Written by Meredith Pond

In order to increase sales and help your business succeed, you need to put your name inrepparttar minds of customers. You need to create a relationship with them so thatrepparttar 127422 next time they need products or services like yours, you'rerepparttar 127423 first one they think of. These ideas sound simple, of course, but they may be easier to talk about than to implement.

So how do you createrepparttar 127424 customer relations that everyone talks so much about? Well, there are a number of ways, including giving great customer service, offering customers a good value, and building a fun, down-to-earth, or warm and fuzzy image.

There is another way, however, to solidify your image as a customer-friendly business that you may not be thinking of. Likerepparttar 127425 other methods, it's not very difficult, but it does involve one four-letter "F" word: FREE.

Giving away free stuff, even if it's just your advice, shows people that you're willing to help them out-- that you're more of a friend than someone vying for their business. Free information your customers can use, free samples of your product, or vouchers for food or travel can make great incentives that help your customers remember you.

Part I: Sales, How Revolting! Part I: Sales, How Revolting!

Written by Wild Bill Montgomery

Fromrepparttar time I was old enough to grasprepparttar 127421 concept of sales I knew I wanted to be involved. My dad was in sales, I wanted to be in sales. Atrepparttar 127422 tender age of 17, I was still underrepparttar 127423 false impression that sales and marketing wererepparttar 127424 same thing. Eventually I went to school for a specialized degree in business/marketing, while working part-time selling home fire safety systems and found out a very distressing fact. I'm not a salesman. I enjoyed observing them in action but when it came right down to it, I foundrepparttar 127425 act repulsive and still do today. I gave up on my dream of being another J. Paul Getty and discovered an even bigger love; "Computers". Big Mainframes, Cobol, Pascal, they were my true desire now. I was still fascinated by Sales and Marketing, but believed it was only a pipe dream, because I just didn't have what it takes to be a salesman. You see, even with a formal education, inrepparttar 127426 back of my mind I still believed sales and marketing were one andrepparttar 127427 same thing.

Eventually, I started doing programming onrepparttar 127428 side, but still had an extreme phobia about sales and selling people on my services. Then in 1991 I picked up a book on vacation called "Marketing Your Services". I rediscoveredrepparttar 127429 fact that marketing and sales are notrepparttar 127430 same and I don't need to be a high-pressure salesman to market my talents. I found something called "relationship sales". Sales is sales, right? You have to convincerepparttar 127431 customer to buy what you have to sale. Wrong!

You knowrepparttar 127432 high-pressure sale is hard on everyone involved. The "burnout" statistics are so high that only 5% of high-pressure sales people stay with it for life. But it's not only hard onrepparttar 127433 salesperson, it's hard onrepparttar 127434 customer too. Have you ever sat through a home vacuum cleaner demonstration? Most of these people are hardcore pros. They have to be to last even a year. I know, my father was one for most of my childhood, and he was good, I'll give him that. But, eventually even he burned out, and went into construction.

Forrepparttar 127435 potential victim, and I say that with all sincerity, it's just like being lined up forrepparttar 127436 firing squad. You know it's coming and feel completely helpless to stop it. This is how I pictured marketing until I readrepparttar 127437 book. It's not like I didn't studyrepparttar 127438 difference in school. I can't remember whether I just didn't believe it or I just didn't get it. No matter, it was what it was and I wanted no part of it anymore.

In 1997, I discoveredrepparttar 127439 Internet. Some small part of me was still crying out forrepparttar 127440 dream. The "J. Paul Getty" dream. I saw an opportunity and I wanted to get in on it. With time constraints, two jobs and a family who demands my attention, I very slowly got into HTML, Perl and eventually Flash and SQL. But what good is it going to do me. I already had a great job that I wouldn't leave for another. So I decided I would set up a website and sell what I have learned. So I wrote attention getting headlines and hard selling copy. I figured Internet sales was a lot easier, because there was no face-to-face pressure. I could sell my services on my web page. Too bad it's not that easy. People are inquisitive, curious and skeptical. I found myself getting emails about this and that, getting telephone calls asking me why they should pick me. The problem was I couldn't back up my hardcore sales pitch in a more personal manner. I just couldn't figure it out, even with reading all about it. How can this be happening again? What isrepparttar 127441 answer? I went back and read that book that I had read years before, just one more time to refresh my memory. It clicked, "Relationship Sales".

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