The quality of your life, whether you're talking about your professional or personal life, is determined by habits. Success is often the result of simply doing the right things over and over again. In sales and marketing, consistency is one of the most important facets of business survival, and it can make or break you, depending on the nature and quality of your habits.

For example, do you make it a top priority to devote a portion of every day to sales and marketing activities? If you're too caught up in "putting out fires" or running other aspects of your operation, it may be necessary to delegate the responsibility of sales and marketing to others or even hire a freelancer or marketing agency. However, if sales and marketing is your primary or only job, here are a few areas to focus on that can help you generate much more business and bottom-line profits.

Sales letters

If you send out only ten targeted, personalized, compelling sales letters or postcards a day, 5 days a week, you'll be reaching two or three thousand new prospects a year, some of whom will become customers. One way to make the task less time consuming and more productive is to use pre-written sales letter templates.

If opt-in email marketing is an avenue you're considering, putting your sales letters on an autoresponder system is an essential way to streamline the process, increase productivity, and save valuable time.


Remember the old adage, "You never know unless you ask"? That principle applies to getting sales referrals. If you're not systematically asking for referrals from every satisfied customer, then you're ignoring an untapped source of new business. If you don't feel comfortable directly asking customers for contact information of their friends and relatives -- or if it doesn't seem appropriate -- you can often gain new clients by inserting a referral form, pass-along coupons, or extra business cards in a billing statement or a satisfaction survey.

Sometimes the mere "power of suggestion" is enough to prompt clients to give you a referral or two if they like you. Food for thought: Have you every known a real estate agent that wore a button or a heart-shaped sticker that says "I love referrals"? I saw that same idea adapted to business cards. Obviously that wouldn't be an appropriate strategy for all types of professional services and products, but the point is that -- one way or another -- you should plant the idea in your customer's mind that you'd appreciate a referral or two. Delivering "value-added" service and making clients feel important and listened to will put them in a receptive frame of mind for giving you referrals.

Positive Thinking

Few people will argue that your attitudes, core beliefs, and the things you habitually say to yourself impact the actions you take, your level of confidence, and the results you produce. Make it a point to write down motivational quotes or inspirational philosophies in a journal or on index cards whenever you stumble across them. Review them a few times a week and try to incorporate them into your own belief system. When you start perceiving your challenges in new and inspiring ways, you're almost certain to be empowered to achieve more, surmount obstacles, and to recognize opportunities that others will overlook.

© 2003 Optimal Marketing Communications

Author's Bio: 

Joel Sussman is an internet marketer, a freelance writer, and president of Optimal Marketing Communications. In 2000, he created Marketing Survival to help small business owners gain a competitive edge and thrive in a today's challenging economic climate. The site provides free and cost-effective marketing tools, advice, newsletters, and hand-picked downloadable marketing manuals. Note: You have permission to reprint this article in your newsletter or web site as long as you leave the article completely unchanged and include this last paragraph (the resource box). Send questions or comments to