Dialing for Dollars: How to Get Appointments with Your Best Prospects

Written by Jill Konrath

Six months ago I temporarily shut my business down to refocus, rename and rebrand my company. I also needed to create a web site. Finally, after several months of gut-wrenching work, I was ready for prime time - eager to get back to work.

My value proposition was strong; my target market clearly defined.

After identifying companies that met my parameters, I went on-line to research them. I requested annual reports and read them carefully. I wanted to ensure that when I talked torepparttar executives, my services were aligned with their business objectives. Then, I developed my Top Ten List.

But my preparation still wasn’t complete. I needed a phone script to make sure I didn’t sound like a blathering idiot when I reached their voicemail. So, I went to work on that.

I wrote a script and then rewrote it. To hear how it sounded, I called my own phone number and left a message on my own voicemail. At first I sounded awkward, stilted. How you talk is really different from how you write. So, I’d make changes and try again - and again.

Finally, I got it down pat and was able to leave a personable message that conveyed exactly what I wanted to say in about 30 seconds. Byrepparttar 127272 time I was done, it wasn’t a script anymore; it was just me talking.

It was time to pick uprepparttar 127273 phone! I’ll start tomorrow, I promised myself.

Well, after about a week of doing just about anything to not make calls, I decided I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I stared atrepparttar 127274 phone. My stomach was churning. Thoughts of saying something stupid and stumbling over my own words raced through my mind.

I looked again at my list of targeted companies, thinking it was nicer to have them on my prospect list than to have them say ‘no’ to me. At least there was stillrepparttar 127275 possibility that we could do business inrepparttar 127276 future.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” I thought to myself. “Here I am, a seasoned sales professional and I’m suffering a severe case of call reluctance.” There was only one way to put a stop to this. I had to call someone – right away.

Taking a final look at my Top Ten list, my eyes zeroed in on my top prospect. I picked uprepparttar 127277 phone and started dialing. 6...1...2... I paused, wanting to hang up, but I didn’t. I took one last look atrepparttar 127278 highlighted bullet points I wanted to cover inrepparttar 127279 voicemail and forced myself to continue dialing.

The phone rang. I stood up - erect, with good posture to ensurerepparttar 127280 best possible voice quality. It rang again. I smiled, to make sure I sounded approachable... personable. It rang again.

“This is Peter,”repparttar 127281 voice said in a brisk British accent. I waited forrepparttar 127282 voicemail to continue, ready to deliver my message atrepparttar 127283 sound ofrepparttar 127284 beep. There was a pause - a long, silent pause.


Written by Jennifer Johnson

According to a new survey carried out by Alliance & where ID_NUM=9270; Leicester, one in five small business owners view tax as their greatest concern. The Chancellor has announced in his last budget that companies with profits below œ10,000 will not have to pay any corporation tax with effect from 1 April 2002. The question to be asked is: does that announcement make incorporation a more attractive option compared to being a sole trader?

The answer is that from a tax point of view, it is advantageous to trade through a limited company as long asrepparttar income is drawn fromrepparttar 127271 company byrepparttar 127272 owners as dividends from their shares andrepparttar 127273 amount of dividends drawn is restricted belowrepparttar 127274 40% band rate (i.e. œ31,063 for tax year 2002/03). That way,repparttar 127275 owners have no further personal tax ("income tax") to pay. Moreover, dividends are not subject to national insurance contributions. This is excellent news of course. But, if dividend income falls withinrepparttar 127276 higher rate bracket of income tax (i.e. above œ34,515), they will be taxed at 22.5% onrepparttar 127277 excess, which of course will increaserepparttar 127278 tax burden. The company profits are subject to corporation tax rates. Those are lower than income tax rates.

The most catastrophic scenario is whenrepparttar 127279 director takes his reward fromrepparttar 127280 company as salary. Then his/her salary is taxed at income tax rates (like a sole trader's income). That is because, unlike sole traders,repparttar 127281 tax system treats companies as separate from their owners because a company is a separate legal entity. The problem is thatrepparttar 127282 income taxes are higher than corporation tax rates. On top of that, they will be subject to employee and employer national insurance contributions, which of course increaserepparttar 127283 tax burden and render his position worse than even an unincorporated business ("sole trader"), because NIC Class 1 on payroll are higher than NIC Class 2 paid by self employed.

In contrast, a self employed person ("sole trader") is taxed at income tax rates onrepparttar 127284 profits from his business, which are added to his other sources of income. As it has already been mentioned, income tax rates are overall higher than corporation tax rates. On top of income tax, national insurance contributions class 4 are payable onrepparttar 127285 business profits within a specified band (7% on profits between œ4,615and œ30,420). National insurance contributions Class 2 are also paid by self-employed people, although those are lower than those payable by company directors on their salaries.

To illustraterepparttar 127286 above, let's take a simple example. We have a limited company and a sole trader. They both make œ60,000 profits each inrepparttar 127287 tax year 2002/03. We assume thatrepparttar 127288 company director takes a salary equal torepparttar 127289 amount of his personal allowances (untaxed income) of œ4,615 andrepparttar 127290 balance as dividends. The company will pay corporation tax at 19% equal to œ10,523 and nothing else. The sole trader will pay income tax œ16,542, National insurance Class 2 œ104 and National insurance Class 4 œ1,806. Total œ18,452. The bottom line is thatrepparttar 127291 person that has incorporated his business into a limited company will make a tax saving of œ7,929 compared to a sole trader! Isn't that fantastic?

Somebody might be wondering: why is this entire happening? The official explanation is that, this government, to helprepparttar 127292 economy grow, encourages people to leave as much profits within their businesses to be reinvested, instead of being taken out and spent.

The "unofficial line" is that, as a matter of fact, for yearsrepparttar 127293 Inland Revenue has tried to reclassifyrepparttar 127294 self-employed. The 1% in NIC hike on staff salaries aboverepparttar 127295 NIC threshold from next April adds to bothrepparttar 127296 employees' and employers' tax burden and may more than offsetrepparttar 127297 saving fromrepparttar 127298 corporation tax zero rate onrepparttar 127299 first œ10,000 of profits.

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