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MLM Woman Issue 97
February 2005

This FREE monthly newsletter is made possible by our advertisers and customers. We thank them for their support!

From the Desk of the Editor

Welcome to the 97th issue of the MLM Woman Newsletter. This month we feature articles on how to cope with "Information Overload", advice for how to finally write your book, tips for successful postcard marketing, and how to improve your communication style for better results.

Enjoy!

Linda Locke, Editor MLM Woman


3 Ways To Cope With "Information Overload
By Jim Edwards
http://www.TurnWordsIntoTraffic.com
© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved

It's been said that the typical Sunday edition of the New York Times newspaper contains more information than the average person in 15th century England was exposed to during their entire lifetime.

In the information age, our minds get bombarded daily with so much data that we start filtering it out as a self-defense mechanism.

On the Internet, the information overload gets so severe that it seems to bring out the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in all of us.

To make things worse, expect the avalanche of information we must all deal with online to start coming faster and harder this year and to never, ever stop.

Unlimited amounts of information available online represents a truly double-edged mental sword for all of us.

On the good side, you can find out virtually anything you want about any person, place, thing, fact, problem and more.

On the bad side, since you can find anything, many people get caught up and lost in "everything"... which means they never accomplish much.

In fact, most people end up drowning in the sea of information when all they wanted was a simple drink of water.

To help you effectively deal with the never-ending torrent of online information, let me offer 3 simple solutions that will profoundly affect your ability to get things done this year.

First, operate with a clear purpose for what you plan to accomplish online.

Many people start out with a vague idea of what they want to accomplish on the Web and end up wasting hours surfing aimlessly.

One simple solution: write down your purpose for going online on a sticky note and put it on the side of your monitor.

Simple purpose statements like "Check email" or "Find map to Detroit" or "Research where to advertise my blog" can save countless hours by reminding you of your true purpose for sitting down at the keyboard (and keep you from wandering off to explore Britney Spears or The Simpsons).

Next, if you do want to go off on a sidetrack away from your original purpose, set a time limit. Kind of like recess in kindergarten, give yourself a set amount of time to run free, but then get back in the classroom and get back to business at the appointed time.

Typically, I give myself anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to roam, but only if I think it will bear fruit for my purpose in the end.

I also force myself to honestly answer the question, "Does this really fit with my purpose for being online right now?"

If not, then I goof off for about 5 minutes and then write down the idea, website, or topic that distracted me and leave it for future investigation.

By the way, a simple egg timer also works great for this.

Finally, if you ever find yourself online without a purpose, but can't seem to stop surfing, searching, or clicking the "send/receive" button on email, simply get up from your computer and walk away for a few minutes to clear your head.

Often this represents the fastest way to stop yourself wasting countless hours in meaningless activity online.

Bottom line, implementing these simple strategies for dealing with information overload online now will pay huge dividends in peace of mind and time savings in the future.

About the Author
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links. "Turn Words Into Traffic" reveals the secrets for driving Thousands of NEW visitors to your website or affiliate links... without spending a dime on advertising! Click Here>http://www.TurnWordsIntoTraffic.com


Why Don't You
Write Your Book

By Suzanne Falter-Barns
www.howmuchjoy.com

In the ten years that I've taught people how to get on with their books and creative projects, I've noticed a phenomenon that I'll call "Author's Block." Would-be writers can, indeed, sit down and work when pressed to it. The problem is that they're not so sure they want the pressure of being an author. But they do want it. But they don't. And so on.

Ah, the agony of getting on with your book.

Well, I'm here to diffuse that situation with a list of the key reasons we have trouble sticking to our writing or other creative projects. Perhaps this will help the next time you find yourself polishing doorknobs instead of sitting down to work.

Check all that apply to you:

You Lie To Yourself About Why You Can't Write The Book

You think your stalling is about lack of time, or too much pressure at work, or not enough solitude in the evening. But guess what? Chances are a deeper, darker reason may be at play, like 'I'm not supposed to be bigger than Mom' or 'What if this thing really takes off?'

You Fear The Impact Your Book Could Have


Sometimes when I coach writers in my Self-Help Author's Crash Course I'll ask them what's impeding their progress. And after some probing, it will come out that they're afraid of the big exposure a book can have if it takes off. I'm here to assure you that should that happen, (and chances are your book will not unleash wild mobs of millions) you will be able to handle it. How do I know? On that deep level where psyche meets karma, you won't create a single reader more than you're ready to receive.

You Think Your Book Doesn't Matter, So Why Bother?

One writer I know put this succinctly: "I've tried getting up at 5AM to write, or staying up late, or even leaving my home, but none of it works. I have this tired feeling that none of my effort is going to amount to a hill of beans." In fact, writing and publication can be an entirely self-determined activity these days. If the publishing pundits don't go for your book, there's always the option of self-publishing paperback editions or e-books and selling them on online booksellers or your website. In other words, your book DOES matter, and you really have no excuse. (Acid test: if the book keeps on patiently urging you to sit down and write it for months and even years, chances are you'd better do it.)

You Think You Don't Know How To Write A Book

Guess what? Neither does any other first time writer. And that may be a wonderful thing. As a beginner, you don't approach your book project with a carload of professional expectations and demands from your process. You can just be open, like… well, a nice blank book. All you really need is your intuition to guide you, and the will to write your book as honestly as you can.

You Have No Support

You need someone in your corner, cheering you on, to get through the long and somewhat tiring process of birthing a book. Because writers need a way to show up and be accountable for their progress. They need someone to keep saying, 'Yes, you really can do this," or even "How's it going?" Minds can be tricky and difficult when fully challenged by something like a book. And steady external support is the best way around that.

You're Afraid You'll Run Out Of Material

There isn't a writer out there who hasn't had this fear. And I'm here to say that if you just stay loose and open, and willing to receive the ideas, they will show up. All you have to do is commit - really sit down, and begin to bring that book into being - and the work will magically appear. Sometimes it won't flow that easily, and sometimes it will scare you with its speed and power. But it will, indeed, show up.

You Think 'Who Am I to Write a Book?'

And yet, you are the perfect person to write your book, because you're the one chosen to receive this material. (You don't have to be spiritually inclined to believe this.) I personally believe that books are given to us when we're ready to receive them… and when we do, our lives are changed by that process.

You Fear Uncomfortable Moments

Ah, but that's the most exciting thing about writing your book. You will be given challenges and lessons that just seem untenable along the way. And if you're committed enough, you'll rise above them and so become stronger in the process. This is especially true for self-help books: we naturally write what we need to learn.

Got a few categories checked off from the list above? Good! Awareness is the first step to diffusing your fears. Meanwhile, PLEASE do get on with your book … despite your misgivings. Not only do you deserve this work - so do we.

About the Author
Suzanne Falter-Barns co-leads The Writer's Spa, a week-long, nurturing retreat for anyone with a book on their mind. Taos, NM, August, 2005. Learn more at http://www.howmuchjoy.com

©2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC.


7 Tips for Successful
Postcard Marketing

Copyright 2005 Bob Leduc
http://BobLeduc.com

Simple low-cost postcards have become a valuable business tool for modern marketers. They can produce a surge of traffic to your web site or a flood of high-quality sales leads.

The following 7 tips will help you get the maximum response from postcards at the lowest cost.

Tip 1: Focus on the Mailing List

Make sure your postcards go to prospects likely to be interested in your offer ...and who also have a proven history of acting on offers that interest them.

For example, send them to customers of non-competing businesses that sell to your targeted market, subscribers to publications read by prospects in your targeted market or to prospects who previously requested information about products or services similar to those you offer.

You can get all of these lists from most mailing list brokers.

Tip 2: Be a Friend

Set up your postcard to look at first glance like a message from a friend instead of like a magazine ad printed on a postcard. It will boost the number of replies you get.

A postcard that looks like a friendly message produces a pleasant emotional reaction from readers instead of the harsh emotional reaction most people have to advertising.

Tip 3: Ditch the Sales Pitch

Don't try to close sales directly from your postcard. You don't have enough space to provide all the information most prospects need to make a buying decision. Instead, use your postcard to generate sales inquiries.

Begin your postcard by briefly stating the major benefit(s) you offer. Then use the remainder of your postcard to motivate readers to get more information from a source where you can close sales ...such as at your web site or from a phone number they can call.

Tip 4: Get Right to the Point

Postcards are delivered "ready to read". Take advantage of this. Get right to the point to capture the reader's attention immediately. This makes it difficult for prospects to avoid reading your postcard - especially if your entire message is brief and easy to read.

Tip 5: Go First Class

Send your postcards by First Class Mail. It costs only 23 cents in the US if make them at least 3 1/2 by 5 inches but not over 4 1/4 by 6 inches.

This gives you all the benefits of First Class Mail for just a few cents more than Standard Mail ("bulk rate mail") ...and it produces a lot more replies.

Tip 6: Watch Your Timing

Send your postcards so they arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. The volume of mail delivered in the US on those days is usually light and your postcards won't have to compete with a lot of other mail delivered at the same time.

Try to avoid having your postcards delivered on Monday. It's usually the biggest mail delivery day of the week and a very busy day for most people.

Tip 7: Economize on Designing and Printing

Don't spend a lot to design and print your postcards. Using an elegant layout with colorful graphics can be expensive and it rarely improves your reply rate unless you are selling those services.

Simple postcards designed to look like a message from a friend can be printed on your own computer for only 1 or 2 cents per card ...or you can have a commercial printer do the job for as little as 4 to 7 cents per card.

The next time you want to drive a surge of traffic to your web site or generate a flood of new sales leads - send postcards. And be sure to follow the 7 tips revealed in this article to get to maximum response to your postcards for the lowest cost.

About the Author
Bob Leduc spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales. He just released a New Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards ...and launched *BizTips from Bob*, a newsletter to help small businesses grow and prosper. You'll find his low-cost marketing methods at: http://BobLeduc.com or call: 702-658-1707 After 10 AM Pacific Time/Las Vegas, NV


Are You Getting in
Your Own Way?
(A Marketing Insensitive)

By Wendy Weiss

If you are not seeing the sales and marketing results that you desire you might want to take a hard look at your communication style for both spoken and written communications. You could be getting in your own way.

Think about your goal in every communication you have with a prospect or customer. Then look at how you communicate with that prospect or ustomer. Are you getting the looked for results?

Recently I offered a series of free teleseminars. My goals for the teleseminars were to help attendees with difficult prospecting issues and to introduce my new product, "Cold Calling College." As an incentive to purchase the product I offered a one-day only discount (standard marketing procedure.) Here is an e-mail that I received from one of the participants:

"Dear Wendy,

"I thought the concepts on the cold calling telecall today were valid, however, somewhat rudimentary for me. I would consider purchasing 'Cold Calling College' for the scripts…. my Area Director is in Prague [so] I cannot get approval until next Monday. To get the approval I will need to sell its value as being more advanced than what I have thus far seen. Considering these factors . . . I would like to request that the discount still be offered to me next week."

It was fascinating that this participant e-mailed to request a favor, an extension on the deadline to purchase the product, yet she chose to start out her request by disparaging the teleclass and the offer. Hmmm… She's getting in her own way. I did not take this personally. Actually, I found it to be rather amusing. We have sold many, many copies of "Cold Calling College" and will continue to do so. One sale more or less will not make or break us. I replied with a polite e-mail that the deadline to purchase was midnight that night and could not be extended.

In thinking about this communication I wondered had she sent a different e-mail would I have been more inclined to grant her request? How could this participant have changed her communication to make it more likely to get a positive response?

Let's see…

It's always a good idea to start out a request with an acknowledgement. It puts the recipient in a good frame of mind. It is also important to tell the truth. The issue here would be for this participant to find something she could acknowledge. How about this:

"Dear Wendy,

"Thank you for taking the time to offer this free teleclass."

This is the truth. The class was free. It took some of my time. This was a statement the participant could easily have made without compromising her feelings about the class.

Next, outline the problem in a positive manner, again always telling the truth. In the original e-mail this participant said, "I would consider purchasing 'Cold Calling College' for the scripts… my Area Director is in Prague [so] I cannot get approval until next Monday." (The subtext of this sentence is that there is nothing important in the product except for the scripts.) How about this instead:

"I'm interested in purchasing 'Cold Calling College,' but I need to get my manager's approval to do so. She is in Prague until next week."

This approach is much softer and is also true. She did have some interest in purchasing "Cold Calling College." In this approach she is not promising to buy, she is simply expressing interest in a positive manner. She did not have to minimize the value of the product to make this request.

Next this participant said, "I will need to sell its value as being more advanced than what I have thus far seen."

This is totally unnecessary information for the recipient, it's also rather insulting. She should have skipped this sentence altogether.

Then ask for what you want. It is also a good idea to acknowledge that your request is out of the ordinary.

"Would you be good enough to give me an extension on the deadline?"

Had this participant followed this outline, I might very well have granted her the extension she requested.

Think about every communication that you have with a prospect or customer. Ask yourself, "What is my goal?" Then ask yourself, "What is the best way to frame this communication so that I get the desired result?" Ask yourself, "How might my prospect or customer react to my words?"

Asking yourself these questions before you communicate with a prospect or customer will keep you from getting in your own way. It will help you to create easy, stress-free communications. It will also help you get the results you desire.

© 2004 Wendy Weiss

About the Author
Wendy Weiss, "The Queen of Cold Calling & Selling Success," is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. Her book, Cold Calling for Women, and the recently released Cold Calling College, can be ordered by visiting
http://www.wendyweiss.com. Contact her at wendy@wendyweiss.com. Get her free e-zine at http://www.wendyweiss.com.


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