Friday, November 30, 2012

Popular SEO Tools

Google AdWords Keyword tool
The first step in any SEO campaign is identifying the keywords/key phrases you want to use - popularly known as keyword research. Google AdWords Keyword tool is the most widely used and acclaimed free tool for keyword research. It will let you know which keywords to target, the competition for those keywords, and will also offer suggestions on popular phases you might not have even thought of. There are other paid keyword research tools like keyword discovery and wordtracker which are good as well, but this tool is valuable and efficient when it comes to a free SEO tool.

XML Sitemap Generator
If you place a formatted XML file with site map on the web server, you enable Search Engine crawlers (Google) to find out what pages are present on your website and which ones have been changed recently. Whenever you add new content to your site you will obviously want to make sure Google knows about it. Sitemaps help search engine's spiders crawl your site and understand what it's about. The XML sitemap generator will create a sitemap compliant with the search engine that you need to upload to your home directory every time your site is updated.

SEO Book's Rank Checker

A Firefox plugin that enables you to check where your website is ranking in keyword searches. You can save details of every campaign and run reports from your browser in seconds. It helps you analyze website rankings on the three major search engines - Google, Yahoo and Bing. SEO Book's Rank Checker is a widely used tool which is highly recommended to check your search engine rankings.

Hubspot's Website Grader
This free SEO tool can perform a health check on your website before awarding it a grade and offering advice on how it could be improved. A few interesting features are blog analysis, indexed pages analysis, metadata, domain info, inbound links, last crawl date, social media grader etc. You can discover how effectively your site is described (language) and how often it has been bookmarked on Digg or Delicious. Also, you can add a Website Grader widget (which provides you with a code to paste into your site) displaying a badge featuring your search marketing quality score.

Majestic SEO
SEO revolves around backlinking. This tool gives you a clear count and analysis of your website's backlinks including the page they are on, anchor text and the total number of backlinks on that particular page. This useful tool will let you know who's linking to your content and track the success of your link building campaign.

Google Analytics / Google Webmaster Tool
These two tools together make the fundamentals of search engine marketing. Based on Urchin, Google Analytics is a top analytics tool available to everybody for free. This analytics gives you details about traffic behavior, funnel information, conversions, landing pages and much, much more. Google webmaster on the other hand gives you a view of what Google "sees" on your site including crawling speed, crawling rate, highest pagerank of your site and more.
SpyFu lets you enter either a keyword or domain into its search box to begin the process. You are afterward presented with results to help you decide if a particular keyword is an appropriate choice for your SEO or ad campaigns and other keyword possibilities. From domain searches, you can see your competitors and discover details of their organic or paid search campaigns. There is paid version of which offers more features, but the free one has quite a lot as well.
This is a great tool for analyzing your competition. You can see traffic and engagement metrics for any website; identify sites for affiliate and SEO link building. Also you can analyze competitor keywords and search strategies for free. Other features include; analyzing subdomains, tagging, comparisons, portfolios and CSV download of information. also has a subscription based paid service which you can use to attain additional features.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Important of SEO

The internet is considered to be one of the biggest market places to promote your product with no geographical boundaries. You can use different techniques to market your products using your website. Internet provides you opportunities to reach out to more customers and you need to ensure that you create a site that can attract visitors as well as convert to sales. This necessitates that you are listed high in the search engine rankings. For this, SEO proves to be a powerful internet marketing tool.

SEO techniques are aimed at reaching out to customers by way of listing at the top of the search engine search lists. With techniques like back links, keyword placement, etc., you are trying to promote your product and ensure that you list higher in the indexing. If you consider keywords, they are those words or phrases that would be typically used by prospective customers to try to find information related to what they want. You should undertake research of keywords that are related to your product and which are popularly used and results achieved.

Similarly, once you have the keywords in hand, you would ensure that you are placed appropriately in the website. Right from the title of the page you should consider where you might place it. The search engines search the title for the keyword. If you have used relevant keywords in the title., the customer would be tempted enough to click on your link, once he conducts a search. Like the placement of the keywords, the keyword density is of equal importance. If you use too many keywords or phrases as part of your website content, it will make your content redundant. Excessive use of keywords can lead to reducing the credibility with the searc engines as well as the visitors and this loss is irreversible. Quality of content is as important for search engines as much for the customers. Unique content with a balanced use of keywords rather helps in getting you top ranking.

Other SEO tools that are useful are the back links. If you hve links from other sites, the search engines consider you as a site with relevant information. What it means is that the more the number o flinks you have coming from outside, the more popular you are. You may have links with other website that sell related products and have links coming from their sites. So, whatever traffic is attracted t these sites may also come to you. Similarly, you may also use anchor links, which is the preferred back link mode by search engines. This can be done by placing your links to keywords in articles that you may submit to article directories, blogs or forums. Search engines may not consider if you have done excessive link swapping. Links can help in getting your site higher rankings.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obamacare Is Here

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has been glued to the television anticipating the outcome of the recent elections.  Regardless if you lean left, right or prefer to do your own thing, we ALL must think about the future as it pertains to insurance sales, as well as other ways to make money online.

The Good news.
-Millions of consumers will have access to standardized plans to choose from making it easier to purchase health insurance
-Consumers WILL BE REQUIRED to buy health insurance or face a penalty
-Government subsidies will help families purchase insurance they may have not been able to afford before
-Consumers will need somebody to help them learn about their options to pick the right plan.
-Insurance agents will still be compensated for assisting consumers purchase health insurance
-Hundreds of agents (thousands perhaps) will decide it's not worth the financial gain to pursue health insurance sales. This might also be considered bad depending on your perspective

The Bad News
-Commissions will get cut AGAIN
-Tons of unanawered questions needs to be answered regarding the Obamacare requirements, potential health insurance premiums, insurance distribution channels, etc.
-Health Insurance premiums will increase. Some suspect anywhere from 50-200%. Time will tell what happens.
-Penalties for not having health insurance (less money in consumer hands to spend)
-New taxes (cough) to help pay for health care reform

If you don't have a back up plan now, I suggest you start planning NOW. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

How To Make Money Online - Beginners Guide

You have to learn before you can earn. Hopefully my blog has helped you on this journey. You no longer have to decide to continue to do the same thing expecting different results. If you can create informative articles and good quality review then you visitors will love you for it. The truth is, the only way you will earn money online is doing something you enjoy. Think about what you are passionate about and check online for any affiliate programs offer commissions for said products. Then figure out how you want to maximize earnings. You could rank a website using white hat SEO techniques, or perhaps you might explore PPC marketing. Once you pick a way to make money online, be consistent in your efforts and LEARN TO FAIL QUICKLY, so you know what does and doesn't work.

You can use Googles keyword research tool to find out what keywords are being searched or try one of the many keyword tools currently available. that can help you make money online. As you are starting out while building your profile online, your rates will be low. This is not laborious but needs a lot of perseverance because you need to be constantly checking for new ideas about to get visitors to your site. Affiliate marketing empowers you to earn money by building up the interests and wish of internet users for the products or services geared towards your audience.  One quick and cheap method would be to gather up a list of 10 questions or so and have you current client fill out a quick survey.  You can then use this information to figure out what to market based on their preferences.

Then it's simply a matter of marketing to that list and you will be paid when someone purchases through your link. Don't let procrastination get in the way of learning to earn.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Let's Get Ready to Rumble.

I've received some great feedback about my book reviews and implementation strategies Ironically, most of the feedback focused more on cold calling and developing methods to produce the best results.One of my main methods I use to reach my goals is to track my progress and look at it everyday. The reason why I force myself to track my sales efforts is because it paints a clear picture about how well I'm doing and what needs to be fixed. The numbers on the spreadsheet are simply for illustrative purposes and do not reflect my stats. I'd love to get to $25,000 AV a week though and think that's possible without enough hard work, experience and discipline.

I hope the document helps.

I'll be posting the next book review shortly. Originally I wanted to write a review about one of my ALL TIME favorite sales books that encompassing everything, but since I've received a lot of feedback on telemarketing, I'll review one book I recommend that has helped me increase my confidence and telemarketing efforts.

Be Safe.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Advanced Link Manager Review

For anyone with a website, rankings are important. If you're a business, you need to rank well so customers will find you. If you're an Internet Marketer, then rankings are necessary to drive traffic.
That's where Advanced Link Manager comes in. Whether you're managing the company website or your own personal enterprise, Advanced Link Manager will save you a lot of headaches.
So what makes Advanced Link Manager so great? You mean besides link popularity and a huge number of features. Let's touch on some of the biggest advantages.
Actual Software
Unlike many rank checkers, Advanced Link Manager is an actual program. You don't have to hope your plugin has been updated to work with your current browser version, or worry that the sever for that link management website is overloaded. Your software will be ready for you to use at any time on your computer, and you can keep it open for instant access to the data you need.
Multi Way Link Tracking
Many linking programs, that only track inbound and outbound links, Advanced Link Manager is able to track multiple way link exchange campaigns. So, if you're involved in a three way, or four way link exchange, you can track and make sure that your links are where they are supposed to be. No more wasting time making sure that your link campaigns point where they should, and no one's dropped the ball.
Link Analyzer
If all you want to know is the total number of inbound links you have, and maybe where they come from, then free software and plugins work fine. Sometimes, you get lucky, and you can find out that information about your competitors. Advanced Link Manager will do all of that, but better. You can track your incoming links, the keywords they use, and even how they've changed over time. You can also organize your links by type, so if you want to check a specific group, like paid links, against current and past page rank, or link keywords, you can do that.
Google and Yahoo API
If you're the sort to check lots of keywords, you know that you run the risk of getting your IP banned by Yahoo or Google, or both. However, you can use Google's AJAX API to not get banned, and it's integrated within the software. Also, Advanced Link Manager software works with Yahoo's Web APIs, so you can send up to Web APIs, so you never run out of requests.
Search Engine Friendly
So many link management tools are made without any regard to whether or not they're search engine friendly. They tie up a search engine without any regard for the people it was originally designed for. Advanced Link Manager isn't like that; the software has been designed to mimic an actual user's browsing. It will stop looking for URLs once it's found everything on your list, or once a limit has been reached. This is great, because that way your software isn't tied up looking for things that aren't there.
The only drawback to Advanced Link Manager is that it's not free. However, you can get a free 30 day trial period, during which you can try out all the features before buying. The disadvantage of price isn't really a disadvantage at all: paid software often has more features and better support than free. That gives you an advantage over any competitors using free plugins and link management sites. And as we all know, any advantage counts.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Question Based Selling, Part Two

I recently provided a review of the book Question Based Selling. Now I’d like to explain how I have been able to receive some great results utilizing some of the techniques explained in the book.
Thomas Freese discusses the importance of understanding how people have a natural aversion to people they don’t know and trust. Once you realize that EVERYBODY feels this way you’ll be ahead of the game. It’s very difficult to fight Mother Nature, so it’s better to just accept it and know how to react.
Have you ever talked with a prospect who seems to contradict everything you say? It can be quite annoying and make you feel like you want to throw the phone out the window and purchase a taser gun. Instead of taking the risk of getting arrested, I offer an alternative solution that will save you some money on telephones, an attorney and therapy.
For the last week every cold call that I initiated, began this way.
“Hello XXXX, this is John McCollough and I'm a health plan expert. Is this a good time?”
I call 100 numbers every weekday and usually talk with about 200-225 people on average on a weekly basis. 14 people said it was a bad time! When I got that response I asked when would be a good time to call back. About 1/3 replied, “what is this about?” Ah-ah, so this isn't really a bad time! Next time your making a call mix it up a bit. Instead of saying, "Is this a good time?" say "Is this a bad time?" This will give the the information you need to adjust your script and find out what works and what needs to be discarded. I suspect that if you use the latter line you'll get a lot more resistance, but try it out and post a comment about your results.
Herd Theory
I have got some great news for you. Have you heard about the new lead company out of California that provides leads for $5.00 each and only sells them to 3 agents? Yes, it actually is the truth because I have been using this company for the last 4 months? Another great thing about this company is that their credit policy is very liberal and I’m averaging right around $3.50 a lead after factoring in uninsurables, false information, etc.
I almost forgot, they signed a contract with me stating that they WILL NOT sell the lead to no more than 3 agents without drafting up a new contract and I get seniority should they chanege their policy. I love it when a new lead company comes out. I don’t get anything for recommending this company…just a chance to help my readers. If you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity you can find it here
It’s really something isn’t it! Who would have thought that this opportunity existed. Hopefully you realize the purpose of this fun experiment. If you can create the illusion of something grandiose and you merely suggest (slight push) taking a course of action vs. “sell” (pushing or pulling), you’ll have a better chance of persuading an individual to reach the same conclusion you anticipate. You’ll feel better about yourself because you just separated yourself from every other agent who still thinks closes work in the long term!
Are You Running Away From Dogs or Aiming For The Gold?
The answer to that question is that you should be doing both or you’re going to miss half the deals you could be getting. People don’t buy insurance because a certain plan is cheaper. There are people who like change, people who abhor change and people who lie! When it comes to keeping the status quo or risk making a bad decision, most people will choose the former UNLESS you present options that offer a reward (cheaper premium) and a risk management strategy (no loss in benefits). Here’s an example of what I mean.
Situation (Family X)
-3 person family currently paying around $700 a month for an HMO plan with all the bells and whistles.
-Rate is expected to go up about 17% within the next month.
-Understands they will have to get new doctors/network.
-Cannot stand HMO’s or MEGA
-$0 deductible plan with $20/$30 copays for doctors or specialist and an OOPM of $7000 per year.
- High Deductible Health Plan w/out HSA and an OOPM of $2500
- Stable rates for 12 months
- Extensive PPO network in Mid-Atlantic area.
- New Premium $408.02 p/month (69% SAVINGS or $3500 a year)
Now you are probably thinking to yourself that the saving alone justifies the switch. Up until September 2007 I thought the same thing, but that isn’t the case. My record to date was a lost opportunity to save a family over $10,000 a year until Medicare kicked in a few short years away. They decided to self insure and cancel their plan instead of protecting their family and saving $20,000. That case still amazes me. Sometimes people do things out of spite because their upset about something and close-minded. Try to move on and not take it personal when you deal with these types of people. We all get them!
Even though I saved Family X a substantial amount of money that isn't enough for 9 out 10 people I talk because they have no idea about other insurance carriers besides Blue Cross Blue Shield and being comfortable with a carrier is 100%. That's fine and I can respect that..
All I did to finalize this deal was maximize their feelings about saving money using selective imagery combined with reducing their fears about switching carriers to a nameless carrier. For example, here's what I said.

"Mrs. X, I think I may have a solution for you that will enable you to take charge of your own plan and cut your premium in half (gold) ...while ensuring that you're families protected with a highly rated and financially sound (who let the dogs out) company...(Smiling) So take the extra money and spend it however you wish. I'd recommend you spend some of it on shoes and invest the rest!"
I LOVE sales!
Let me know how things works out you. Hopefully I've been able to shed light on a few topics that will help you to retain your ethics and sell more at the same time w/out having to resort to using a "fake family picture" because your manager said you need a family to sell health insurance online. If you're offended by adult language do not read this next line. My ass you do!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Affiliate Marketing Company Should I Join

Choosing the right affiliate marketing company really boils down to what type of product you want to promote, as well as the payout of the particular product.  You should ask questions first before joining any program in order to determine if they are a good fit.  Such questions might be;

- Does it cost anything to join the program?
-What forms of payment do they accept (for buyers) and how do they payout (checks, wire transfer, paypal, etc.)
-What is the hit per sale ratio?
This is typically the average number of hits (view or clicks) to a banner or text link it takes to generate a sale
-Do they have any ongoing sales promotion features (banners, email templates, etc.)
 -How are clicks (visitor engagement) from an affiliate's site tracked and for how long do they remain in the system? This will tell you about cookie length and any issues that might pop up.
- Does the affiliate company pay pay for the hits and impressions in addition to any sales?
 -Lastly, what is the amount of commission paid?
Depending up the program you could get anywhere from 5% - 50% on the sale amount of they might also pay on a PPL (pay per lead-sound familiar) If you find a products also paying for impressions, the amount paid is not much at all.
-Lastly, what other companies offer commissions for the same product. You might find an affiliate company paying less than the competitors without any gained benefit. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How To Learn SEO And How To Further Develop Your Website

First you need to analyze your business as a whole then delve into what marketing you are currently doing and analyze what is and isn't working. Only then can you plan its aim, no. You need to learn affiliate marketing before you actually make it a means to earn money. Evaluating your objectives may lead you to a better decision but you should at least know some of the basic facts before determining what to complete yourself or outsource.

Find a trade off between the two, you doing your own SEO work vs outsourcing tasks you have no desire to do yourself. Figure out who your competitors are and then see what their backlink profile looks like.  This can vary from vertical to vertical, and most importantly, it will establish a baseline for you to compete. Another commonly used way is to build backlinks to your website using the knowledge gained from a backlink analysis.  As you gain experience you will learn about what shortcuts you can employ to rank faster, but this requires time and money with CONSISTENT FAILING of what does and doesn't work.

 Always verify information across various mediums and then test it yourself to determine what's right.  There is a lot of misinformation out there and testing is the only way to know exactly what is right. Part of the seo school bus, is actually doing the work yourself and setting specific goals of what you want to achieve. Only then should you consider what to outsouce if it's in your budget. If you need additional help learning seo the search engine is you friend, however, Seomoz is pretty good. 

Here's a quick tip. Blogging can be a good way of attracting visitors to your website. To often website owners focus on generating as much content as possible, but fail to recognize the need to have QUALITY content.  Think of some problems you can help solve and craft posts, articles, inforgraphics, etc. to help people SOLVE the problem.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Question Based Selling, Part One

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel as though you’re not getting anywhere with a prospect because you don’t know what to say next to make the person want to buy from you? If you’re like most people talking comes very easily for you and when somebody asks your opinion, via directly or indirectly, you immediately go off into sales mode and then somewhere down the road you catch the prospect looking at his watch and telling you that he needs to “think it over.”
If so, then a book written by Thomas Freese entitled, “Secrets of Question Based Selling: How the Most Powerful Tool Can Double Your Sales Results” might very well provide you with the ammunition you need to separate yourself from the competition and give you the tools to get the job done. I’m going to offer you something fun…something exciting…something you’ve never heard before. Are you ready? Sales professionals talk too much!
Yes, it’s true; part of the reason why some people have disdain for people like sales professionals is because we won’t shut up. Rather than learning more about a prospect and his needs, fears, hopes and dreams, we regurgitate the same canned sales pitch that we used on the last 10 people that had the same effect. Rejection without accomplishment!
This books does a very good job at illustrating a basis paradigm, a foundation shall we say, about what is needed to win…that is, to get a sale and help the client feel proud and secure.
Have you ever wondered why people some seem to flock to the gas stations every summer when gas prices go up $.05 like flies to honey? How about the beanie baby rave or the crash?
Thomas uses his sales experience to illuminate a basic social psychology principle entailing what motivates people in a group. The sad fact is that most people would jump off a bridge if everybody else did! But you’re not like everybody else right?
Everything we do when were prospecting, selling, etc. can be stripped down to its core. Namely, we need tools that will enable us to increase the probability of succeeding. Thomas does a good job at illustrating ways to build credibility through asking questions, avoiding mismatching, using a social psychology theory (herding) to generate interest and using rewards and risk aversion to sell a product.
Surrounding prospects with the perception that “everyone else” is already moving in a certain direction is a very powerful QBS technique.
Let that sink in for a moment. He explicates that in order for a sale to be made; credibility must be built; questions must be asked and addressed; interest must be peaked; while building value in a presentation so a the proper solution can be offered that will help a prospect find a reward and avoid risk.
Thomas uses 259 pages to illustrate exactly what I said in the preceding paragraph. He even throws in a chapter about cold calling that is a must read for anybody serious about taking some stress out of cold calls. He says that the success rate for contacting prospects is between 2-5 person!
That means that out of every 100 hundred sales calls, the average performer can expect to generate only a small amount handful of opportunities. The other 95 to 98 percent of these calls end in rejection.
My personal experience is averaging right around 10%, meaning 10 out of 100 people I talk to end up as a lead. I’m not an average insurance agent though!
In conclusion, I give this book an 8 out of 10. The only reason why it’s not a 10 is because he needed more examples of his questions that didn’t rely on his computer background. I spent about a week reading this book, making notes and making some changes to my presentation and cold calling techniques. One change can be found here
I had a hard time correlating some of his computer questions to the insurance lingo. I stopped watching Star Trek about 15 years ago (movies excluded), so I’m not up to speed on quantum-flux capacitors and how they relate to health savings account. I had no idea what he was talking about upon the first reading, but with the help of another book (Christmas present) I’ve been able to almost double my reading speed and increase my memory retention.
In Part Two, I’ll show you ways on how you can apply the aforementioned sales techniques to sell more insurance using real world examples. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks trying out various techniques and I’m looking forward to sharing my results.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Using Software To Maximize Your Business

I apologize that it has taken me some time to get back with all of you. I'm currently working on a project that has been keeping me busy after business hours and I haven't had time to post any new reviews.

You will notice that I have changed the look of the blog by adding a few links on the right side of my blog. I have used or currently use some of the products. Vista is great for affordable print work and their very competitive and reliable. At the very least their website should give your some ideas about things you can buy to market your agency.

One of the key methods you can employ to protect your business from being stolen by your competitors is to ensure that you explain why you're recommending a particular product, so another agent cannot come in from behind you and steal the account by talking your client into buying an inferior plan. This can and does happen!

Secondly, sending out a monthly or quarterly newsletter is important because it allows your clients to get to know you better, while providing you with a medium to advertise additional services that might benefit your clients. Here' s a small tidbit of information you should think about when drafting a newsletter. Even though I know you LOVE talking about insurance just as much as me, the other 99.9% of the population would rather experience an IRS audit. Do your best to differentiate yourself from the traditional agent by adding "value" to your by thinking outside the box. The key is to find a way to write a quality publication that your readers look forward to receiving and want to share with their friends a family. Here is an example newsletter that one of my friends send his clients. You'll notice that Al actually tries to engage his readers in a conversational way vs. the standard clinical, "Insurance rates are going up in 2 months, so you should feel fortunate to have bought a policy from me XXXX months of ago" newsletters I have read.

I'm obsessed with macaroni and cheese and once included a recipe for the best Mac' N ' Cheese I have had the privilege to eat. You definitely don't' want to eat it every week, but oh man is it good! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. If you're interested in the recipe follow this link. I like to add some Maryland crab meat or clams to the dish, and put in half a cup of sour cream. Let me know what you think of the recipe if you try it out. It goes great with a nice steak (medium rare please).

I'm almost finished with my latest book and I cannot wait to share it with you. It's not your traditional sales books per say, but I know you'll find it useful and can use the material to increase the effectiveness of your sales and keep yourself positive.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What Is Affiliate Marketing Really All About?

There may be several other factors that contribute to the success of your affiliate marketing site, but good quality content tops the list. It's very similar to insurance sales in the sense of the distribution funnels for various products. Because you probably keep track of your current clients along with prospective buyers, you are able to monetize from that list utilizing various products you think they might benefit from buying. That's why it's import to set up sales funnels. A satisfied customer is always the best promoter of the product. For example, Offer Value has a search feature where you input a specific category (e.g.,insurance) and it will display numerous offers for that niche that you could sell. 

Once you find something that may interest you the affiliate network will provide a special link for you to start promoting the affiliate product of your choice. Perhaps an unobtrusive ad is better than a flamboyant one for your viewers. You need to generate traffic to your blogs and you can do this by writing your articles and posting content on your blog. The more targeted traffic you can direct to the sales page the more your chances are of making money. Those who do will not only waste a great deal of time, but some have also spent and wasted a great deal of money as well.

Would you like to make more money online? While you may need traffic, a lot of these programs do not offer nearly as many targeted leads or referrals as they claim and of these many of them are unattended surf-for-profit site rotators which are often not even viewed by the member who is surfing their requisite number of websites in order to compound their earnings. When you pick your affiliate marketers know your audience. This is VERY IMPORTANT! Until next time....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Telesales Tips Fom The Trenches, Part Two

Ring Ring...

Prospect: Hello!

Agent: Hi, this is John Smith with ABC Insurance.

Prospect: I'm not interested. Click.

Agent: Hello, you still there?

Have you ever had one of these days? If not, you're probably in denial or have better luck than me.

I recently provided a review of Joe Catal's book and it's now time for the fun part. If you're serious about telemarketing this is one book that needs to be in you library!
I’m not a big fan of telemarketing, but it does work and is an excellent way to get yourself off the ground when you’re new. I recently entered my 2nd year of business and anticipate that I will be cold calling for at least 1-2 more years. I’ve had to find ways to feel comfortable on the phone and I learn best by trial by fire and various behavioral and psychological techniques I’ve picked up. Later down the road I’ll provide a review for one book that compliments Joe’s work. Here is what I’ve learned in the last 2 years of cold calling.
Rule # 1: Cold calling doesn’t suck, you suck. If you’re sales manager said that to you would you get pissed off and come up with excuse or show that person he’s wrong. I’m competitive and would choose the latter.
Rule # 2: Whoever invented the term cold calling is an idiot and did not understand the power of persuasion and psychology. I prefer to and say I’m telemarketing or teleprospecting. I do not like to use negative words and have no patience for negative people. I tolerate it because that’s life, but your ability to perceive and feel good about what you’re doing has a direct impact on your results. A self-fulfilling prophecy can be positive or negative. .
Rule # 3: A lead to me is a name, phone number, set time, set place and set date where a prospect and I have agreed to spend 10 minutes to discuss the potential to work together. (HINT: This is another way of saying I need to qualify this prospect so I don’t waste time or energy)
Rule # 4: You’re either a business person or you own a business. Which one are you?
Rule # 5: Stand up when you talk. (NOTE: Purchase a headset)
Rule #6: Set daily goals and do not stop until you reach them.
Without rehashing everything Joe went into here’s a summary of the top points I took from his book.
- Do not do personal things when you should be working (e.g., checking e-mail, talking with a friend, etc.)
- Track all of your calls and call for 45 minutes out of every hour and use the other 15 for paperwork.
- Record your calls to learn what is working and what needs to be changed (NOTE: Check state laws about recording before you accidentially commit a felony)
- Understand that everybody has a different personality and you need to match your tone, speed and pace with everybody on an individual basis.
- Be patient, shut up and ask questions. NEVER interrupt somebody unless you’re on fire!
- There should be a ratio of 10:1 You vs. I’s. The prospect could care less about you and needs to know what’s in it for them.
- Explain what you and your product can do for them. People buy benefits, not
- Get rid of words that do not add anything to the call and substitute more effective words (e.g., Take the word just and get rid of it; Do not say cost or premium…say investment)
- If somebody wants you to send information to them, be specific about what type of information they need and DO NOT END THE CALL until you agree about the next step. If there is no agreement do not waste your time!
- Always follow through with what you say and make sure you take IMMEDIATE action if you drop the ball. It’s better to look forgetful than incompetent.
-Don’t sell, solve problems.
I've been using a program that has helped me design, implement and track various marketing campaigns that does not entail telemarketing. The upcoming software review will save you at least $200-$400 on marketing costs that could be best utilized elsewhere. I'm very excited about this software program and after thinking things over I've decided to provide a review. The information will be up within the next couple of days. Until next time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Increase Web Site Traffic By Learning Seo Strategies

For  businesses, presence on the web is mainly the initial target in the middle of the stiff competition. One thing to remember is not to cross link your pages and to always link up from the bottom (root domain) to the top. Once your site is easier to locate in the web, it is a safe bet that there will be a significant change in the amount of visits from potential customers that your site can get. They are mainly consisted of higher search engine rankings on major search engines, increased website visibility, keyword relevancy, increased website traffic, higher sales volumes, timely revenue generation, cost effective online marketing, competitive edge, and longer business identity development. The web is also full of misinformation about this topic. This can be achieved through effective link building, which requires you to create connections to other sites that have similar content to that of your site.

In other words, it gives a website a thumbs up to the search engine crawler in a friendly way. All you have to do is to do your best research so that you may be able to get the best search engine optimization possible. The truth of the matter is that search engine optimization is not a thing that provides you instant results. One of the most important parts of setting up your site is through proper site navigation. How this works is that search engines find your website or webpage through the use of different indexing programs, such as crawlers or spiders that basically follows all links that lead to your site or page and downloads copies of it as it goes. What this means for those on the third or higher page is no traffic. And that takes time. Of course, the downside to this is that it takes time to find the latest information.

These inbound links work best if the websites linking to you are relevant to your main focus. Without question search engine optimization is important for any person or entity wanting to increase their ranking with the search engines. In fact, it needs your sheer planning, organization, and execution to get the job done the right way. Examining their approach usually automatically gives you ideas about how you can improve on their pitch and make it better. Many examples of famous copywriting by well-known gurus are available to study for free online, but I would caution you against buying every single course without doing your do diligence. Also because of your budget, you may not be able to hire someone else to do tasks you don't have the need or want to complete yourself. Just Remember, the wrong articles, pots, etc. can leave you with little traffic and really low search engine rankings if they do not fit in properly with either your niche or with keywords that are simple to attain high rankings for.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Telesales Tips From The Trenches, Part One

You look out your window and see your neighbors pull out of driveway and begin the long trek through to get to their job. With coffee in hand you feel a sense of elation that you don’t have to deal with the headaches of driving to work and watching woman put on their makeup while they drive and men trying to scarf down that delicious Burger King egg and sausage croissant while listening to the radio and yelling at the other drivers. You start to slowly sit down and sift through your e-mail slightly glancing at the clock to see that it’s almost 8:00 a.m. You think to yourself, “I have one hour to muster up the strength and pick up that phone!” It is now 3 hours later; the e-mail has been checked and double checked; the dog has been walked…twice. Now two cups of coffee are flowing through your body and you feel alive fully knowing that lunch is right around the corner. Then that little voice in your head tells you to stop screwing off and pick up the phone and start calling! “Nah, I’ll get to that after lunch.”
Joe Catal has done a great job at debunking some of the myths about telemarketing. In his book, aptly named, “Telesales Tips From The Trenches: Secrets Of a Street-Smart Salesman.” he provides a no holds barred approach to picking up that infamous phone!
Here’s a little secret you may not know. Telemarketing doesn’t suck; it’s the pending feeling of rejection that sucks! As a new insurance agent you should expect to be rejected a minimum of 100 times a week, and that’s if you’re doing real well.
I’m a naturally motivated type of guy. You tell me something negative and I’m immediately thinking how I can turn it into a positive. Joe takes a similar approach to how he handles himself on the phone by:
Averaging 100+ calls per day since 1985 and hearing over 350,000 No’s.
Throughout the book Joe provides real life stories (my favorite) and examples about how to write an effective opening; answer objections without sounding superfluous or ignorant; techniques to find hot leads and steal accounts (another one of my favorites), while laying a strong foundation by asking the right question and ASKING for the order when the time is right.
His thoughts about time management and techniques to increase the effectiveness of listening were entertaining and insightful.
The customer should be talking 75% of the time…NEVER interrupt a person while they’re talking.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever interrupted another person when they were in the middle of talking. Did you feel that awkward moment where you both wait about 2 seconds and speak at the same time? Next time, keep the mouth shut and if you do happen to interrupt, count to 5 in your head.
The material in his book does come off very strong, but I’ve noticed an increased level of confidence and control after implementing some of this strategies.
In conclusion, some of the material is not worth reading if you cannot control the pricing of your products, nor negotiate said product. However, I do give this book 5 stars and highly recommend you pick up a copy, grab a highlighter and implement some of the material IMMEDIATELY! You can pick up a copy by clicking on the link above or to the right in the section entitled, “My Favorites.”
In Part Two, I’ll share my input about how I was able to overcome my apprehension about telemarketing, as well as recommend a few tricks I’ve learned that reduce my stress and help me to feel more comfortable on the phone.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Advanced Web Ranking Review

Whether you own one website, or you have a number of them, you want the best rankings possible. You have probably spent plenty of time analyzing your website rankings, seeing where you stand in the search engines.
However, analyzing your rankings take a lot of time if you're doing it manually, and most plugins and websites have faults. One day you're listed as the third spot on the first page, the next you're listing six pages in, and then next week you might be on page two. If you're going to have a successful website, or group of websites, you need to know exactly where you stand.
That's why seo software is very important to track your rankings. Advanced Web Ranking has been designed to help you rank for the right kinds of keywords. Why should you invest in this, when there are so many free tools out there? Let's highlight a few key features:
Plugins and websites are great, but what happens when you upgrade your browser, or the website goes down? You're stuck, and you have to wait for a fix. Advanced Web Ranking doesn't have that problem. It's actual downloadable software, compatible for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Regardless of the type of computer, there's a version for you, that you can launch and run, even if it's patch day for your favorite browser.
Keyword Research
Most people will agree that keyword research is one of the most important things that can be done to help a website succeed. We also know that good keyword research can be time consuming and tedious, depending on how you do it. Advanced Web Ranking has come up with a way to help reduce the time and tedium: a built in keyword research tool.
It's not just using the Google Keyword tool either, the software uses multiple APIs to conduct research, so you're not limited to just one type. Also, it interfaces with SEMRush to help suggest keywords, and Google Webmaster Tools, so you can import your keywords.
Keyword Analysis
Ultimately, you need keyword analysis if you're ever going to find out if your keyword choices are any good. Advanced Web Ranking has built in keyword analysis, to help you see if you're on the right track. You can either compare 2 pages side by side, like yours and your competitors, or you could do the same page on two different days to track keyword optimization changes.
On-Page Optimization
Website rankings rely a lot on optimization, and Advanced Web Ranking wouldn't be any good if it didn't come with an on-page optimization analyzer. Thankfully, the creators have thought of it all, and there is a great one. The optimizer performs it's analysis based on seven categories: rankings, meta tags, body text, links, title tags, domain name, and other things. Once it's done analyzing the site, it gives you a ranking out of 1000. In addition, it also gives suggestions on how to improve that ranking. No more getting a score and wondering what you need to improve, this software spells it out for you. And, it even keeps a copy of the analysis for later, so you can compare the old version with newer version to see where things have changed.
Advanced Web Ranking offers many features in addition to the few reviewed here, and has 4 levels of support and features, making it affordable for developers and small business owners alike. It comes with a free 30 day trial period, so you can see if it's the right software for you, making it very low risk.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Learning Search Engine Optimization For Your Online Business

Although there are some people who would know what to do with their sites in just one look, a lot would still need a visual guideline on how they are used. It may not be your preferred way to promote your online business, but taking your chances with it may forever change the way you play the game. Nowadays, a lot of people use the internet to look for the information they want. This is no private club for some big company or big time bloggers. It's all about building a brand. Doing your research before you build your pages will help you optimize your site for highly searched terms that have little competition. Everything else still depends on the learner's interest and commitment to practicing what he has learned. For instance with gambling site, you might be wondering about how they go about making their presence more attractive and persuasive to the online crowd.

Anchor text is more or less a website that is linked to a word or phrase that when someone clicks on that anchor text that person is led to your page or another website. It is the only way that you'll get into profit quickly through organic traffic from the search engines. However if you don't learn how to play with them you'll find that ranking online will be a very difficult journey.  Your job is to learn how to place yourself in front of the consumer before that consumer finds someone else. While web videos are regarded as the easiest way to get educated, learning through them still presents a disadvantage. It also shows that knowledge gained through or with the aid of a visual presentation is most likely easier to retain.

This cannot be achieved with online video learning though. Once you apply yourself and really sit down and put in the time and efforts to why back linking is so important, and why quality is better than quantity. Just be keen in identifying which coaching services are worth subscribing to or who among the online coaches appear credible so you could avoid getting scammed. And now, they after getting these websites receive valuable traffic for online presence. Following a video tutorial would make it easier for a learner to identify which icons to tick or where to input appropriate information. There are lots of backlink checker websites that will instantly compile a list of all the sites that have a backlink to the site you're checking. You should do what you can to learn who links to you competitors and try to borrow their links.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Business Wish List

I will continue to add links that I think will benefit all of you. I recently added the Business Wish List link (located on the right) and I want to make sure you understand how it works. Once you click on the link you will be brought to the Insurance Sales Library Store. The links located on the bottom are as follow.

1) The Insurance Sales Library Store: Illustrates the books on my wish list that I'll be buying in the near future. I'll provide reviews for those books, as well as current books that have benefited me.

2) Shopping Cart: If you want to purchase any of the books this is where they will be listed.

3) The Insurance Sales Library Home: Takes you to the main blog web page.

4) About Us: Self explanatory.

The first review will be up shortly.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog. More than likely you've found my blog via one of the numerous websites I actively provide articles for it's readers; you've been referred by a friend; or you accidentally were trying to find an adult site and ended up here through an affiliate link. If it's the latter case I'm sorry and I hope find the site educational before you go off using your VISA.

The purpose of this blog is simple. I've been approached by numerous friends and business associates in the last few years about publications and various sales tools I've utilized that I recommend. Although this website is primarily geared towards helping insurance agents develop their "Sales Code," the information contained within can be utilized across many avocations and boundaries.

An insurance agent seeks out a prospect and then turns that person or family into a business associate...and sometimes a friend. Some of this is deliberate, while other times it's as elusive as winning the lottery. The same approach could be said about the man who seeks out a wife and dates numerous women only to find out that things don't always go as planned.

You might have surmised from the the title that this blog entails something relating to a library. If that's the case than I wish to congratulate you on being perceptive. Pat yourself on back and go grab a cookie.

I aim to review various books and provide my thoughts about the subject matter as it pertains to the aforementioned demographics. Each review will be broken down into two parts. Part one will entail the review of a particular book, while the second part will explicate methods about how you can incorporate the subject matter into your life. Hopefully this will help you to think outside the box about how you act with your clients, live your life, and what ways you choose to interact with your friends, family members and loves ones. Sigmund Freud once said, "Love and and love, that's all there is." If you don't love what you do then I suggest your figure out what you love and find a career doing that. If you love learning, then you have come to the right place, so sit back and relax. For me, I love movies, documentaries, selling insurance, my dog and family, and I'm OBSESSED with watching every documentary I can find on Tornadoes. Unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, when I retire from selling insurance there will be plenty of tornadoes left to chase.

Hopefully the love I have for reading with benefit all of you. I have enough book to write reviews for at least the next 5 years. However, I don't think the History of the World is relevant. Please feel free to e-mail me if there is a particular book that you would like to see reviewed or simply wish to share thoughts. I will return ALL e-mails within 48 hours. Of course, you're more than free to post your comments.

I appreciate your time and consideration. I'll be posting my first review of the book entitled, "Secrets of Question Based Selling," written by Thomas Freese shortly. Make sure you sign up for my newsletter on the top right of this page so you can keep up to date and stay ahead of the pack.

Be Safe.
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