Factory Direct Latex Mattresses – You Can Enjoy Substantial Savings If You Ask the Right Questions!

If you do a search for “factory direct” on any item you’re shopping for do the results always take you to the actual manufacturer of the product? Not hardly. Those two words are pretty straightforward and used to mean that you were dealing with the factory that made the item and as soon as it came off of their assembly line—you could purchase it directly from them. The importance of this is that purchasing your item direct from the manufacturer cut out the additional steps required to take the product to the retail market AND more importantly it cut out the price markups that go along with that all along the way. All of those additional costs were categorized as “cutting out the Middle Man”.

And so you hear the term FACTORY DIRECT a lot in the mattress industry. I’d like to discuss what really qualifies a company to say they fit that mould. Because as I stated earlier the very nature of buying direct–without adding additional profit layers at each stage of the distribution chain–implies that the consumer will experience SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS by buying direct from the manufacturer.

Mr. or Mrs. Consumer are the ones who pay for the additional profit layers when they purchase from non factory-direct sources! What does this tell you? It should tell you that if you want to enjoy the best price you should take the time to “find the factory” and make your purchase direct.

It is surprising to me, in my 35 years as a true manufacturer of innerspring mattresses and latex mattresses, that so many consumers hear or see the words factory direct used by a mattress retailer and don’t actually verify the claim. My experience in this industry has shown me that the general public has grown so used to hearing the term factory direct used in advertising that they very often fail to recognize an “actual” factory direct manufacturer–and conversely they fail to recognize a retailer who “claims” they are factory direct but doesn’t meet the factory direct criteria.

Asking lots of questions is always good. With that in mind, here are four questions to ask if you’re shopping for a new latex mattress and you want to properly identify the source you’re dealing with:

1. Do you have equipment necessary to make the mattresses?

2. Does your company have employees skilled and dedicated in mattress construction and assembly?

3. Does your company have a dedicated manufacturing facility for this product?

4. Does your company sell direct to the public via your own factory showroom or your own factory internet site?

All four of these questions require yes answers to pass the factory direct test. If any answer is a no… you’re not dealing with a factory direct manufacturer.

The ultimate goal of the consumer is to get the best product at the best price. Today’s consumers have many resources available to help them shop. I share this information to give the consumer one additional resource to help them in their quest.

How To Start Your SEO And Internet Marketing In Seven Steps

Optimizing your website and marketing online can be a time consuming and exhausting process, especially for a beginner. Some people hire SEO expert to help them with their effort, but that might not be an option if your budget is tight. SEO and internet marketing is not as hard as it looks if you break down your effort into several steps so you can see your progress and know what else to do. This article discusses seven steps to start doing your own SEO and internet marketing.

The first step is setting up your website. It is the central point of your online marketing. Buy your own domain and hosting space. Your own domain will make your website look more professional and your SEO ranking higher. You can hire someone to do it for you, or you can set it up yourself.

Start simple. Use website template and design that is easy to install and navigate. Although fancy websites look interesting, many readers actually prefer simple but informative website. Put in the most basic information about your products and company. Write your shop or service policy as clearly as possible. It is best if you add a Frequently Asked Question section on your website. Do not forget to put in your contact info so that readers can reach you. It is preferable to put in your phone number aside from email address. Some people prefer to speak directly to someone rather than using email.

Take pictures and upload them to your websites. Take the best pictures you can and hire a professional photographer if you have to. If you sell tangible products, this step is especially important since the customers cannot see or touch your item directly.

Now you can start optimizing your website. First, make sure your website is searchable on search engines. You might need to submit your website address to some search engines to speed up the process. Then you should edit your header and title to include relevant keywords that describe your website content and your products. You also need to add these keywords to your content. Avoid keyword stuffing as this is frowned upon by search engines.

The fifth step is to sign up for social networking sites. Start with Facebook and Twitter since they are the easiest to use and most popular. If you use Facebook, create a business page or a fan page. Like with your website, fill in relevant information and make it look as professional and attractive as possible. Add social networking buttons such as Facebook badges on your website.

Invite people that you know at first: your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintance or anyone on your friend list. Ask them to spread the news to their friends. Interact with them by posting updates, sale, special offer, or other things. It is important to answer their question and build relationship with them.

The last step in SEO and internet marketing is to advertise your website or business. There are many places to advertise online. You can directly place your ads on certain websites. You can also use Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.

Direct Sales 101 – Making the Sale in Seven Seconds

Let’s just face it. There is no getting around the fact that we all initially judge people on a very superficial level. For right or wrong, our subconscious minds make snap judgments about people within the first few seconds of contact. So what can you do to ensure you make a great impression and make the sale in seven seconds?

It is a statistically proven fact that people who are considered ‘attractive’ tend to be more successful. This applies more to women than men, but it’s a general truth. So if you’re a good looking sales lady, you have a ‘leg up’ on the competition.

But if you don’t think you fit into the category of attractive, don’t worry. There’s a lot you can do to even the score.

The first thing you can do to make a killer impression is to ‘out dress’ your prospect. Don’t overdo it and meet up with your prospect in anything made by Giorgio Armani! Just have a good idea of what he or she will be wearing and adjust your attire to be slightly more impressive. This will help to build a perception of you as a leader. It’s also important to try and match the style of dress of your prospect as closely as you can. The more similarities that you and your prospect share, the better. Don’t you feel more comfortable with a person when you think or feel they are like you?

It is also extremely important to take the time to give yourself a real grooming session. Make sure your nails and hair are trim, clothes pressed, and shoes clean and shiny. I had a friend go to a jewelry store to buy an item and passed because he noticed a hole in the salesmans’ sock! Don’t let this happen to you.

This might sound obvious, but take the time to evaluate whether or not your potential client might or might not need your product or service. I constantly see people in direct sales and marketing treating their business like a pure numbers game without determining what their target market is. I don’t know about you, but for me, time is of the essence.

You would be surprised at just how good an impression you make if you just give a smile and a firm handshake. Take the time to notice how you feel when someone gives you a genuinely warm smile. Even if your somewhat nervous, giving a nice smile will reduce the tension you feel. And giving a somewhat firm handshake (but don’t overdo it) will increase your aura of leadership.

And one of the most important things you can achieve within the first seven seconds is getting your prospect to say YES! It really doesn’t matter how you get them to do it, just make sure they say YES. Getting your potential client to say yes will put him or her in a positive state of mind and make a successful sale much more likely. In fact, make sure you ONLY ask questions that can be answered with an affirmative yes throughout your presentation.

If you know anything about effective public speaking, you know that the first few words out of the mouth of the speaker sets the whole tone of the speech. If the speaker is good, the words were carefully crafted to make a motivating impression on the audience. The opener is crafted to make an impression that will persuade the audience to the speakers’ point of view. Take the time to carefully craft the impression you will make on your prospect, and you will make the sale in seven seconds.

Insurance Agency Marketing – 3 Tips to Win More Business

We all agree that today, getting new business and Insurance Agency marketing is more challenging than ever before. Consumers are constantly bombarded with marketing messages from every direction. When they get home, their mail box is filled to capacity and most of it gets thrown into the garbage before it is ever opened. Your customers spend more time on Facebook than they do watching T.V. and newspapers are closing their doors at a record pace.

So, how do you reach your customers, and more importantly, new prospects? Following are three tips for successfully marketing your insurance agency.

Tip #1: Go Online and Win More Business

We can complain all day about the internet and how “we are old school” but the fact remains, if you want to catch more fish, you have to go where the fish are swimming.

The vast majority of consumers today do not believe that the internet is “optional.” With iPhones, Blackberries and iPads, people are tethered to the internet all day, every day. People go online to spend time with friends. They go online to get reviews for products and services. They go online to compare prices. They go online to get directions. Name any daily, normal activity and I can assure you, “there is an app for that!”

The problem with going online to win more business is that the internet has become a very crowded place indeed. Insurance Agency marketing in particular is difficult, because honestly, the competition is more fierce than perhaps any other business.

As in the old days, you need a solid business marketing plan to win online. In days gone by, a good marketing plan might begin with an ad in the Yellow Pages. You might think of the internet as the new Yellow Pages… on steroids! With an online marketing plan, you can harness the power of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. You can show up in local search when someone searches for you last, but certainly not least, you can use the internet to build local buzz, which remains the most powerful form of advertising known to man.

Tip #2 Position Yourself As a Professional Adviser

You may remember the line from a Woody Allen movie, “There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?”

Truthfully, that is the way that most people feel about sales people in general and insurance agents in particular. Folks today are sick of being sold. They don’t want someone to sell them, they want an adviser who will guide them and help them.

One of the most powerful forms of positioning today is to have a professional website. Image and branding are huge when it comes to positioning yourself as a professional. Consumers today are very savvy, and if your website looks like it was put up by your nephew, you have already begun to the lose the battle of trust with your prospect.

Tip #3 Use Your Website as a Hub for Your Entire Business

As many Insurance Agencies have discovered, having a website is not a silver bullet for building your business. The problem is, that most agencies don’t know how to build, optimize and use their websites. Most websites can’t get found because they don’t know how to optimize it for search. Most websites don’t get used, because Insurance Agencies don’t understand how to use it.

Prospects WANT to go to your website to check you out and get information. But if 1) They can’t find you, 2) The site is ugly and 3) You don’t send people there with your other advertising, you might as well not have a site at all.

Think of your professional website as a “hub.” Every spoke represents different forms of advertising (direct mail, radio, television, etc.). With all of your advertising, drive all of your prospects to your website and then turn your site into a living salesperson (which, by the way, never gets sick and never complains) to convert your prospects into customers.

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