about the product and how its benefits far out weight any minor faults that you find. That is why you recommend it, since it worked for you and you know it will work for everyone else. Oh, and use at least twice the link to the merchant in your article review.

Tell your audience how their success online will reflect how well they can position themselves against their competition and how the services and products that you recommend will help them achieve that status. When you demonstrate what the products that you soft sell to your customers can do for them, they are bound to take action to try them out.

Remember that these articles reviews type of soft selling can be sent to the social networks. Yes use the main ones at least; just Google the top 10 and shoot them these review-articles type of soft selling recommendations. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of targeted traffic that this tactic generated for you, making you lots of sales for your online business.

Use the article directories as well. Again, find out the top 10 and post these review-articles that at least include in your bio your affiliate links for the products that you promote. There may be some directories that may not allow you to do that so it is best to look at their terms and conditions first.

If you also send shortened reviews of products in your auto responder, this alone can multiply your sales as your own customers will trust your recommendations for the products they are after.

You actually can make money out of the article-review type of recommendations you create. When you have a good number of them, you could set up a review site and sell them in group form or individually. There is a lot of potential for these reviews when you packaged them in a themed review type site.

Think about the millions of searches going through Google at any time with people thinking about getting products and not knowing if they are good for them. See? Many of them need a final push to make that decision to buy and you can provide them the answer with your social proof and action taken recommendations to buy.

German Calvo.