May 29, 2008

The Power Of A Drop - Sales Tip

Sales Tip: When And How To Use A Drop

If you are directly selling a product or service, or even assisting with others selling, you may know about an expression called a "drop". A "drop" is when you offer a potential price, with full intention to drop to a lower price. The psychological reason for the drop is that a client will feel like they are getting a better deal when they pay less money for a service they really, really want.

So, I recommend utilizing a drop when you're selling most of the time.* The way to make sure you have a drop to offer, is to make sure you start your price bid above where you hope to end up. To do this, you must offer more than the client needs, with the intention to reduce the price by eliminating the extra product or service that isn't necessary at this time. That may sound like playing games, but it isn't. People like to negotiate. You're letting them negotiate with you.

I use two different systems to create a drop. One is where I've offered more of the product or service than they need to buy, say 12,000 units, instead of 10,000 or 7,000 units. When they see the price for 12,000 units, and it is too high, they'll ask for a lower price. I'll ask if it is the down payment or the monthly that is the issue. Now the drop becomes a selling tool, too. Because I now have insight into whether or not they'll buy at 10,000 or 7,000. In addition, I learn how I need to structure the final deal, because if it is a down-payment option, I may need to offer a deal with less money down or build a creative solution to help them get in the door.

Another method to drop is to offer additional services that they'd LIKE but don't NEED to buy. I use this type of drop with ARRiiVE frequently. If someone wants help with capturing Top 10 Google position, I'll offer that solution, along with a Blog consultation, and additional service for monthly consultation after the project. Many clients zero-out the blog consultation and some don't sign up for the monthly consultation until AFTER the completion of the Top 10 is successfully implemented. So, this drop is useful.

You can also combine drops. For example, I could combine the blog consult with adding more phrases, then zeroing out phrases and the blog consult to arrive at a more compact solution that fits the budget they're seeking.

Try using a drop in your selling. You'll capture an additional 30% more deals if you master using this closing technique successfully.

*A drop is not recommended when you are responding to an official RFP. In that case, go in with your best price up front and make sure you differentiate ahead of the RFP release to position your solution as best meeting the client's perceived and created needs.

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May 15, 2008

Strike While The Fire Is Hot

Question: When is the best time to put a proposal or work agreement in front of a client?

Answer: The same day you've properly identified their needs. STRIKE WHILE THE FIRE IS HOT!

Why is it critical to strike when the fire is hot?

I met with a potentially decent client about five weeks ago. They were *very* interested in my work, and basically nodded and appeared to approve the deal in person. However, I was busy at the time and unable to get them a proposal for a week and a half. That's too long! We must strike when the fire is hot. I'll tell you what happened after that.

The response after receiving my proposal was not to continue as planned, but rather "I'm busy and can't get to this for a week." Ugh! So, I waited two weeks to give the Vice President time to determine when they could move forward. This week, I emailed him and left a phone message to see how they wanted to move forward. He didn't call me back. Instead, he emailed me "I thought I responded when you sent the proposal, this just isn't in our budget this year. Hopefully we can do something in the future."
Wow. Did I blow it, or what?

Now, the good news is I've got three new prospects in his place, but still - I wanted their business! It bummed me that I'd had a hot fire and let it cool before proposing. By showing him that it wasn't a top priority to get him the proposal, he treated my service as a lower priority, too. Not only that, but by giving him time to think it over, other vendors may have approached him in a more timely manner. This is why we want to eliminate the "I'll think about it" response from the closing cycle. It was my fault, and I've learned from the experience.

In the timeshare business, they're experts at eliminating the "I'll think about it" objection. Saying "I'll think about it" is really just a "nice" way of saying "no" or "not now" isn't it? To get around "I'll think about it" the timeshare business will offer you two choices to buy their program. The first is a standard program, which usually costs a lot more and doesn't offer very generous terms. The second is their premiere program, what they really want you to buy, and offers much more flexibility and discount incentives to purchase the day you're there.

How can that be applied to other businesses?

For one example, I've created a new process whenever I propose my "Top Ten Search" service. Instead of telling people "I'll put together a proposal" I put together a proposal BEFORE I meet with them. Then, while we meet, I clarify that the proposal meets their needs. That way, I can show them a complete work agreement document and spreadsheet for pricing WHILE I AM THERE! I also offer a discount if they approve and do it that day (an extra 10%) and also include an additional service at no additional cost if they agree to it on the spot.

This achieves several things to help me close more business. First, I eliminate the delay between meeting and proposal. Second, I eliminate the "I'll think about it" obstacle, to a certain degree. Third, I shorten the sales cycle.

What other ways can you think of to eliminate the "I'll think about it" objection and strike when the fire is hot? Can you think of additional tips to include here?

Copyright © 1999-2008 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.

May 13, 2008

Leaving Keywords as FROM on Blog Posts?

I recently reviewed comments on a debate whether or not to leave keywords on blog posts over at ProBlogger. As someone who cares about methods to help clients grow their traffic, link back strategies are a vital component to that strategy. And, leaving comments on other blogs are a method to create link backs.

Have you noticed how some people will leave their site name, name and site name, or just name (see image - left).
Now, there are different reasons for each. Many people get ticked off when you just leave a keyword phrase. Such as "top chinaware" as your name. It is considered SPAM by many bloggers and they might edit out your post.
Therefore, I recommend against this strategy, even though it does give you a keyword link to your site.
Regarding the name, a poster, Tim B from Wordjot Newsletters, had this tip, which I recommend highly:
Use "Scott from AspireNow" as the name.
  • Gives a name so you know who it is
  • It indicates where the link will go, so it’s not such a mystery meat experience.
  • Gives a hint of your experience.
  • More memorable than just a full name.
  • Links the name with a website.
  • You can still reply to just the name. eg Scott@
I believe the best strategy is to put your name first, and site name second, or just your name. If you feel you MUST post a keyword, I would at least list my name first.

So, that's my feelings around this sensitive topic. Try not to SPAM people without adding any value to your post. I learned that lesson the hard way when I posted into a very active comment forum on a web design blog. Comment SPAM will get your traffic, but it might backfire into very negative traffic that will do nothing for your site. It is better to get specific traffic from a well-written post.

Take the high road when posting on other blogs, remember that content of your posting is STILL king when it comes to this type of activity.
Note: We provide a service at helping companies gain organic search position in search engines. We include strategies for keyword phrases, backlinks and utilize a combination of old-school and new-world tools and strategies to accomplish our objectives.
If you're seeking help to get more traffic and convert more of that traffic, we can help. Contact a representative at ARRiiVE for more details.

Copyright © 1999-2008 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.

Semantic Search Engine Web 3.0 Tools

As you know, I've had my eye on Radar Networks and recently became approved as a beta tester. I'm continuing to eyeball Radar's "Twine" technology, which renders search results in a more inter-relational way than Google.

Sunday, a company called Powerset rolled out a new tool which also offers a new twist on search: complete language search (versus the stand "keyword" search technique common through AOL, Google, Yahoo, and MSN today).

The idea of searching with complete language is intriguing to me. The initial roll-out of Powerset ( allows a person to search the Wikipedia database using any combination of words. I actually found myself, habitually, typing in phrases, and seeing Powerset deliver results in a well-organized format, based upon those phrases. Not much difference there. However, I noticed videos were off to one side. The primary response returned in an upper-left box, followed by a Google-esque list of search URLs and corresponding results similar to other search engines. However, when I changed this phrase from simple searches, like "Tony Robbins," to more complex searches like "I like Dulce De Leche Ice Cream," the engine shined. First of all, Powerset returned a clarification question (I misspelled the phrase) which I ignored. Then, a count of matches within Wikipedia. After that, what looked like a Google search response; however, upon closer examination I noticed the results were more varied and offered a 360 degree view of the phrase, rather than a specific, narrowed search.

To clarify, it seems that Powerset offers the narrow phrase response first, then widens the results as you go deeper. Certainly, this technology is worth examining further. I'm curious if Powerset is going to include graphic search response in the future, or if they will concentrate on textual search as they are now. In addition, I could watch a video on the right. I could also use the "Add This" bookmark to share the link I found.

A quote from an article on Powerset by Reuters mentioned that "The Wikipedia is becoming a microcosm of the most useful parts of the Web," said Greg Sterling, an Internet analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence. "This offers a powerful way to find what you are looking for against this subset of the Web."

"Our system is a little more forgiving," Scott Prevost, general manager of Powerset, said in an interview on Sunday. "It is not looking for hard-word matches. We are not searching for exact words, but concepts," he said.

Intriguing, wouldn't you say?

The technology for natural language search comes out of Xerox PARC, the same lab that brought us the initial technology we now are so comfortable with through Windows and the Mac interfaces. 2008 appears to be the year that semantic search and language processes are becoming reality.

Additional articles related to this topic include:
Semantic Search Closer To Reality Than You Think
Tying It Together With Twine

Are you interested in being a Beta tester for's new collaboration software based upon semantic concepts? Please email us or contact us to let us know. Thanks!

Copyright © 1999-2008 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. Powerset is a trademark of Powerlabs. Google, Yahoo, AOL, Xerox, Yahoo, Radar Networks, and Wikipedia are trademarks of their respective companies. SUBSCRIBE.

May 8, 2008

When Are We Most Productive?

I recently read a post on productivity and considering the natural cycles of society, it makes sense that we're likely the most productive during the same hours that coincide the best times to post a blog post or post an article to our website.

How can I base this? Because this is when people are in the most focused, intense "work" mode.

Amazingly enough, the best time to post a blog post is 10:30 a.m. PST to 2:00 p.m. PST Tuesday through Friday. I'll stretch that a tad, but based upon this I'll state the peak productivity time, in general, for employees and workers is between 10:00 a.m. PST and 3:00 p.m. PST.

What I'm talking about is how to maximize things that so many people struggle with, ranging from time management to productivity skills, doing first things first, managing the "7 Habits of Highly Successful People", and other time/management/productivity concerns.

Considering the schedule I've proposed, I have to ask: are you taking LONG LUNCHES? If you are, you're cutting into your most productive time during the day. I'd suggest that you either eat a lighter lunch or take a late lunch, that way you'll be maximizing your highest productivity hours in each week.

If you've failed to consider the most productive hours of a day, and claim that late night is your top time (I've been guilty) or claim that morning is also your most productive time (been guilty of that, too), well, here's the wake up call: most people are in work mode during Tuesday through Friday. They start to "check out" at 2:00 p.m. because many have kids they need to tend to. School schedules usually release children around 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm, and amazingly, this is also when productivity begins to wane among adults, too. After 5:00 p.m., we're thinking about dinner. After dinner, we relax and digest our food. During the weekend, we're relaxing and having fun from our hard work during the week. However, I will also point out that if we use Internet data for our assumption, then we need to consider that many people are East Coast-based and therefore 2:00 p.m. PST is 5:00 p.m. (EST) to them.

Peak Productive Time?

When is your peak productive time? If you're like many others, you probably take a half hour to settle into your work. In addition, you probably unwind for the last 15 minutes each day, too. On top of that, you'll need at least two 10 minute breaks, and at least 30 minutes for lunch. Take all of that away, you're probably going to have your peak productivity start to kick in around 8:30 a.m. and then wind down around 4:45 p.m., if you maintain an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule.

Make the most out of it!

The 80/20 rule will apply, too, so that peak time during the middle of the day is critical to your ongoing success. Don't waste it! Your best time for a meeting is likely on Wednesday or Thursday right around NOON. So, make the most out of these time slots!

Maximize the time when you can reach the most people, impact them the most, and focus your efforts to be your most productive self between Tuesday and Friday between the time frame of 10:30 a.m. PST and 5:00 p.m. EST. Schedule your most important meeting each week at Noon on Thursday. That is when you'll get the biggest bang for your time slot.

When you practice solid time management skills, you will fare better. Ideas I have to refresh for you with this article include:

Time Management Tips:

  1. Focus on one thing at a time.
  2. Complete a task, then move on to your next item on your priority list.
  3. Start with one global or long-term goal, then a short-term easy goal, each day. This will make sure you don't avoid the most pressing thing, and also ensure you don't ignore your long-term goals, either.
  4. Set a goal for the amount of time to break, eat, and break throughout the day.
  5. Don't get side-tracked with items off of your list.
When we instill a sense of discipline into our work day, we get more things done. See if renewing your focus on your peak hours, and by putting your list of things-to-do into the core of that time-frame, you're bound to be more successful.

Copyright © 1999-2008 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.

The Best Times To Post To A Blog

Many bloggers have asked me the best and worst times to post to their blog. Amanda at BloggerBuster posted a nicely researched article on the best times - and the worst times, to post.

Compiling data from over 10,000 posts at Digg, Jake Luciani at 3rd rail created a filter of delicious, digg, reddit, and mixx posts to determine the absolute best times and worst times to publish your new articles. Apparently, the best times to post are between 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. PST.

Based upon the filter of his search, Jake suggests that the time period between Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. PST and 2:00p.m. PST Friday is the BEST time to post your blog or website articles.

Conversely, the time period of late at night, early in the morning, on the weekend, or on Monday is probably the worst time to publish your blog posts and website articles.

Although I don't think like a programmer, I can appreciate the common sense to this information. Please give some props to Jake Luciani at 3rd Rail for taking the time and putting forth the effort to answer this question for those of us who are a bit more "non-techie"!

In light of this information, I'll test Jake's theory and publish this article on Thursday at Noon PST.

Copyright © 1999-2008 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.
Want to learn more about blogging? Visit

May 5, 2008

Guy Kawasaki discusses on ARRiiVE Radio

Guy Kawasaki, Author, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, discusses his new website "" on the ARRiiVE: Innovations In Business Show this week. This show promises to be highly informative and entertaining, so mark your calendar!

Show Time: May 7, 2008 2:00PM PST / 5:00 PM EST

Join in: Dial (724) 444-7444 Enter 37798 #Enter: 1 # or your Talkshoe PIN

To join from your computer (with LIVE CHAT)or listen after the show, visit:

Notes: Join Scott, as he interviews Guy Kawasaki, former evangelist for the Macintosh Computer, and an author of many books, including The Art of the Start, a book ARRiiVE recommends highly. Hundreds of thousands of people follow and read Guy's blog (Google Page Rank PR7) and through his company, Nononina, he recently launched two powerful websites, Truemors and Alltop.

Guy Kawasaki is a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures. He is also the co-founder of, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of eight books including The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

You won't want to miss this dynamic, educational, and fun guest.

Call in to join the show:Dial (724) 444-7444 Enter 37798 #Enter: 1 # or your Talkshoe PIN

To join from your computer (with LIVE CHAT)or listen after the show, visit:

It's SIMPLE and EASY! See you (or hear you) there...

Copyright © 1999-2008 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.

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Copyright © 1999-2008 by ARRiiVE Business Solutions. All Rights Reserved. SUBSCRIBE.